Pucker Magic With Cherries

CherriesOne of the natural remedies for joint pain such as arthritis is eating tart cherries. It is a fact that 20% of Americans suffer from arthritis. Just like cherries, all dark-skinned fruits are high in antioxidants and other phytochemicals that promote human health in numerous ways.

We all love eating those sweet cherries, but the most potent inflammation-fighting cherries are the tart variety. The phytochemicals, which give cherries their vibrant red color, are called anthocyanins and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties since they shut down the enzymes that cause tissue inflammation and pain.

The University of Michigan researchers recently found in a study that giving whole tart cherries to lab rats, reduced two common markers of blood vessel inflammation by up to 50 percent. This helps reduce the pain associated, and also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

There are also studies that suggest antioxidant-rich foods like cherries may help to reduce the levels of nitric oxide, which is a compound associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There is a unique antioxidant profiled in cherries that works similar to some types of pain medication.

One of the only natural sources of melatonin, a potent antioxidant which helps regulate the immune system and prevents cancer, are cherries. That should be enough to convince everyone to roll out a big bowl of cherries, right? But, they are also well known to help reverse gout. Gout is a condition caused by too much uric acid circulating in the blood. Cherries can also help reduce body fat and lower that cholesterol.

Maybe that old saying “life is like a bowl of cherries” should be changed to “a healthy life depends upon a bowl of cherries”, according to all these recent studies on this fruit. If you haven’t already considered the benefit of this fruit, the results of these studies should be extremely convincing.

-Dr Fredda Branyon


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