Cherry juice is long used as a folk treatment for many health ailments, mainly because it is rich in many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Cherry juice contains no fat or cholesterol. Calories will vary, dependent on how concentrated the product is and if sugar is added. Carbohydrates provide most of the calories, with less than 1 percent of the calories coming from protein. Albanian cherries are even richer with juice than other imported ones, due to the climate and and because of the local cherry tree cultivars.

Health Benefits

Cherry juice contains vitamins A and C and potassium. The health benefits of consuming foods rich in vitamins A and C include improved immune system response, better wound healing and good vision, especially in low light conditions. Consuming foods rich in potassium may help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of kidney stones. Cherry juice is also a good source of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are naturally occurring compounds found in many red, purple and blue-colored fruits and vegetables.

Diets rich in antioxidants have been associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Consumption of cherry juice has long been advocated as a way to relieve the pain of arthritis and gout. More recently, it has been promoted as a sleep aid and a means to reduce muscle pain. More research is needed to support these claims, but early studies indicate some of the results people experience may be due in part to the anti-inflammatory nature of vitamin C and anthocyanin.

Cherry juice is not only refreshingly delicious, but it provides some solid health benefits, too. With about 120 calories per 1-cup serving, it is rich in nutrients like potassium and iron. Read on for several reasons to sip and savor.

Helps Post-Workout Recovery

Cherry juice may help recovery post-exercise. It is naturally high in potassium, which conducts electrical impulses throughout the body. This mineral also helps maintain blood pressure, hydration, muscle recovery, nerve impulses, digestion, heart rate, and pH balance. Cherries contain about 330 mg of potassium per cup, which is almost 10 percent of how much you need each day.

Fights Inflammation and Arthritis Pain

Research shows that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice can reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis. A 2012 study showed that drinking cherry juice twice a day for 21 days reduced the pain felt by people with osteoarthritis. Blood tests also showed that they suffered from significantly less inflammation.

Boosts Immunity

Like all fruits and vegetables, cherries pack a powerful antioxidant and anti-viral punch. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant in cherry juice, are made by plants to fight infection. Research shows that these chemicals can have a significant impact on immune system function.

Helps You Sleep

The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice combined with a dash of sleep-regulating melatonin may help you sleep better, according to a recent study. Even without its antioxidants and nutrients, cherry juice is deliciously tart and refreshing. Try replacing sodas and sports drinks with something that can really make a difference to your health.

Do-It-Yourself Cherry Juice.

Add the cherries (cleaned and pits removed) to a blender. About 15 is good if you're just making a glass for yourself; use more if you plan on serving to a group. The easiest way to clean and de-pit the cherries is to place them in a bowl, run them under cold water, and strain. Then score the cherries vertically, and remove the pit with the edge of a butter knife. Add the sugar, as desired, and blend. If you want some serious tartness, stay away from the sugar. Otherwise, start with about 2 tablespoons -- you can always add more later on if you need it.

You can also use a no-calorie sweetener, or honey which is the natural sweetener. Add water, as needed. With no water, your juice will be more like a syrup-y concentrate. Add a bit tablespoon by tablespoon, blending in between. Stop when it reaches the consistency you want. Filter the juice with a strainer. Unless you like your cherry juice particularly pulpy, of course. It's easiest if you have a glass strainer (like one you might use for cocktails) that you can just set over a glass and pour in. This'll remove all the chunks of skin that your blender didn't take care of. If the result after the straining is still too thick, add a bit more water. Taste it periodically to see if it tastes how you like./AgroWeb.org/