Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Drink Tart Cherry Juice to Catch Some Zzzsss

If you’re like most Americans today, you are busy. You have many responsibilities, and not much free time, and you spend your free time worrying about your responsibilities. When life is moving at 150 mph, sometimes sleep can seem like a luxury…because you don’t get enough of it. Whether its stress that keeps you awake, or other things, chances are your melatonin level is to blame. 

What the heck is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep, and is naturally occurring within the body. It is secreted from the pineal gland in the brain, and the concentration of this hormone in our blood varies throughout the day. The amount of Melatonin in the body peaks at night, when we have a normal pattern of sleeping. Melatonin production decreases with age, which may contribute to insomnia, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

There are a number of products on the market that claim to boost your melatonin. The challenge is that these products often only contain one particular vitamin, mineral or ingredient, and after a while the body compensates and the supplements become ineffective. Studies have shown that when we consume those same vitamins and minerals in the form of food, naturally occurring phytochemicals work in harmony with each other to increase absorption and positive impact on health. 

When it comes to obtaining Melatonin from food sources, tart cherries have been shown to have relatively high melatonin content.  The “ultimate sleep aid,” tart cherry juice has been put to the test to see if drinking it has a positive impact on those suffering from insomnia and trouble sleeping.

In 2010, a team of University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and VA Center of Canandaigua researchers conducted a pilot study on the sleep habits of 15 older adults. The adults drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice beverage (CheriBundi, in the morning and evening for 2 weeks, and a comparable matched juice drink, with no tart cherry juice, for another 2 week period. There were significant reductions in reported insomnia severity and the adults saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, when drinking cherry juice daily, compared to when they were drinking the juice drink. Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, 2010
Not only is melatonin linked to sleep, but research suggests melatonin can be a powerful antioxidant, helping reduce age-related inflammation and fighting free radicals in the body. Beyond melatonin, cherries are packed with other powerful antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanins - the compounds responsible for cherries' bright red color. A growing body of science indicates that cherries may help reduce inflammation, aid muscle recovery and reduce risk factors of age-related conditions.
Do you suffer from sleep issues? Try some cheribundi for a daily dose of melatonin. Let us know how it works for you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Study: Montmorency Cherry Juice Reduces Muscle Damage Caused By Intensive Strength Exercise

A recent study by the Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University, London, UK, found that tart cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise.  

PURPOSE: Montmorency cherries contain high levels of polyphenolic compounds including flavonoids and anthocyanins possessing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. We investigated whether the effects of intensive unilateral leg exercise on oxidative damage and muscle function were attenuated by consumption of a Montmorency cherry juice concentrate using a crossover experimental design.

METHODS: 10 well-trained male overnight fasted athletes completed two trials of 10 sets of 10 single leg knee extensions at 80% one repetition maximum (1RM). Trials were separated by 2 weeks and alternate legs were used in each trial. Participants consumed each supplement (CherryActive®, CA or isoenergetic fruit concentrate, FC) for 7 d prior to and 48h after exercise. Knee extension maximum voluntary contractions (MVC) were performed pre, immediately, 24 and 48h after the damaging exercise. Venous blood samples were collected at each time point and serum analysed for creatine kinase activity (CK), nitrotyrosine, high sensitivity C reactive protein, total anti-oxidant capacity and protein carbonyls (PC). Two way repeated measures ANOVA were used for statistical analysis of the data.

RESULTS: MVC force recovery was significantly faster (24h: 90.9 ± 4.2, CA vs 84.9 ± 3.4, FC; 48h: 92.9±3.3, CA vs 88.5±2.9, FC; % of initial MVC; mean ?SEM; p<0.05) after CA than FC consumption. Only serum CK and PC increased significantly from baseline, peaking 24h after exercise (p<0.001). The exercise-induced increase in CK activity was not different between trials. However, both the percentage (24h post: 23.8±2.9, CA; 82.7±11.7, FC; %; p=0.013) and absolute (24h post: 0.31±0.03, CA; 0.60±0.08, FC; nmol/mg protein; p=0.079) increase in PC was lower in CA than FC trials.

CONCLUSIONS: Montmorency cherry juice consumption improved the recovery of isometric muscle strength after intensive exercise perhaps due to attenuation of the oxidative damage induced by the damaging exercise.

Click here for the study. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It’s March Madness!

 It has arrived…the basketball phenomenon we’ve been waiting for all year….March Madness! What is so “mad” about March? Well, for starters, the time between March and April is when the NCAA national basketball champs are determined, through competing in a rigorous tournament where winners move on, and the less fortunate teams pack up their bags and end the season. Secondly, it’s a time to root for your favorite teams, and watch hard working college athletes fight for the 
championship, demonstrating admirable athleticism 
and determination. 

It’s amazing, watching those athletes in their peak performance, an ability achieved only after years of intensive training, thousands of basketball games and overcoming every challenge that has come in their way. You have to wonder, how do they do it? Exercise day in and day out, maintaining their energy and allowing their bodies’ ample time for recovery. It’s a growing secret, but these days many NCAA athletes, including basketball players, rely on the muscle recovery magic of tart cherry juice to recuperate from constant use and strain. Like marathon runners and other athletes, NCAA basketball players are catching on to the “feel good” relief offered by tart cherry juice to achieve their best health.
So how does it work? What is it about tart cherry juice that helps muscle recover from sports performance? Researchers believe cherries’ post-exercise benefits are likely because of the fruit’s natural anti-inflammation properties – attributed to antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, which also give cherries their bright red color. That means that drinking tart cherry juice helps to heal inflamed joints and muscles caused by exercise, playing an intense game of basketball, running long distances, etc. Plus, it tastes pretty amazing, and is easy to incorporate into any busy athlete’s lifestyle.

It’s kind of crazy, if you think about it - that a little bit of tart cherry juice everyday can help heal the body. If it’s working for professional athletes, why not give it a try?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eat Your GREENS!

We all know that green vegetables are good for us, but why exactly? Sure they have “antioxidants” and lots of vitamins and minerals, but what’s so important about eating them every day? In honor of St. Patty’s Day, we’re taking a look at different types of greens, and the nutritional benefits they offer. So join us for this ‘Green’ journey, and this St. Patty’s Day replace your green beer with some greens that are good for you!

Kale - When diving into the topic of ‘greens,’ we found that Kale has gained a lot of press lately, as it is a ‘superfood’ like no other.  This leafy green, which is actually part of the cabbage family, is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory, helping your body to heal itself and prevent illness. We’re krazy for kale!

Chard – Another amazing leafy green to stock up on is Chard. Also known by the common names Swiss chard, silverbeet, perpetual spinach, spinach beet, crab beet, seakale beet, and mangold, Chard is a leafy vegetable that should have a place in everyone’s diet. High in vitamins A, K and C, chard helps the body function smoothly, and is fun to eat – try some rainbow chard to add color to any dish!

Bok Choy -Bok Choy is a great choice for getting lots of vitamin C, calcium and vitamin A. Bok Choy also contain glucosinolates, which may prevent cancer. Also known as Chinese Cabbage, Bok Choy is a versatile vegetable, offering a delicious addition to stir frys and other dishes.

Broccoli – When it comes to cancer prevention, Broccoli is your go-to vegetable. High in vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber; it also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and small amounts of selenium. A single serving provides more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and a half-cup provides 52 mg of Vitamin C.

Green beans- Looking for a green side dish to your favorite meal? Try Green Beans, as they are a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate and Manganese. Need we say more?

Of course these are just a few of the many green veggies out there. Others to enjoy include spinach and other lettuce greens, watercress, beet greens, collard greens and more…but we think you get the point. In whichever form you choose to eat them, greens are great for you, and give you the nutritional power you need to lead a healthy, active life. Eat up, St. Patty!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

cheribundi Heads to Natural Products Expo West!

Imagine four football fields put together, stacked on two levels, filled with every natural product you can imagine. Over 55,000 people swarm the field, sampling, networking and promoting their businesses. Well known speakers and authors are all around, hosting book signings, presentations and 'spreading the good word.' Events are going on non-stop, and every moment is filled with something exciting and new.

Well, friends, that is what we call Natural Products Expo West, the largest natural products trade show in the country, happening this week in Anaheim, CA. Located at the Anaheim Convention Center, Natural Products Expo West (not to be confused with its counterpart, Natural Products Expo East, which occurs on the East Coast in the fall), is a three-day trade show extravaganza, with the most products and people you have ever seen in one place. cheribundi is heading out to join the festivities, which begin on Friday, March 11th and last until Sunday, the 13th. We will have a booth, filled with tart cherry juice goodness to share with all.

Are you planning on attending Natural Products Expo West? We would love to meet you! Stop by our booth #5772 to say hello!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A “Day in the Life” of cheribundi CEO Brian Ross

When he’s not spending time with friends, skiing the mountains of Colorado, or listening to his favorite new indie band, Brian Ross, aka, ‘the cherry king,’ spends his time as CEO of cheribundi. With an office headquartered in Boulder, CO, Brian oversees the day-to-day management of the company, helps strategically plan for cheribundi’s growth and develops ways to ‘spread the good cherry word.’ He also interacts with cheribundi’s investors, board of directors and employees…. and acts as an official “taste tester” of new and exciting cheribundi products. 

Ruby and Grayson
A father of two, 5 year old Ruby and 10 month old Grayson, Brian spends his days balancing family, work and a little fun too. What does a typical “Day in the Life” of Brian Ross look like? Let’s take a look…

Brian’s day often begins around 3am when he wakes up with baby Grayson to rock him back to sleep.  After that, Brian will catch a few more hours of zzzs before heading to the gym or a run around 5:30 or 6. When he has gotten his exercise for the day, Brian gets ready then drops off daughter Ruby at school before heading into his office in downtown Boulder. A small space, Brian works remotely from the rest of the cheribundi team, located in upstate New York. With the exception of a few employees coming in and out of the office, Brian is able to concentrate on cherries for the majority of his day that he spends at the office (when he’s not outside enjoying a beautiful and sunny Boulder day during his lunch break).
Brian hard at work at his office in Boulder, CO
In addition to the time Brian spends in his cheribundi-filled office, every other week he hits the road, traveling to Whole Foods stores and team meetings, sharing cheribundi with the U.S., one trip at a time. When he travels, Brian is usually gone for 2-3 nights before heading back to spend time with his family. 

After running the company for almost a year, what does Brian have to say? First of all, he never gets tired of cherries. Brian drinks one-two 8 oz. cheribundi tart cherry juices a day, and has never felt better. In his words, “I usually have lower back pain, but if I drink cheribundi daily I don’t feel it. It’s funny, if I miss one day of drinking the stuff, I can feel the pain start to creep back again.”

It's a tough job sampling delicious cherries all day....but someone's gotta do it!
His favorite part of the job is helping to build the business, informing consumers about the benefits of tart cherry juice and bringing tart cherry juice to the masses. He enjoys working together with the cheribundi management team and Board to strategically plan for the company’s next steps for growth. When asked about his least favorite part of the job, he responded “You know, I can’t think of one thing I don’t enjoy about working with cheribundi. It’s a great product, and I look forward to the future!”

So Brian….do you have any words of wisdom for those aspiring CEOs out there?

“It’s really important to be surrounded by good people day in and day out. I’m fortunate to have had wonderful work experiences in my past, and working with the cheribundi team is the best part of my job now. Also, enjoying a few cheribundi cocktails once in a while doesn’t hurt.”
Brian Ross, cheribundi CEO, aka the "Cherry King"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March is National Nutrition Month!

All About ‘Eating Right With Color’

There are a lot of efforts out there to educate people about nutrition and what it means to ‘eat right.’ While it can sometimes be challenging to sort through all the information, the American Dietetic Association has established March National Nutrition Month to inform individuals about the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. So here we go, on a month-long journey to explore nutrition, and improve our diets, one fruit and veggie at a time!

This year’s Nutrition Month focuses on ‘Eating Right With Color,’ emphasizing the multitude of nutritional benefits gained by eating a colorful diet full of fruits and veggies. According to Dr. David Herber, author of What Color is Your Diet?, not all members of the fruit and veggie groups are alike, and it’s important to consume a wide variety of produce items to fulfill your body’s nutritional requirements. Here is Dr. Herber’s color breakdown, which can be used as a guide in choosing colorful foods for health:

Red Group
(tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon)

These contain the carotenoid lycopene, which helps rid the body of free radicals that damage genes. Lycopene seems to protect against prostate cancer as well as heart and lung disease.

Yellow/Green Group
(spinach greens, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, yellow corn, green peas, avocado, honeydew melon)

These are sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These are believed to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Lutein is a yellow-green substance that concentrates in the back of your eye. It may also reduce atherosclerosis.

Orange Group
(carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, acorn squash, winter squash, sweet potatoes)

These contain alpha carotene, which protects against cancer. They also contain beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. It protects the skin against free-radical damage and helps repair damaged DNA. Beta-carotene is also good for night vision.

Orange/Yellow Group
(pineapple, orange juice, oranges, tangerines, peaches, papayas, nectarines)

These contain beta cryptothanxin, which helps cells in the body communicate and may help prevent heart disease. Also, an orange contains 170 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C.

Red/Purple Group
(beets, eggplant, purple grapes, red wine, grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples)

These are loaded with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins believed to protect against heart disease by preventing blood clots. They may also delay the aging of cells in the body. There is some evidence they may help delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Green Group
(broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage or bok choi, kale)

These contain the chemicals sulforaphane and isocyanate and they also contain indoles, all of which help ward off cancer by inhibiting carcinogens.

White/Green Group
(leeks, scallions, garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive, chives)

The onion family contains allicin, which has antitumor properties. Other foods in this group contain antioxidant flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol.

A member of the red/purple group, cherries and tart cherry juice offer a multitude of health benefits and important antioxidants. Enjoyed either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, it has been shown that cherries have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.

Do you eat for color? What does ‘good nutrition’ mean to you? Participate in this week’s facebook challenge for the chance to  win a cheribundi gift basket!