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    The Swiss Army Knife of Superfoods

    Montmorency cherries have been described as a ‘swiss army knife’ food by a blogger and rightly so. They have been linked with a vast range of unexpected benefits, which could be down to their rich nutrient profile. Montmorency cherries are rich in antioxidants and contain potent, naturally occurring phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and melatonin. They also contain other important vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron. 

    Montmorency cherry concentrate has been scientifically linked to help reduce high blood pressure, help aid sports recovery and endurance. It can also help alleviate symptoms of arthritis and gout.  If that wasn’t enough it also contains high levels of naturally occurring melatonin helping to support better sleep, as well as supporting improved cognitive function and gut health. All this in a sustainable glass bottle, great taste and incredibility versatile (add it to a smoothie, salad dressing, with a glass of tonic, or take it neat) what’s not to love. Did you know just one serving of Montmorency cherries contains 20 times more vitamin A and 5 times more antioxidants compared to the sweet variety. And that’s what Nah is – 100% Montmorency cherry concentrate with absolutely no additives or preservatives. How does it benefit so many different ailments? Read on to look at the science.

    Reduction in high blood pressure

    High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the pressure in your blood vessels is unusually high. High blood pressure is known as a ‘silent killer’ as it does not usually have symptoms and can-do significant damage to organs such as kidneys and heart before detection. A blood pressure monitor can be used to spot high blood pressure. Current medication, although effective, come with a range of side effects including dizziness, nausea and headaches. High blood pressure can be reduced by lifestyle changes such as exercise, less salt, stress management, weight loss (if overweight or obese) and incorporation of certain foods like herbal teas and concentrates. Montmorency tart cherries provide several cardiovascular benefits including reduction of blood pressure. 

    A 2016 study found that participants given the cherry concentrate saw a peak reduction in their blood pressure of 7mmHg in the three hours following consumption. Previous studies have shown a reduction of between 5-6 mmHg over a sustained period has been associated with a 38 per cent reduced risk of a stroke and 23 per cent reduced risk of coronary heart disease. These benefits are linked to the combined actions phenolic acids on the positive impact they have on vascular function.

    Better sleep

    Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few foods high in naturally occurring melatonin, a hormone critical in regulation of the sleep cycle. A 2018 study demonstrated Montmorency cherry concentrate was found to significantly extend sleep time of insomniacs by 84 minutes and increased their sleep efficiency. 

    Direct evidence that dietary supplementation with Montmorency tart cherry juice increases circulating melatonin and provides modest improvements in sleep time was revealed in a 2012 study. Montmorency cherry consumption resulted in a proven significant increase of time in bed with improved total sleep time and increased sleep efficiency by five to six per cent.

    Have we convinced you yet? What about sports and endurance?

    Endurance and sports recovery

    Montmorency tart cherry is thought to be a natural food to aid exercise, recovery and endurance, supported by studies published in January 2020 revealing that tart cherry concentrate has a significant benefit for endurance exercise performance. 

    It showed that when ingested for seven days, 1.5 hours before exercise performance testing, it significantly improved endurance. This is thought to be due to its low glycaemic index, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative capacity, and blood flow enhancing effects. Tart cherry concentrate has also previously been shown to improve recovery. When we exercise and incur muscle damage, one common symptom is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Due to its potent anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative effects of the phytochemicals Montmorency cherry concentrate has been proven to significantly reduce DOMS. 

    One study involving endurance-trained runners or triathletes demonstrated taking Montmorency cherry concentrate improved their half-marathon pace by 13%, whilst demonstrating lower markers of muscle breakdown, reduced immune and inflammatory stress, and increased performance.

    Enhance gut health

    The gut microbiome, an assortment of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your intestinal track, have been a target of multitude of studies in the recent years. They have been linked with a healthy digestive system, heart and brain as well as blood sugar control and immunity.  Montmorency cherries, due to their unique composition of polyphenols, including chlorogenic acids, were an obvious choice to study their effects on gut health and results showing overall positive impact on the gut microbiome of the participants.

    Alleviation of symptoms associated with arthritis and gout 

    Arthritis is a condition which causes pain and inflammation in the joints. Gout is a form of arthritis, caused by excess uric acid in the blood, which crystallises in your joints. Gout attacks are sudden and can cause serious pain and stiffness in the joints. 

    For decades, arthritis and gout sufferers have turned to cherries to relieve their symptoms - despite the evidence to support the benefits only being anecdotal. The first organised study to examine the potential of cherries in the treatment of arthritis and gout was conducted in the 1950s. This preliminary investigation found that daily consumption of 225g of canned cherries helped to reduce the frequency of self-reported gout attacks and the painful symptoms associated with arthritis. The participants also displayed lower levels of uric acid in their blood. 

    Positive effect on cognitive function 

    High blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress are important factors in the development of cognitive impairment. Montmorency cherry concentrate has been proven to lower blood pressure and improve inflammatory and oxidative stress in older individuals in previous studies.

    A study conducted in 2019 explored whether daily consumption of Montmorency tart cherry juice would improve cognitive abilities. Studies have shown taking the concentrate demonstrated an improvement in cognitive function and subjective memory, including a 5% increase in satisfaction with their ability to remember things, a 4% reduction in movement time (a measurement of speed of response to visual stimuli) and a 23% reduction in errors made during an episodic visual memory task and an 18% reduction in errors made during a spatial working memory task (which assesses memory and strategy use) compared to baseline values.

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    nah’s sustainability pledge 

    As a start up, everything in the early stages of nah’s life has been a delicate balance between survival and following through on our mission, while sticking to our core values and beliefs. Sustainability is easy to neglect in times like this, but we were determined to stick to our core values and sustainability is pretty high up on that list. We tried to do things the right way, pretty much from the start.

    We opted for glass bottles and metal caps, instead of plastic. Not only is it the more environmentally friendly option, but it also ensures none of those nasty chemicals leach into the product.

    All our packaging materials are made out of cardboard and paper, and are fully recyclable or biodegradable. Our cardboard boxes are made from 90% recycled materials, use water based ink, are biodegradable, compostable and are made from responsibly sourced paper pulp. We put in a request with all our suppliers to not use plastic, where possible, in our orders.

    We love providing you with a more ‘on the go’ option with the sachets but we also acknowledge that sachets are one of the most likely items to end up in a landfill. The sachets can be taken to your local supermarkets which provide ‘specialist’ recycling boxes.

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