Eating a bowl of cherries is a summertime treat, but just because those warm sunny days are behind us doesn’t mean we can’t reap the health benefits cherries have to offer all year round. New research suggests that tart cherry juice can be an effective way to prevent gout, ease those painful symptoms, and nix inflammation.
A recent study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology wanted to see how effective cherries and cherry extract were for lowering the frequency of gout attacks. Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that occurs when excess uric acid crystalizes in the joints especially in the big toe. Some of the causes of gout include obesity, increased alcohol intake, and having high blood pressure. This can lead to intense joint pain, redness, and swelling. Both sweet and tart cherries have been shown to contain polyphenols like cyanidin 3-glucoside and pelargonidin 3-rutinoside as well as vitamin C. These antioxidants help decrease oxidative stress and inflammation that could lead to gout.
This two-day study involved 633 participants with gout who were asked to either consume zero, one, two, three, or four servings of fresh tart cherries (1/2 cup or 10 to 12 cherries equalled a serving). Or they were given varied amounts of tart cherry juice extract to see if a higher cherry intake was linked to a reduced chance of developing gout.
By the end of the study period, researchers found that intake of fresh cherries overall showed a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks. This result was similar for those who consumed the cherry juice extract because they experienced a 45 percent reduced risk of gout flare-ups. Also, these forms of cherry intake were more powerful when combined with allopurinol, which is a medication used to treat gout by reducing uric acid levels in the body. The study’s authors claimed that this lowered participants’ the risk of gout attacks by 75 percent!
As you can see, tart cherry juice may be a game changer for fighting off gout and inflammation, which can lead to heart disease and cancer. You can find it in stores and online. Try sticking to a version that contains no added sugars like Cheribundi Original Tart Cherry Superfruit Juice (Buy at Walmart, $5.58) for the most health benefits.
Sip an eight ounce glass, which contains 119 calories, each day to help prevent inflammatory issues like gout along with body aches and pains!