The tiny fruit that packs a big punch for heart and metabolic health

More than one-third of all U.S. adults have metabolic syndrome, which refers to a cluster of five factors that increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes: 

  • High blood pressure 
  • Low, so-called “good” HDL cholesterol 
  • High blood sugar 
  • High triglycerides (blood fats) 
  • A large waistline 

Fortunately, a brandnew study found that men and women diagnosed with metabolic syndrome can improve their disease risk simply by adding tart cherries to their dietI’ll tell you all about that study in a moment. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about the health benefits of this bright, red fruit 

Tart cherries prove useful in combatting pain and infection  

According to historical accounts, tart cherries originated in Turkey and spread to Rome by 72 B.C. From there, they slowly spread across Europe. And by the 1500s, King Henry VIII of England famously enjoyed eating them and even oversaw the planting of cherry trees in the kingdom(Eating cherries probably helped relieve the ailing king’s gout.) 

Of course, in addition to helping to treat gout, tart cherries have a long history of use as a medicinal remedy for arthritis, dementia, pain, and many other conditions related to chronic inflammation 

They belong to the plum family (Prunus cerasus) and contain loads of beneficial plant polyphenols—including anthocyanins, which target and reduce chronic inflammation   

Anthocyanins, in particular, are powerful antioxidants that give cherries and berries their characteristic color. They also benefit the lining of your blood vessels and possibly prevent plaque buildup in arteries. 

Which brings me back to the new study… 

Tart cherries support healthy blood sugar and metabolism 

Researchers at Florida State University in Tallahassee wanted to examine the effect of tart cherry juice on metabolic and heart health. So, they recruited participants from the local community, ages 20 to 60 years, with at least three of the five criteria for being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. 

Then, they divided the participants into two groups  

The first group drank 480 mL (two cups) of Montmorency tart cherry juice each day for 12 weeks. The second group drank an artificial cherry placebo drink, matched for number of calories, each day for 12 weeks.  

The researchers also conducted physical assessments of all the participants at the study’s outset, in the middle of the study at six weeks, and at the end at 12 weeks. 

Compared to the control group at six and 12 weeks, the tart cherry group had: 

  • Lower total cholesterol. 
  • Lower so-called “bad” LDL cholesterol. 
  • Lower levels of vascular cell adhesion molecules (VCAMs), a harmful biomolecule associated with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). 
  • Improved insulin secretion. (Insulin helps push sugar from the blood into the tissues.) 
  • Better pancreatic beta-islet cell function. (Beta-islet cells help with insulin synthesis and secretion.) 
  • A healthier waist-to-hip ratio. 

And this isn’t the first study to uncover the potential of tart cherries to improve metabolic and cardiovascular health… 

In a previous, smaller study, blood pressure, insulin levels, and even arterial stiffness improved within just hours after drinking tart cherry juice! 

Add cherries to your daily regimen  

Wild cherries ripen in the midtolate summer here in the U.S. So, while it’s a little early in the year to find them fresh locally, you can always opt for frozen and/or dried tart cherries or tart cherry juice. (When picking a juice, just make sure to find a brand without added sugar.) I recommend eating at least 20 tart cherries daily.  

While eating fresh tart cherries is always optimal, you can also consider taking a nutritional supplement with 2,000 mg of tart cherry extract. Though, as always when taking a nutritional supplement, be sure to work with a qualified health practitioner who knows about the benefits of natural remedies. 

Of course, in addition to tart cherries, there are many natural approaches to help prevent and fight against heart disease. You can learn all about them in my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. For more information about this innovative online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.    

Sources: 

“Trends in the Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in the United States, 2011-2016.” JAMA. 2020;323(24):2526–2528. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4501 

“Effects of Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice Consumption on Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.” Journal of Medicinal Food, 12/11/20; 23(12). doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2019.0240 

Effects of Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on cardio-metabolic markers in metabolic syndrome participants: a pilot study.Journal of Functional Foods. 2019; 57: 286-298. doi.org/10.1016/j.jff.2019.04.005 


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