Cherry juice is being touted as the superfood of 2011. Is there any truth behind the health claims?
Have you had your five-a-day yet this morning?
Well, I have some good news. If the health food experts are right, you don’t need to bother with the fruit bowl anymore. Just pour yourself a glass of cherry juice – said to offer the same benefits as a whopping 23 portions of fruit and vegetables.
For this reason, cherry juice is being touted as the superfood of 2011.
What’s so special about cherry juice?
Cherry juice is packed with Vitamin A, antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which means it can help reduce muscle pain after exercising and flush toxins out of the body, which should improve how you look as well as how you feel.
And wait, there’s more: it even helps you sleep. Because of the high melatonin content of cherry juice, scientists have shown that it can induce sleepiness at night and help you to stay awake during the day.
Superfoods won’t cure obesity
In general, I think of most food as “super”, but I’m bored rigid with having new health foods shoved in my face as if they were the answer to Britain’s desperate diet problem.
As far as juice goes, the benefits of cranberry and pomegranate juice have been extolled, but then we’re told to be careful not to drink too much juice otherwise, because it’s so sugary.
Then there are the nutrient-dense fruit and veg such as:
Not to mention great sources of good fats like:
- brazil nuts and avocados, and
- oily fish such as salmon and mackerel.
I’ve even seen a list saying baked beans and bread are the next superfoods to watch out for.
All of these foods (save baked beans; I have my comfort foods, but baked beans aren’t on the list) appear in my diet on a regular basis in some form or another.
That’s because I have a varied diet and enjoy eating and cooking with fresh, whole foods. Pizza is on the menu too, just not every night.
But I don’t derive pleasure, when eating a few brazil nuts, by thinking: “Ah, delicious nuts…I should eat them four times a week to reduce my chances of developing heart disease.”
Nor do I think, when making a stir-fry: “Hmmm, let’s add in some broccoli in here, in case I’m a bit low on folic acid today.”
Lots of people say they are confused by all the many foods touted as health foods, and the different messages about what to eat, when, how and why.
To be honest, is it really all that complicated? Make sure some fresh, whole foods are present in every meal, and you’re on the right track.
As for cherry juice – and by the way it is tart cherries which have most of the good stuff, you won’t get the same effects from eating British cherries whole – it is delicious, but it is also rather expensive and hard to find.
You can find CherryActive in the UK at health food stores including Holland and Barrett which sells concentrate and capsules, but at £14.49 for 473ml of concentrate, it’s not the cheapest way to improve your diet.
Cherrygood, a UK product which turned over £1.2m in its first year, is on sale at all major supermarkets.
Cherry juice can only help health as part of a balanced diet
Apparently cherry juice has been popular for a long time in Turkey, where, like pomegranates, they have a bumper crop and it is inexpensive. The best way to improve our diets, though, is not by going in search of exotic superfoods which are air-freighted into the UK at great expense and gobbled up out of season.
It will certainly be good for you to drink some cherry juice now and again if you like it and can afford it, but it’s not an excuse for eating ketchup on sliced white the rest of the time.
There is a simple solution to the to-superfood-or-not-to-superfood debate, and it is best expressed in the words of champion food campaigner Michael Pollan: “Eat Food. Not too Much. Mainly Plants.”
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