The Benefits Of Dried Cherries When It Comes To Your Health
Dried cherries could possibly be labeled as a superfood with all of the nutrients they contain. They are full of beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and fiber. Dried cherries have a modest amount of natural sugars which are easily used by the body for an efficient food source. When drying fruit, all of the nutrients are concentrated into a much smaller serving.
Types Of Fruits Best For People With Gout
Gout is called a rheumatic, or inflammatory, disease because its symptoms develop when your blood level of uric acid is high, causing small, needle-like uric acid crystals to form in your joints and provoke inflammation. Its symptoms may come and go, but during a flare-up you might develop hot, swollen and painful joints. When you digest foods containing purines, your body produces uric acid as a waste product, so a healthy gout diet includes careful attention to purine content, particularly choosing the best fruits to help prevent or minimize these symptoms.
Cherries Are Rich In Copper
Some of the benefits of dried cherries are they contain copper which aids in collagen production. Copper keeps your tissues strong and protects you from free radicals that can contribute to tissue damage. Each quarter-cup serving of cherries contains 92 micrograms of copper, making up for 10 percent of your recommended daily intake.
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Adding Cherries To Your Diet
If you have been diagnosed with gout and are considering incorporating cherries into your regular diet, you can try:
- Fresh or frozen tart cherries. Choose tart cherry varieties like Montorency or Balatonthey contain more anthocyanin antioxidants than sweet cherries .
- Cherry juice. Look for 100% unsweetened tart cherry juice.
- Cherry extract. Liquid, tablet, and powder forms of cherry extract are sold over the counter. Avoid products that contain additives or added sugars.
Recommended serving sizes are uncertain. Some studies recommend ½ cup of fresh cherries or 1 cup of unsweetened cherry juice per day. Supplements containing extract typically have suggested servings on the labels.
Products such as cherry brandy, pie filling, or syrup contain added alcohol and/or sugar and are not recommended to prevent gout and may actually increase the risk of a gout attack.
Because there are no definitive guidelines regarding the use of cherries to prevent gout, its up to individuals and their doctors to decide serving sizes and how to measure effectiveness.
A proven way to lower uric acid in the bloodstream is to avoid purine-rich foods.
How Does A Gout Sufferer Consume Cherries
Eating cherries in their many forms and varieties, like canned, frozen, raw, cooked, tart, pill, sweet and black are thought of been beneficial to help control gout. Consuming dried cherries, fresh or juiced are all good. Eating about 25 cherries are ten times stronger than aspirin and other ordinary pain-relievers it is claimed. But if you get a gout attack or flare up, how many cherries should you eat? Some suggest that 30 to 40 every 4 hours is advisable during a gout attack and the same amount daily for prevention reasons or simply eat minimum a cup of fresh or dried cherries after each meal, which may be very effective for the pain treatment.
About 20 cherries equal 25 milligrams of anthocyanins, the daily dose that should be taken, either in juice or eating the fruit for preventative measures. You may even drink a cup of cherry juice, black cherry juice or tart cherry juice twice a day or 2 tablespoons of concentrated cherry powder with one cup of water.
You have the option of making your own cherry juice at home. Just follow these steps:
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How To Consume Cherries
Now the biggest question of them all. How should you consume cherries? The best option is to eat them fresh. Of course, this isnt always possible, so dried cherries are a great alternative as well. In essence, any form of cherries is beneficial and should be taken into consideration. You can also drink cherry juice or use the powder made out of this fruit. The amount isnt specifically determined, but as I have mentioned there is no limit.
One of more specific matters, I must explain is how to use cherries to treat a gout flare up. First of all, it is possible and you should try this method. I tried it several times and it actually worked. The first thing you should know is that during the gout attack, you should consume cherries. It is ideal if you can eat 20-30 of them at once and then make a break. Wait for one hour and then eat the same amount again. Do this several times during the attack and you will notice the improvement. Sadly it isnt the quickest alternative out there, but it is one of the safest and one that actually works.
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Top Tips For Preventing And Managing Gout
Be careful not to overdo it on cherries. They key is moderation, as large amounts of fructose on a regular basis are not a good strategy for health.
According to Dr. Johnsons research, a quarter of the U.S. population consumes a whopping 134 grams of fructose a day. This is a staggering amount of fructose when you consider the fact that you need to restrict your fructose intake to below 25 grams a day in order to maintain good health.
If you have gout, this is extremely important, and you must take into account the fructose you consume from fruit. For instance, if you eat cherries for their therapeutic value, 10 sweet cherries or 1 cup of sour/tart cherries contain about 4 grams of fructose.
So if you had no other sources of fructose, 25 cherries would put you at 10 grams of fructose. You would need to eat more than 60 cherries to put you over the limit. My guess is that if you only did this occasionally and did not have insulin resistance this would likely not be a problem. However, you would activate your fat switch and put on some storage fat. But that is fine, as you have the metabolism designed to burn it, especially if you are not consuming cherries every day.
Limiting fructose in your diet is one of the most important parts of managing and preventing gout attacks. Youll want to be sure to cut out soda, fruit drinks and other sweetened beverages, as these types of drinks are a primary source of excessive fructose.
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Cherries Help You Recover From A Workout
Exercise is important for gout patients since it helps with mobility and improves their joints. Thankfully, theres cherries that can help you recover from such strenuous activity. When you exercise, you might have some inflammation in your airways. By taking cherries, you can avoid this symptom and get better for another day of physical activity.
Cherries are also high in potassium, a mineral which helps with muscle recovery, heart rate, hydration, digestion, and blood pressure.
How Does Cherry Juice Treat Gout
Cherry juice treats gout flare-ups by reducing the level of uric acid in the body. Since uric acid buildup is what causes gout, it only goes to reason that cherry juice could prevent or treat gout flare-ups.
A 2011 study noted that 100 percent tart cherry juice significantly reduced the level of serum uric acid levels in participants who drank 8 ounces of the juice every day for four weeks.
Its not only cherry juice that could lower uric acid levels cherry juice concentrate can also be beneficial for those with gout.
A 2012 pilot study found that consuming cherry juice concentrate lowered the levels of uric acid in the body. One portion of the study demonstrated that cherry extract was more effective than pomegranate concentrate at lowering uric acid levels.
A retrospective portion of the study found that when consumed for a four-month period or longer, cherry juice concentrate reduced gout flare-ups significantly.
An online survey directed at people with gout also suggested cherry intake can improve symptoms. Of the survey respondents, 43 percent said that they used cherry extract or juice to treat their gout symptoms. The survey found that those who used cherry supplements reported significantly fewer flare-ups.
Of course, this study is limited because it relies on the subjects to report their own symptoms. Even so, the results are promising.
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What Are The Potential Side Effects
Unless youre allergic to cherries, its unlikely that youll have an adverse reaction. However, its important to eat everything in moderation and cherries are no exception. Its possible to have diarrhea if you drink too much cherry juice or eat too many cherries.
How much is too much cherry juice? Thats hard to say, as it depends on your own digestive system. As mentioned, one glass a day should be enough to treat gout without producing any side effects. If you have any adverse reactions, make a note of them and speak to a healthcare provider about it.
If you want to add more cherries into your diet, you can do so in a number of different ways. You can:
- drink tart cherry juice
- add cherries to yogurt or fruit salad
- blend cherries or cherry juice up in a smoothie
Side Effects And Risk Factors
In general, tart cherry juice is well tolerated. Some studies noted that a few participants experienced mild gastrointestinal upset and loose stools. One study mentioned a participant with an allergic reaction to tart cherry juice. Overall, no side effects or minimal side effects were seen in the majority of people when taking tart cherry juice.
It should be mentioned that drinking large amounts of tart cherry juice daily contributes a considerable amount of sugar to your diet, which is contraindicated on an arthritis-friendly diet.
People with diabetes should drink cherry juice in moderation, as too many carbohydrates from the juice may raise blood sugar above desired levels.
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Choose Other Fresh Berries Instead
Cranberry supplements need to be of the very highest quality to be effective and, therefore, can be quite expensive.
But theres really no need for these expensive, manufactured supplements.
There are other highly nutritious berries out there that are also oxidant and nutrient-rich, but without the tartness and the need for added sugar. For example, blueberries, bilberries, cherries, and strawberries.
And, as you saw earlier, blueberries have even more antioxidant capacity than cranberries!
So fresh, ripe berries such as these will be a very nutritious, safe addition to your gout diet, without the need for expensive supplementation or added sugars.
Tart Cherry Sports Drink Recipe
This flavorful and refreshing tart cherry sports drink will rehydrate and refuel â with an added inflammation-busting punch from the tart cherry juice. Thank you to the Cherry Marketing Institute for sponsoring this post!
You guys know by now that Iâm a huge tart cherry fan. Through my partnership with the Cherry Marketing Institute this year, Iâve talked about how tart cherries make a delicious, satisfying snack , and how they can help with sleep due to the natural melatonin they contain . This month, Iâd like to talk more about their other big benefit, which is especially important to me as a runner: inflammation-busting. Research has shown tart cherries can serve as a natural recovery aid when consumed in the days before and after intensive exercise!
Tart cherries are high in anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that contribute to their sourness, intense red color, and, most importantly, their anti-inflammatory health properties. Due to these anthocyanins, tart cherries have been found useful for those suffering from joint paint and gout, and can also help to ease muscle soreness following a hard workout, too. When youâre sore after a workout, this is due to a few things â muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress. The good news is that the anthocyanins in tart cherries seem to help with all three of these!
Hereâs the recipe. Happy running and inflammation busting!
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Cranberries Alkaline Or Acidic
If the pH value goes below 7.0, the body is acidic. Anything over 7.0 is alkaline. An alkaline diet will eliminate more uric acid in the urine, which means the risk for gout is slightly lower. Acidic urine promotes the absorption of uric acid back into the blood, which can trigger gout flareups and even the formation of kidney stones. With these thoughts in mind, someone with gout should try to maintain the urine within alkaline limits.
The cranberry pH value is around 2.4, meaning they are acidic. This type of value will promote the production of more uric acid, which leads to gout. So, are cranberries and gout alright to mix?
At this point, cranberries no longer feel safe. The truth is you need to balance your diet about 70% of it should be alkaline, while 30% can be acidic. No matter what types of food you opt for, stick to healthy options and avoid the famous gout causes, such as red meat or poultry.
Most fruits and veggies are alkaline. Some of them may seem acidic such as citric fruits, but once in the body, they trigger the production of alkaline compounds, so they are still safe.
Properties And Health Benefits
Tart cherry juice contains anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory compounds responsible for the red, orange, blue, and purple colors of fruits and vegetables. This substance may help to combat some chronic inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Many medications used to treat arthritis target inflammation as a way to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
Tart cherry juice also has high concentrations of other polyphenols, including flavonoids. All of these nutritional compounds make tart cherry juice a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food and potential adjunct therapy for people with arthritis and gout.
The process by which anthocyanins help decrease inflammation may be by suppressing pro-inflammatory compounds in the body, such as cyclooxygenase, or COX. By this and other unknown mechanisms, tart cherry juice may help reduce pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other related joint pain disorders.
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The Best Cherry Sources For Anthocyanins
Regularly consuming one daily serving of cherries whether theyre fresh, frozen, dried, or in juice form may be all you need to help with gout relief. But not all cherries or cherry products are created equal. Pay close attention to antioxidant levels.
Antioxidants are measured by a process called Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, or ORAC an ORAC score essentially tells you the antioxidant capacity of various foods. Nutritionists and dieticians recommend consuming between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units every day. When applying this knowledge to cherries and gout relief, consider the following:
- 3 ounces of Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate contains 12,800 units of ORAC
- 1/4 cup of Dried Cherries contain roughly 3,000 units of ORAC
- 1/2 cup of Frozen Cherries contains roughly 2,000 ORAC units.
- 1 cup fresh cherries : roughly 4,000 ORAC units.
Also think about which products will make it most convenient for you to include cherries in your diet. I started out drinking tart cherry juice, but the problem I had was that I was traveling all the time, so it was not practical for me to carry around a bottle of juice that needed to be refrigerated. Same goes with whole cherries . . . theyre great when you can get them, but they are not always in season.
Frozen whole cherries are wonderful, but they dont work if you have to be on the road all the time. However, when I am home, I keep frozen cherries stocked in the freezer and add them in my morning smoothies several times a week.
Cherries & Gout: The Antioxidant Connection
Everyone knows how delicious cherries can be and should be part of every gout diet, but as a super-fruit, cherries are an incredibly rich source of antioxidants, naturally occurring compounds that help to prevent free radical damage to our bodys cells and tissues.
Why is this important when you have gout? When free radical damage occurs in kidney tissue, it makes it harder for kidneys to do their job of filtering out toxins from the blood stream, including excessive uric acid antioxidants can help undo this damage. Antioxidants can also provide soothing relief for gout pain due to their natural ability to disrupt the inflammatory process.
And this leads us to the miracle substance in cherries: Anthocyanins, the plant pigments that give cherries their dark, rich colors. Anthocyanins belong to a group of compounds called flavonoids of the 150 identified types of flavonoids, anthocyanins are recognized as having the highest levels of antioxidants.
In a 2011 study, gout sufferers with elevated levels of blood uric acid saw their levels drop back within normal range after taking a single dose of concentrated anthocyanins. Numerous studies, including one led by researchers from Johns Hopkins, conclude that anthocyanins in tart cherries are highly effective in lowering inflammation. In fact, anthocyanins are routinely compared to ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen for their anti-inflammatory action.
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Cherry Health Benefits: Arthritis And Gout Relief
North America’s super fruit… the Montmorency Tart Cherry. What makes this ruby red fruit so great? Not only are they delicious in all forms, but they really pack a punch in terms of health benefits. The bright red color of the skin makes this fruit beautiful to look at, as well as being the source behind all of the health promoting properties.