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New Scientific Report Spotlights Tart Cherries as Today's Hottest Super Fruit

Wed, 02/08/2012 - 4:45am
The Associated Press

/FROM PR NEWSWIRE DALLAS 888-776-3971/

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TO BUSINESS, FOOD, AND HEALTH EDITORS:

New Scientific Report Spotlights Tart Cherries as Today's Hottest

Super Fruit

LANSING, Mich., Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Once known only for its

pie persona, tart cherries have emerged as one of today's hottest

Super Fruits, with leading health and trends experts buzzing about the

fruit's promising benefits. Today, with the help of leading health

expert Dr. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, the cherry industry launched

The Red Report, a new look at the power of tart cherries, featuring

more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific studies on tart cherries.

One of tart cherries' key claims to fame is their powerhouse of

antioxidants. According to top trend forecasters, antioxidants remain

a top indicator of health-promoting foods, with nine (93 out of 10

adults aware of antioxidants, and one-third (31 are making a strong

effort to consume more.(1,2) Tart cherries have among the highest

levels of antioxidants of other super foods, ranking 14 in the top 50

for highest antioxidant content per serving size, according to a

recent study.(3-7) And, tart cherries have as many, if not more,

antioxidants than many other fruits.(5,8)

"The power of this Super Fruit is clear, and what's so remarkable is

how far tart cherries have come over the last few years," said Dr.

Bazilian, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power

of SuperNutrients. "For example, the fruit has long been believed to

have pain relief benefits, and today, there's a strong and significant

body of evidence backing that up. I love when modern science confirms

what people have anecdotally known and experienced for decades."

"Beyond their health benefits, tart cherries are shaping today's key

health and nutrition trends, called out in some of the latest reports

as 'the' Super Fruit to watch," added Dr. Bazilian. Currently, nine in

10 adults (91 think it's very important to get their nutrients from

foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, with vitamin A

a key nutrient in demand.(9) Tart cherries contain 19 times more

vitamin A than blueberries or strawberries.

The Science Behind the Power of Red

Anthocyanins are the key antioxidant compound in tart cherries,

responsible for the fruit's bright red color. In fact, tart cherries

contain significantly more anthocyanins than other fruits, including

sweet cherries.(10,11) A growing body of research has linked the

anthocyanins in tart cherries to reduced inflammation, at levels

comparable to some well-known pain medication.(10, 12) This

inflammatory benefit is likely behind cherries' ability to reduce risk

for arthritis and gout, promote cardiovascular health and most

recently, to aid muscle recovery and reduce oxidative stress in

athletes. The Red Report is the first compilation to include the

latest research supporting tart cherries' exercise recovery and pain

relief benefits. Key highlights include:

-- Recent research published in the American College of Sports

Medicine's journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise revealed

that tart cherries could help athletes reduce muscle damage to recover

faster from a tough workout.(13)

-- Other research supports the pain relief benefits of incorporating

tart cherries in a training routine. In one study, runners who drank

cherry juice twice a day for seven days prior to and on the day of a

long-distance relay had significantly less muscle pain following the

race.(14)

-- Increasingly, sports nutritionists and endurance athletes are

following The Red Recovery Routine at www.choosecherries.com, designed

to support athletic performance and recovery with a focus on tart

cherries ability to reduce exercise-induced inflammation.

While researchers continue to explore the benefits of tart cherries,

The Red Report also gives a nod to tart cherries' emerging benefits,

including preliminary research linking tart cherry juice to

improvements in sleep patterns.

Why Go Red Instead?

Available every day of the year in dried, frozen and juice forms, and

versatile enough to include in any dish, tart cherries can be a

powerful way to boost fruit intake and meet current dietary

recommendations of two daily fruit servings. In fact, experts suggest

that 1-2 servings of cherries daily can help provide some of the

health benefits identified in the research.

"Now more than ever there's good reason to choose cherries," said Dr.

Bazilian. "With just one in five adults eating enough fruit each day,

it's my goal as a doctor of public health and dietitian to encourage

people to add a variety of fruits to their diets and specifically

think about form and color to help guide their fruit intake."

In addition to being a versatile Super Fruit, "tart cherries have that

unique sweet-tart taste that people are seeking," added Dr. Bazilian.

According to the IFIC Foundation 2011 Food & Health Survey: Consumer

Attitudes Toward Food Safety, Nutrition & Health, taste remains the

top driver of America's food decisions making it essential to find

great-tasting fruit options.Tangy and sour flavors are quickly

becoming two of America's favorite flavors, ranking among the top

ten.(15)

To download The Red Report, to learn more about the health benefits of

cherries and to find recipes and tips, visit www.choosecherries.com.

The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) is an organization funded by

North American tart cherry growers and processors. CMI's mission is

to increase the demand for tart cherries through promotion, market

expansion, product development and research. For more information on

the science supporting the unique health benefits of cherries and for

cherry recipes and menu ideas, visit www.choosecherries.com.

Sources:

1. Mintel. Functional Foods - US. August, 2009. 2.

Multi-Sponsor Surveys, 2010. The 2010 Gallup Study of Nutrient

Knowledge & Composition. Multi-Sponsor Surveys, Princeton,

N.J.www.multisponsor.com. 3. Wu X, Beecher GR, Holden JM,

Haytowitz DB, Gebhardt SE, Prior RL. Lipophilic and hydrophilic

antioxidant capacities of common foods in the United States. J Agric

Food Chem 2004;52:4026-4037. 4. Kirakosyan A, Seymour EM, Llanes

DEU, Kaufman PB, Bolling SF. Chemical profile and antioxidant

capacities of tart cherry products. Food Chem 2009;115:20-25. 5.

Seymour EM, Ou B. Phytochemical and diverse antioxidant profile of

whole tart cherries (Prunus cerasus). FASEB J 2011;25:773.14. 6.

Wang H, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, Booren AM, Gray JI. Antioxidant

polyphenols from tart cherries (Prunus cerasus). J Agric Food Chem

1999;47:840-844. 7. Halvorsen BL, Carlsen MH, Phillips KM, Bohn

SK, Holte K, Jacobs DR, Blomhoff R. Content of redox-active compounds

(i.e., antioxidants) in foods consumed in the United States. Am J Clin

Nutr 2006;84:95-135. 8. U.S. Department of Agriculture,

Agriculture Research Service. 2010 Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity

(ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home

Page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/nutrientdata/orac. 9. HealthFocus,

International, 2009. U.S. Trend Study. St. Petersburg,

FL.www.healthfocus.com. 10. Seeram NP, Momin RA, Nair MG, Bourquin

LD. Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in

cherries and berries. Phytomedicine 2001;8:362-369. 11. Kim DO, Heo

HJ, Kim YJ, Yang HS, Lee CY. Sweet and sour cherry phenolics and their

protective effects on neuronal cells. J Agric Food Chem

2005;53:9921-9927 12. Tall JM, Seeram NP, Zhao C, Nair MG, Meyer

RA, Raja SN. Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced

pain behavior in rat. Behav Brain Res 2004;153:181-188. 13. Bowtell

JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, Fox P, Mileva KN. Montmorency cherry juice

reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Med Sci

Sports Exerc. 2011;43:1544-1551. 14. Kuehl KS, Perrier ET, Elliot

DL, Chestnutt J. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain

during running: a randomized controlled trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr

2010;7:17-22. 15. Technomic, 2011. MarketBriefing. Technomic

Information Services. Chicago, IL.www.technomic.com

SOURCE Cherry Marketing Institute

-0- 02/08/2012

/CONTACT: Brian Packer, +1-312-988-2302, bpacker@webershandwick.com

/Web Site: http://www.choosecherries.com

CO: Cherry Marketing Institute

ST: Michigan

IN: SPM FOD

SU: SVY

PRN

-- CG48483 --

0000 02/08/2012 14:00:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com

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