FruitFast: What’s It All About Anyway?

It’s easy to get caught up in – if not completely confused by – all of the food and beverage trends of today. Instead of making simple, wholesome choices when it comes to what we put in our mouths, we are sometimes quick to jump on the bandwagon of what science claims is the most recently beneficial product. It can become complicated and overwhelming enough to stay on top of health and nutritional research that we may lose sight of what is really important – eating and drinking for health. Sometimes, the answer is right before our very eyes, plain and simple.

Take for example, tart cherries. After years of being in the shadow of other fruits, tart cherries are quickly emerging as a super fruit of today and yet, they are homegrown and a rich part of America’s history (Source: Washington State University Tart Cherry Research). Cherries were first brought to America by ship with early settlers in the 1600’s. French colonists began planting down into the Great Lakes area as they established such cities as Detroit, Vincennes, and other Midwestern settlements. Cherry gardens were also cultivated in the Northwestern part of the United States.

And, the orchards are still producing today. Located in Northwest Michigan, Brownwood Acres and FruitFast are as much a part of the rolling orchards of today as the very fruit they use in their line of healthy fruit snacks, drinks and supplements. What began as a roadside fruit stand in 1945, has now developed an internationally recognized product line that is based in this regional area of harvest of Montmorency Tart Cherries.

I was recently given the opportunity to review Brownwood Acres’ CherryFlex Products, which is how I began learning more about cherries. 


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I had previously heard they were good for you because of their rich color as with many other fruits, but soon discovered tart cherries actually provide a multitude of health benefits:

  • Supports Cardiovascular Function*
  • Speeds Relief From Muscle Fatigue Post Exercise*
  • Supports Healthy Joint Function*
  • Helps Maintain a Healthy Sleep Cycle* (contains natural melatonin)
  • Supports a Healthy Immune System*

( * The FDA requires that CherryFlex put an asterisk next to those facts with the statement: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.)

So, what makes tart cherries so healthy? They contain a unique package of antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins – the pigments that give cherries their bright red color.

You can definitely see the rich color in the CherryFlex FruitFast Fruit Supplement Bars:

 

These bars have 103 calories, 20 carbs, 6 grams of sugar and 18 grams of fiber.One bar provides two of your five recommended daily fruits. The ingredients are 100 percent fruit and no additives or extra sugars.

It took me a few times to get used to the bars. They are very tart and if you are expecting a sweet cherry (which apparently I was) the tartness will make you pucker. I especially like the texture – it reminds me of a condensed fruit rollup, but with a lot more flavor and slightly moist. I’ve been carrying them in my bag as a quick go-to snack that is healthy and provides great nutritional benefits.

And even though I am not training right now, I also tried the CherryFlex ProSport Shot, which is a Tart Cherry Gel. This product is my favorite as far as taste goes, and I only wish I could also test out how it makes me feel on a run. What I love about this gel (compared to others that I usually take, such as GU) is that it does not have a bunch of things I can’t pronounce added to it to preserve it. It contains Tart Cherries and glycerin. That’s it. It is 30 calories with only 3 grams of sugar and 7 carbs for one shot. I love the taste too. It is still tart, but I think I would find it completely refreshing on a run and not so overladen with sugar that I also feel like I have to guzzle a gallon of water to stomach it.


So, what exactly is CherryFlex and what makes it different than other cherry products that are currently available?

Per FruitFast, when they make their products they use a proprietary process that captures the goodness of the entire fruit. CherryFlex is a super-concentrated paste made the skin and pulp of tart cherries – which are both very good things for your body because it is where most of the nutrients are. It allows you to get your daily dose of cherries in a super convenient form, and is a much more cost-effective than having to drink Tart Cherry Concentrate every day.

CherryFlex Paste is the main ingredient in the Fruit Bars and ProSport Shots that I tried as well as the Softgels, Liquid Supplement, and CherryFlex Whole Fruit Gel, which are other products they offer as well. And, they carry Pomegranate and Blueberry supplements that they use the same process to make as CherryFlex to create a concentrated, all-natural, whole-fruit paste.

CherryFlex is different because:

  • CherryFlex use the whole fruit of the cherry –  skin and the pulp included.
  • Whole-fruit paste is easier for your body to digest than a powder pill
  •  It’s not a freeze-dried powder. Powder-filled capsules contain freeze dried bits of Cherries which are difficult for the body to digest before passing. They also contain additives such as silicon dioxide or magnesium stearate, both of which are known to be toxic.
  • 100% pure and all-natural
  • No artificial colors or flavorings
  • The fruit is not exposed to high temperatures that can deplete nutritional value
  • Only CherryFlex’s specialized process gets more nutritional value from the cherry
  • Made in (the U.S.A.!) Traverse City from Michigan Montmorency Tart Cherries

In addition, FruitFast provides a Certificate of Nutritional Analysis for their CherryFlex products, which some other companies don’t (or simply won’t) provide. I personally look for this kind of thing when I a shopping for new products because I want to know exactly what I am putting in my mouth. I am more inclined to pay a little more for good nutrition to know exactly what I am fueling my body with. The cost of the shots is comparable to GU and the bars run at about $14 for a box of eight. Don’t forget shipping too.

Emerging research is showing that tart Cherries are good for us for other reasons besides the rich antioxidants and fruit-based nutrition they provide. There have been specific studies done about CherryFlex benefits for runners. CherryFlex supplementation used prior to and during eccentric exercise may have a protective effect on oxidative stress, inflammation, range of motion, contractile force loss, and perceived pain. This is especially interesting to me since not only do I have ongoing problems with my knee, but right now my body is battling inflammation in a major way. Part of diagnosing what is actually wrong with me is figuring out what I am experiencing all of this inflammation in my lungs. Sure, steroids are great for the short term because I can breath and get some sleep, but it is not a permanent solution. I would like to try the CherryFlex juices or soft gels as a regular supplement and see if I notice any changes in my body.

While FruitFast and Brownwood Acres may be internationally known, they still remain a family business today, which is more than evident in their customer service. I first got involved with FruitFast when they were hosting their Run Into Summer Giveaway of a Garmin 305. I was interested in their products then because I had heard about the health benefits of fruit, specifically dark fruits like cherries, and was thinking about trying it specifically for my knees. Now, I think it would be a good supplement to take for overall health joint and tissue health. I was more than impressed with the customer service I received when inquiring about the products  including prompt response times to my emails and detailed product information, some of which I have included in this review. I was also advised that I could call FruitFast anytime to ask more questions or request additional information for my review, which is something that has previously been unheard of to me when I given a product to review. Typically, I am given a specific set of information, which is helpful of course, but not much beyond that. I find the information provided to me by FruitFast is exactly what I needed to provide all of you with this review.

Please check out FruitFast on Facebook and Twitter too. I have had great interactions with them on these social medial platforms as well and find helpful running and nutritional information as well as customer comments through the FruitFast Twitter feed. The website is literally packed with information, easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing (like now I want to eat cherries) and I would highly recommend doing some of your own reading about these products. I have found myself going back to the website numerous times to find out more.

I hope you will consider FruitFast CherryFlex as an wholesome and alternative supplement to help your joints (and your body) get the nutritional and health benefits that each deserve.

Until the next mile marker,

 

*Please note, I was not compensated in any manner for this review. FruitFast Fruit Bars and ProSport Shots were given to me in exchange for my honest opinion. The views expressed in this review are solely my own.

Comments

  1. runningperseverance says:

    this is SUPER interesting and you did such a fantastic and thorough review! i think i would love something like this! i love fruit…especially cherries and especially things that are not too overly sugary:)

  2. Very informative! Thanks for sharing these wonderful products with your network! Keep up the good work!

  3. Hurray! Figured out finally how to leave comments with Disqus! This looks very good. Will have to pursue in Canada.

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