Turmeric’s incredible anti-inflammatory properties make it a fantastic choice for pain and inflammation relief. But tart cherry is set to share the crown: its large amounts of anthocyanins (a kind of flavonoid) give it high amounts of antioxidants, which also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Tart cherry is especially useful as a sports recovery aid. Anthocyanins can improve muscle recovery, as shown in a study where long-distance runners were given 10.5 oz of tart cherry juice twice daily (equivalent to 80mg of anthocyanins per day) for 8 days prior to a race. Runners who drank the cherry juice reported 1/3 of the post-race muscle pain of runners who drank a placebo juice.
Additionally, tart cherry is easily absorbed and highly bioavailable. As a whole food supplement, tart cherry powder is completely safe to use and can be taken before or after exercise to improve recovery. One Vitalfit tart cherry capsule is equal to 17 oz of tart cherry juice, without any of the sugar!
Where to find it:
The Natural Food Exchange sells Vitalfit 100% PureTart Cherry supplements, a gluten-free and vegan product.
Tart cherries have an added benefit: they contain melatonin, which can naturally regulate your sleep cycle. In one study, healthy young people took 1 ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate for seven days and improvements were found in multiple aspects of their sleep quality.