Provide pain relief: The antioxidants in sour cherries may help ease the pain of arthritis and osteoarthritis. In fact, anthocyanins specifically have been compared to ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen for their anti-inflammatory properties. They may also reduce the uric acid and the pain related to gout. A study showed that drinking sour cherry juice may reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis, and another study suggested that cherry intake is associated with a lower risk of gout attacks.
Improve sleep: Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Tart cherry juice may also increase the availability of tryptophan, essential amino acid and a precursor to serotonin, which helps with sleep. One study showed that sour cherry consumption may increase melatonin and improve sleep quality and duration. Another study showed that consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks increased sleep time by about 84 minutes among older adults with insomnia compared to the placebo. Their sleep tended to be more restful, too.
Strengthen the immune system: Sour cherry juice contains many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds that may strengthen the immune system. The high antioxidant content of sour cherries may help prevent infections.
The following are potential benefits of sour cherries that require further studies to confirm the findings:
On cardiovascular disease risk: Tart cherries may reduce cardiovascular disease risk due to its strong anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
Possible anti-cancer properties: The antioxidant compounds found in tart cherries have been shown to reduce cancer growth and proliferation in cell cultures in laboratory studies. This has been demonstrated in human colon cancer cell lines, but more research is needed to establish effectiveness in humans outside of the lab.
On diabetes: Studies in animals have shown that cherries lower body weight and abdominal fat, which is the type of fat linked with increased heart disease risk, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. For now, we are waiting for the outcomes in human studies.