Great Lakes Packing processes sweet, tart and brine cherries in northern Michigan.

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Northern Michigan cherry processing.

Benefits of eating cherries
Often referred to as the "super fruit", Michigan cherries (sweet, tart and brine) offer a host of disease-fighting antioxidants and nutrients including beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and foliate. Tart cherries in particular, offered as dried, frozen or juice, offer the highest levels of antioxidants - compared to other fruits. Cherries are linked to other critical health benefits including help in easing pain from arthritis and gout. They also are theorized to help reduce risk factors leading to heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Melatonin, prevalent in cherries, may help regulate our sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the human body's aging process.

The University of Michigan has found new evidence which links cherries to benefits associated with heart health. They found that cherry-enriched diets contributed to reducing weight, body fat (in particular the emerging importance of belly fat) and cholesterol. All of these categories are related to heart disease.

Estimates for health benefits state that 1-2 servings of cherries each day helps provide benefits cited in research. A serving of cherries may take the form of 1 cup of juice, 1 ounce of concentrate, 1 cup frozen, or 1/2 cup dried product.


Northern Michigan cherries (sweet, tart and brine) offer a host of disease-fighting antioxidants  

Antioxidants - like those found in northern Michigan cherries - are theorized to reduce risks or slow the progression of cancer and age-related macular degeneration .

What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are substances which help reduce oxidative damage to our bodies - basically, damage due to oxygen. This often surfaces in the form of reactive chemicals which attack our molecules and modify our chemical structures. Again, antioxidants - like those found in cherries - are theorized to reduce risks or slow the progression of cancer and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Cherries' power on the antioxidant scale
Antioxidant strength is typically measured in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) units. ORAC measures quantities which specific foods absorb and deactivate. The more a particular food absorbs, the higher it's ORAC score. The higher the score, the more efficient a food is at helping our bodies fight diseases like heart disease and cancer. Nutritionists suggest that those who consume 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units (about 1 ounce of cherry juice) each day fulfill an entire day's recommendation.

 

A look at arthritis, inflammation and gout
For many years, tart cherries have fostered a devout fan base of those suffering from arthritis and gout. In particular, studies linking cherries to the relief of arthritis, inflammation and gout are linked back to the 1950s. Studies (in particular Blau, 1950) found that daily servings of cherries helped relieve both "gout attacks" and pains associated with arthritis. Patients showed lower levels of uric acid in their blood - and those levels are associated with onsets and the progression of gout.

Cherries and their relationship with the relief of pain
Oregon's University of Health and Science suggest that cherries provide powerful relief from pain for those ranging from athletes to "weekend warriors".

The study shows that those who consumed cherry juice at least twice each week (for 7 days prior to, and on the day of their long-distance relays) experienced significantly less muscle pain after their races than those who chose to consume other fruit beverages. Researchers theorize that the anti-inflammation properties found in cherries were responsible for the results - and are attributed to antioxidant compounds referred to as anthocyanins. These are also responsible for giving cherries their bright red color.


Northern Michigan tart cherries have fostered a devout fan base of those suffering from arthritis and gout.  

Cherries and their link to fighting jet lag
Our bodies' internal clocks take time to adjust from long flights and time changes. Those who travel on a regular basis often carry doses of melatonin to help fight jet lag. Cherries offer a natural, fruit-based alternative to straight doses of medicine. Tart cherries offer what few fruits do: a potent antioxidant helping to regulate our natural sleep patterns. Our bodies produce some of this on their own, but cherries contain more of this powerful antioxidant than the body produces. The result? Quicker recovery from jet lag syndrome - and, as a result, hastened sleep and ease from jet lag.

 

Cherries and heart health (cardiovascular benefits)
We all know that heart disease - and it's prevention - is a big deal these days. Anthocyanin antioxidants, commonly found in cherries, may play a huge roll in reducing risk factors for heart disease. The University of Michigan suggests that cherry-enriched diets may help lower body fat, total weight, inflammation and cholesterol - all big-time risks for heart disease. The American Heart Association says that being obese - in particular when the weight is concentrated in the middle "belly" area - increases risks for heart disease. Western diets are full of fats and moderate carbohydrates. Tart cherries help to decrease body weight while maintaining lean muscle mass - often resulting in lower belly area weight. Cherry-enriched diets also reduce total cholesterol levels and markers of inflammation - each linked to also reducing risks for heart disease.

All tolled, cherries potentially provide for many types of health benefits. And, of course, their taste is unbeatable!


The University of Michigan suggests that northern Michigan cherry-enriched diets may help lower body fat, total weight, inflammation and cholesterol  

Northern Michigan cherry processing.

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Northern Michigan cherry processing.

Great Lakes Packing Company / 6556 Quarterline Road / Kewadin / Michigan / 49648
(231) 264-5561 / Fax: (231) 264-5594 / glpc@greatlakespacking.com

 

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