Cognitive health is an important factor in everyday life from remembering peoples names, to doing our day to day jobs. When our cognition becomes impaired it effects so many aspects of our life. Although cognitive decline is an essential part of aging, why not slow the process by doing little things that are beneficial for our brain. That is where drinking cherry juice comes to play. Tart cherries contain flavonoids, a type of polyphenol that occurs naturally in plants and has strong antioxidant properties that help with cognition. The beneficial effects in tart cherry juice may be related to the bioactive chemicals they possess.
A recent study conducted by an assistant professor, Chai, included 37 participants between the ages of 65-80. The participants were not allowed to take any medications that altered brain chemistry and did not have a history of any medical conditions; stroke, heart disease and diabetes. The participants were divided into two groups. One of the groups drank tart cherry juice twice a day for 12 weeks, while the second group drank a placebo matching in color and flavor, minus the cherry. After 12 weeks the following results were revealed in patients who drank tart cherry juice:
5% increase in subjective contentment with memory
4% reduction in movement time
23% reduction in errors in episodic visual memory
3% improvement in visual sustained attention
18% reduction in errors during spatial memory working tasks
There are a wide variety of ways to include tart cherry into your diet if drinking is not suitable; adding it to yogurt or using it as a salad dressing. Although tart cherry contains extra sugar, individuals compensate for it by replacing their sweetened drinks with cherry juice.
"Future studies will address the mechanisms of action and bioavailability resulting from tart cherry exposure."