Road to Montmorency: Your Tour of the Tart Cherry
National Cherry Month is here, discover the power behind Montmorency tart cherries.
A cherry isn’t just a cherry. When it comes to tart cherries, the Montmorency varietal is the cherry with more. There are more than 60 studies exploring the potential benefits of North-American grown Montmorency tart cherries.
What is Montmorency?
Montmorency is the name of the most commonly-grown type of tart cherry in the U.S.
Each year, the U.S. produces approximately 275 to 300 million pounds of tart cherries. Of this crop, over 70% comes from Michigan. Other big tart cherry growing areas include Utah, New York, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Canada.
Montmorency tart cherries are a north American-grown superfruit sourced from small family orchards. That means choosing Montmorency tart cherries can help support local agriculture and preserve generations-old family farms.
Thanks to their availability in dried, frozen, juiced and concentrate forms, there are many ways you can enjoy Montmorency tart cherries all year-round.
Supported by Science
More than 60 studies have explored the potential health benefits associated with Montmorency tart cherries, ranging from exercise recovery to sleep, to heart health and inflammation.
- Exercise and Recovery
Montmorency tart cherry juice is growing among athletes as a natural food to aid exercise recovery. Research has shown tart cherry juice may help: ease muscle pain associated with exercise[ref]Kuehl KS, et al. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7:17-22[/ref], accelerate recovery of muscle strength[ref]Howatson G, et al. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010;20:843-852[/ref].
Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural food sources of melatonin, a natural hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. Research has shown that two glasses of tart cherry juice each day may help: increase sleep time[ref]Liu AG, et al. Tart cherry juice increases sleep time in older adults with insomnia. Experimental Biology. San Diego, CA. April 28, 2014.[/ref], increase sleep efficiency[ref]Howatson G, et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012;51:909-916[/ref] and reduce insomnia in older adults[ref]Pigeon WR, et al. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: A pilot study. J Med Food. 2010;13:579-583[/ref].
Montmorency tart cherries may help reduce inflammation related to arthritis and gout. Research has revealed that tart cherry juice can: reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis[ref]Kuehl KS, et al. Efficacy of tart cherry juice to reduce inflammation biomarkers among women with inflammatory osteoarthritis. J Food Studies. 2012;1:14-25[/ref], lower risk of gout attack[ref]Zhang Y, et al. Cherry consumption and decreased risk of recurrent gout attacks. Arthritis Rheum. 2012; 64:4004-11[/ref] and reduce uric acid levels[ref]Bell PG, et al. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) concentrate lowers uric acid, independent of plasma cyanidin-3-O-glucosiderutinoside. J Funct Foods, 2014;11:82-90.[/ref].
- Heart Health
Montmorency tart cherries may provide a number of cardiovascular benefits. Research shows they may help: lower blood pressure[ref]Keane KM, et al. Effects of Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus Cerasus L.) consumption on vascular function in men with early hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr, 2016:103:1531-1539[/ref], reduce risk of stroke[ref]Seymour EM, et al. Effect of tart cherry versus PPAR agonist pioglitazone on stroke-related phenotypes and inflammation. FASEB J. 2013;27:359.7[/ref], lower triglycerides[ref]Martin KR, et al. 100% Tart cherry juice reduces plasma triglycerides and CVD risk in overweight and obese subjects. FASEB J. 2010; 24 (Meeting Abstract Supplement):722.14[/ref] and decrease cholesterol levels[ref]Seymour EM, et al. Tart cherry-enriched diets reduce atherosclerosis and mortality in mice. FASEB J. 2011; 25 (Meeting Abstract Supplement): 980.10[/ref].