Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Tart Cherries can help reduce inflammation

American College of Sports Medicine conference (abstract 1389), drinking tart cherry juice twice a day for three weeks resulted in significant reduction of inflammatory markers. The study, conducted by researchers from Oregon Health and Science University, involved 20 women between the age of 40 and 70 who had inflammatory osteoarthritis.
Anthocyanins are the compounds in tart cherries that give the fruit their vibrant colour, high antioxidant level, and ability to reduce inflammation. There have been previous studies that linked tart cherries to decreased joint pain and muscle pain. In this study, researchers said that up to 40% of osteoarthritis patients have inflammation and "tart cherries may provide beneficial anti-inflammatory activity helping OA patients manage their disease."

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Triathlon Recovery

With the Olympics now featuring the Triathlon as one of its events the time is right to focus on getting in shape for the up and coming Virgin Triathlon event at London Excel in September.

Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced “campaigner” everyone will agree that the way forward is to not only exercise correctly but what you put in your body helps it deal with the rigours and after effects of intense training and even competition. Tart Cherries, in whatever format you can get them in, are not only powerful antioxidants but more and more research is beginning to show that Cherries have amazing properties which are only now beginning to be understood. The triathlon is the kind of event where tart cherry juice can be beneficial and can help recovery from these strenuous events.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Beautiful Cherry-Almond Muffins

Cherries are rich in antioxidants that may help fight inflammation, and the fibre in these muffins can help you feel full for hours. Makes 12

  • 340g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 113g almondflour*'
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp: baking soda
  • ¼ tsp:salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 177ml reduced-fat sour cream
  • 113g natural cane or regular sugar
  • 78ml Cup canola or light olive oil
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 340g cups pitted and quartered fresh cherries

Preheat oven to 200°c. In a large bowl, mix together flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, 1ightly beat eggs, and then stir in sour cream, sugar, oil, and almond extract. Gently mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients. Fold in cherries. Divide batter among 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool several minutes before unmolding.

* Almond flour, also called almond meal, is available at health-food stores and in the gluten-free section of larger grocery stores. Keep it in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness.

Per Muffin: 183 calories, 5g protein, 12g fat (2g saturated), 16g carbohydrates, 71 mg sodium, 3g fibre

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Three Cheers for Cherries..

... as studies show this superfruit may be good medicine.

According to THE ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION generations of people have reported that cherries help keep painful osteo-arthritis (OA) and gout flares in check. Until recently this was considered old wives tales but recently scientists have started to put these stories to the test….and guess what they have started to show really promising results.

Researchers tested different amounts of several varieties of cherries in almost every form, from juice to pills. And though most studies are small and the findings preliminary, evidence of the benefits of cherries is growing and how they can help in managing Gout and Osteo-arthritis relief!

Gout Management
Boston University .Medical Centre researchers carried out a study on 633 participants. They found that eating at least 10 cherries a day protected people who were suffering with gout from recurrent attacks. The findings were published in a supplement to the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism. The study co-author- Hyon, K. Choi "Cherry intake was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of gout flares over a 48-hour period. We extrapolate that cherries will continue to work long-term."

He attributes the positive results to anthocyanins - plant pigments that are believed to have powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins are found in. red and purple fruits, including raspberries and blueberries, but cherries, especially tart cherries, may contain higher levels.

Liquid cherry extract - found in health-food specialty stores- appears to provide the same benefits. In a .retrospective study of 24 patients presented at the 010annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism, researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J., saw a 50 percent reduction in flares when gout patients took one tablespoon of tart cherry extract -the equivalent of 45 to 60 cherries – twice a day for four months.

This is definitely a topic worth further investigation, "Dr.Choi says "If cherries prove effective in large trials, they could provide a safe, non-pharmacological option for preventing recurrent gout attacks."

Monday, 16 July 2012

Searching for the next super fruit star

Will Cherrys be the next fruit to rise to the top?

In recent years, consumers have embraced superfruits, such as pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry, for their antioxidant content. However, certain cherry varietals also rank alongside the more renowned super fruits in terms of antioxidant content. Although the fruit has long been favored as a pie filling and ice cream sundae topper, cherry is still establishing itself as a beverage ingredient, but suppliers say that’s ripe for a change.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cherries - Buy 'em: DRIED!

Sweet Bing cherries are highly susceptible to bruising during international winter shipping, and your wallet may be bruised by their high winter price. They also lag behind tart cherries -- the version most often found dried -- in levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene.

"Beta-carotene is a building block for vitamin A, so it helps maintain healthy skin, bones, and immunity," Somer says.

Removing the moisture also makes dried tart cherries particularly concentrated in anthocyanins, which are potent antioxidants, she adds. Just be sure to seek out unsweetened versions so you don't get too much sugar.

  • Like a number of “superfruits”, cherries boast a formidable antioxidant content. However, it appears that they may have more specific health benefits to offer in a number of very promising growth areas, such as sports nutrition, pain management and combating sleeplessness.
  • Cherries more dynamic than blueberries and cranberries.
  • Luckily, in order to enjoy the taste and health benefits of cherries, consumers are not limited to eating them in their fresh state, but can resort to frozen, dried and powdered formats as well as drinking cherry juice. Needless to say, this inherent versatility is good news for a range of players engaged in the health and wellness industry.
  • Their high antioxidant content makes cherries and cherry products instant candidates for several health and wellness positioning platforms, including cardiovascular health, brain health and memory, beauty from within and anti-ageing. Being a rich source of carotenoids (which are grouped in with antioxidants) means that cherries potentially also lend themselves well to a vision health positioning.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Battling the effects of Gout and Arthritis

Drinking tart cherry juice can help prevent gout attacks, relieve muscle soreness after exercise, and possibly help with arthritis pain because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Gout expert Naomi Schlesinger, M.D., says the juice seems to reduce the joint inflammation that gout causes. Schlesinger led a study that found patients who took a tablespoon of tart cherry juice concentrate twice a day for four months cut the frequency of their gout attacks in half.

More than a third remained gout attack-free. Other studies have shown that drinking tart cherry juice daily helps runners reduce muscle soreness and reduces inflammation in overweight patients.

Unlike its sweeter cousins, the Bing and black cherry, the tart cherry is bright red and higher in antioxidants.