Stress is an over abundant natural resource many of us would rather to live without. Ulcers, mood swings, or headaches are some of the obvious consequences of stress. But what is not so obvious is the physical changes and physiologic warfare going on inside of your body everyday in response to stress.
A stressed system is an inflamed system. An inflamed system = PAIN! Inflammation wreaks havoc on the body. Did you know that research shows inflammation is an underlying cause of widespread problems like heart disease, anxiety, and depression?1, 2 Crazy right?
Well there are simple things you can do that will help you battle “Body Flame”. Build your body’s immune system by following some simple tips. Over the next few weeks I will introduce you to ways to fight stress, inflammation and repair your immune system using natural foods. Today’s focus will be on cherry juice concentrate.
Cherry Juice Concentrate (CJC)
Research shows that cherries are packed with unique Anthocyanins and other compounds that combat inflammation. They have the highest levels of anthocyanin I & II of any food.3 Consumption of Anthocyanins has been linked to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and enhanced mental function. Anthocyanins are more effective than Vitamin C or E and as effective as Naproxen, Ibuprophen or Aspirin as an anti-inflammatory with no bad effect on your stomach. Seriously!!
Cherries are also is loaded with melatonin: an antioxidant and hormone that is critical in human sleep cycle. It helps us to fall asleep & stay asleep. Why is quality sleep important? Well, besides the fact that it keeps many of us from being crabby all day, quality sleep helps with weight loss, allows the body to heal, and is good for the heart. Quality sleep also helps the body “remember how to fight infection”.
Nutritionists rate the antioxidant value of food by its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORCA) level. The National Institute of Health recommends 3000-5000 ORCA daily. A few pieces of fruit or vegetables each day could put you there with ease. One ounce (2 tbs) of CJC gives you 14,000 ORCA, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, 16 different kinds of antioxidants, both anthocyanin (I & II) and melatonin. Cherries also contain Quercetin, which is both an antioxidant and a natural anti-histamine. Forget “killing 2 birds with one stone”, you can kill 20 or more with CJC!
- Lowenstein K. Is inflammation what’s causing your depression? 2014.
- Okin D, Medzhitov R. Evolution of inflammatory diseases. Curr Biol 2012;22:R733-740.
- Wardlaw C. Taming Pain: Lesson from the trenches. 2013.