‘THE SCIENCE OF RED CHERRIES’
Forty-six million American adults currently suffer from arthritis, and as the population ages, the number is expected to increase. May has been deemed National Arthritis Month to generate awareness of this growing condition and ways to manage associated symptoms.
My clients often ask what they can do to manage arthritis pain without medications. For many with arthritis, one step in managing related inflammation, stiffness and pain may include taking a closer look at diet and lifestyle. Anecdotal claims for the use of cherries are now supported by scientific evidence showing that tart cherries- available dried, frozen or in juice form may help play a role in reducing the pain of arthritis.
While blueberries, strawberries and cranberries have achieved super food status by the experts for their health benefits, cherries seem to have some how slipped under the radar as a power food. For years this tasty fruit has only been appreciated for what it can do as a pie, but new research suggests that cherries may have the power to combat a wide array of various ailments including arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. The same compounds that give cherries their bright, red color may also be responsible for neutralizing free radicals and preventing the inflammation that contributes to so many serious health conditions.
Cherries are powerful antioxidants. Although they are often referred to as berries, cherries are actually a member of the stone fruit family and are related to apricots, peaches, plums and almonds. Cherries are classified as either sweet or tart and each variety has its own uses and benefits. Both types get their deep red color from potent antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to hold anti-inflammatory properties that protect the body from an array of serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Although inflammation is the body’s natural way of staving off injuries and infections, chronic inflammation can increase the risk of many deadly diseases.
To manage the pain and inflammation of arthritis and reduce the risk of other chronic inflammatory diseases try the following:
1. Use tart red cherries as a concentrate 2 tablespoons in a large glass of water daily
2. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated may help decrease joint pain.
3. Use Omega-3 fatty acids- A portion of salmon 2-3 times weekly is a lot of fish- most prefer to use the supplements.
4. Be sure to stretch daily. Tight muscles keep inter-articular joint surface weight and pressure higher causing more pain and joint destruction.
5. Glucosamine chondrotin has been shown to reduce pain, keep joints stronger and reduce joint destruction.
Finally something that is not only good tasting, it’s good for you. If you have not as yet tried concentrated cherry juice or a juice supplement for the aches and pains of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions I think you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Till next time, Rebecca