May Benefit Heart Health
Increasing your intake of nutrient-dense fruits like cherries is a tasty way to protect your heart.
Many studies show that diets rich in fruits are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease .
Cherries are particularly beneficial in this regard, as theyre rich in nutrients and compounds that are known to promote heart health, including potassium and polyphenol antioxidants.
Just 1 cup of pitted, sweet cherries provides 10% of the DV for potassium, a mineral that is essential for keeping your heart healthy.
Its needed to maintain a regular heartbeat and helps remove excess sodium from your body, regulating your blood pressure .
This is why higher intakes of potassium have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke .
Whats more, cherries are rich in powerful polyphenol antioxidants, including anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins, which may help keep your heart healthy by protecting against cellular damage and reducing inflammation .
In fact, a study in 84,158 people found that higher intakes of polyphenols especially anthocyanins, flavonols, and catechins were associated with a significantly decreased risk of heart disease over 5 years (
Summary Cherries are packed with potassium and polyphenol antioxidants, which have powerful heart-protective properties.
May Improve Symptoms Of Arthritis And Gout
Due to their potent anti-inflammatory effects, cherries may reduce symptoms of arthritis and gout, a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid that can lead to extreme swelling, inflammation, and pain in your joints.
Many studies show that cherries help inhibit oxidative stress and decrease inflammation by suppressing inflammatory proteins, which can help reduce symptoms related to arthritis.
Plus, they can decrease uric acid levels in your body, making them especially beneficial for those with gout.
A study in 10 women found that eating 2 servings of sweet cherries after an overnight fast lowered levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein and significantly reduced uric acid levels 5 hours after consumption .
Another study in 633 people with gout demonstrated that those who ate fresh cherries over 2 days had 35% fewer gout attacks than those who did not consume the fruit.
Additionally, the study revealed that when cherry intake was combined with the gout medication allopurinol, gout attacks were 75% less likely than during periods when neither cherries or allopurinol were consumed (
Theyre A Healthy Way To Tame Your Sweet Tooth
Dark sweet and Rainier cherries are bursting with sweetness, but unlike a cookie or ice cream cone, these treats have zero added sugar. Sweet Northwest cherries also boast a low glycemic index , which means their natural sugars are released into your bloodstream slowly. Snacks that are lower glycemic dont spike your blood sugar, so they help you get full faster and stay full longer, explains Amy Goodson, MS, RD.
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Eating Cherries To Treat Gout: Does It Work
Most people eat cherries for their sweet flavor, but consuming this fruit can actually have several significant health benefits, one of which is the use of cherries to treat gout. Those who suffer from gout typically experience it in flare-ups, and the regular consumption of whole cherries or pure cherry juice can majorly reduce the severity of flare-ups as well as their frequency.
Cherries reduce uric acid levels in the body, which is the precise compound that causes painful gout flare-ups. Studies have shown that regular cherry or cherry juice consumption can lead to lower averages of uric acid within the body over time as well as significantly reduced flare-ups in those that typically suffer from gout.
Eating cherries to treat gout is extremely effective due to the anthocyanins found in the fruit, which actually give cherries their deep red color. More anthocyanins are found in cherries than most fruits, and this substance actively reduces uric acid levels.
Cherries Can Lower Your Cholesterol
To use cherries to help lower cholesterol, Stacey said, you must eat whole cherries, as juice doesnt do the trick. Thats because whole cherries have high fiber content, which helps our body eliminate bile and therefore lower cholesterol.
The average American eats 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, while the standard for women is 25 grams and for men is 38 grams, Stacey said.
So anything, like cherries, that adds fiber to your diet is great for you.
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How Sweet Cherries Help With Arthritis Pain
The sweetness of Stemilt cherries goes beyond their great flavor. These tasty summer fruits are equally sweet when it comes to promoting good health and nutrition, and especially valuable for the estimated 53 million adults and 300,000 children that suffer from joint pain or joint disease in the United States.
Arthritis is the well-known term for more than 100 different types of joint pain or disease, and according to the Arthritis Foundation, is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The various types of arthritis are generally broken out into four categories: degenerative arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, infectious arthritis, and metabolic arthritis. Treatments vary for each specific type and should be closely monitored by a healthcare provider. However, in this post, well share research findings that suggest that eating sweet cherries often can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with inflammatory arthritis, and the more severe disease, called gout.
Over a decade ago, researchers from the Agriculture Research Services and University of California-Davis studied the effects consuming fresh dark-sweet cherries could have on reducing pains caused by gout. There are about 6 million men and 2 million women in the U.S. that suffer from gout. Gout may develop in people who have high levels of uric acid in their blood. The acid forms crystals in a joint and causes sudden, severe episodes of pain most commonly in the big toe, ankle, or knee.
Role Of The Funding Source
This research was funded by grants from the NIAMS , Arthritis Foundation, American College Rheumatology Research and Education Fund. The authors have no potential conflicts of interest, including patents, pending patents or other products related to the use of cherry or cherry juice extract for gout.
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Cherries May Alleviate Gout Pain
Although more research is needed, cherries may play a role in managing pain from gout. A complex but common form of arthritis, gout causes sudden, severe attacks of pain and swelling in one or more joints , per the Mayo Clinic.
Cherries have antioxidant properties and may reduce the body’s inflammatory response to the urate crystals that cause gout. They may even lower the bone resorption that is characteristic of bone erosions in gout, per a May 2019 review in Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease.
That said, large randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the use of cherries in the treatment of gout. “It would seem that this is long overdue and may provide additional evidence as to the role cherries could play in the future management of a burdensome disease,” note the authors of the review.
Meanwhile, researchers found that eating cherries over a two-day period was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of gout flares in participants with an existing gout condition, per a December 2012 study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Health Benefits Of Sweet Cherries
Delicious and nutritious.
Isnt it the best when a seriously delicious food also happens to be really, really good for you? Thats the deal with sweet cherries. These juicy red fruits are the kind of thing youll want to keep popping in your mouth like candy. And considering all of the health benefits they provide, you can feel good about doing exactly thatespecially during the summer when theyre at their seasonal peak.
Heres a look at all the impressive ways sweet cherries can give your body a boost. Grab your biggest bowl and dig in!
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Can Cherry Juice Make Gout Worse
Drinking too much cherry juice can cause stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Excessive diarrhea can cause a significant loss of fluids, lack of fluids in the body will exacerbate the buildup of uric acid crystals, causing your gout to become worse. Do not exceed more than 2 cups of 100% cherry juice a day.
Sweet Vs Sour Cherries
There are two main types of cherries: tart and sweet. You can probably guess that one of the most obvious differences between these two is their flavor. This comes from their differing levels of acidity and natural sugar content.
But the differences between tart and sweet cherries go deeper than their flavor profiles. Sweet cherries tend to have a darker pigmentation, and can be almost purple or black, while tart cherries often retain their bright red color from harvest. Most of the fresh cherries you can buy are sweet varieties, as tart cherries are more often processed and used to make tart cherry juice, dried cherries, or sold frozen. As such, fresh sweet cherries are generally available during the summer , while you can find tart cherry products all year round.
Some research has even found that while all cherries are rich in antioxidants, tart cherries seem to have the most. Other studies give the edge to the sweet cherries. Luckily, you cant go wrong whichever type you choose to consume: all types of cherries offer an abundance of nutrients that can benefit your health.
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Cherries Uric Acid And Gout Attacks
A painful gout attack occurs when excess uric acid in the body forms crystals that collect in one or more joints, causing inflammation. Cherries have been shown to lower the levels of uric acid in the body and therefore might lower the risk of a gout attack.
See Hyperuricemia – High Uric Acid Levels and Gout
For example, one large online survey3 asked people with gout to report their experiences over the course of one year. People answered questions about their intake of cherries and cherry extract, alcohol, and certain foods and medications in the two days leading up to a gout attack.
The survey results found:
- People who ate cherries or supplemented with cherry extract were 37% less likely to report gout attacks than people who had no cherry intake.
- People who ate cherries or supplemented with cherry extract and also took allopurinol, a drug prescribed to reduce urate in the blood, were 75% less likely to report gout attacks than people who did neither.
For this study, researchers defined one serving of cherries as ½ cup, or about 10 to 12 cherries. More than 3 servings did not seem to provide additional benefits.
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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How Cherries May Help Prevent Gout
Scientists know that cherries contain high levels of antioxidants, including anthocyanins and quercetin, as well as other nutrients. It is unclear how these nutrients may work individually or together to lower urate levels and decreases the chance of a gout attack.
Some researchers2 theorize that cherries:
- Have anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce the painful inflammation related to gout attacks
- May help counteract the process that leads to changes in bones in gout-affected joints
- Reduce oxidative stress , which is associated with gout
Experts suspect that oxidative stress in the body begins a biochemical cascade that promotes inflammation, which over time leads to gout and other degenerative diseases.
More researchparticularly large studies involving human subjectsis needed to find out exactly if and how cherries prevent gout attacks.
See Gout Prevention
Full Of Vitamins And Nutrients
Because the dried cherries that are grown at the Sunrise Fresh farm are harvested at the peak of ripeness, they are full of vitamins and minerals. This includes fiber, Vitamin A, calcium, and iron that our bodies need to thrive. The natural sugars they contain will sweeten any dish so less sugar needs to be added to recipes.
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Why Are Cherries Helpful In Fighting Gout
The dark skins of cherries contain a substance called anthocyanin which is a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help repair free-radical damage to the kidneys, helping them to eliminate uric acid more efficiently.
The anthocyanins in cherries act as powerful anti-inflammatories, comparable to NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen.
Cherries are high in potassium, which helps to alkalize your body tissues and reduce uric acid.
. . .
The remedy of BS and ACV worked immediately as you said it would. A steady diet of banana-blueberry smoothies, green tea and celery on Day 2 has kept the swelling down. Not sure what caused the flare up as we eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean beef, chicken and fish, and moderate alcohol use. Your theory of too much acid, possibly caused by stress, makes sense. Will try lemon-infused water to make my body more alkaline plus continue the bananas, celery and cherries. Other ideas welcome. The drugs the doctor prescribed were making me sick, so your remedy (other than the ACV ? was a welcome relief.
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How Much Should You Drink
There has not yet been enough research to confirm a recommended amount of cherry juice for gout.
However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, a person might find drinking a glass of cherry juice per day beneficial.
People should talk with a doctor before attempting to treat their gout with cherry juice. The doctor may be able to advise on an ideal amount to consume.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following strategies to help manage gout:
- Diet: People should avoid eating foods that may trigger a flare-up. Such foods include those high in purines, including red meat, organ meats, and seafood.
- Activity: A person can try moderate or low impact activities, such as walking or swimming, to help relieve gout.
- Weight management: If a person has excess weight or obesity, they might find that reaching a moderate weight can help reduce pressure on their joints and relieve pain.
If a person is experiencing a gout flare-up, they can try the following to help ease the symptoms:
- Ice: Applying an ice pack to the affected joint can help reduce inflammation.
- Elevate: Raising the affected joint using a pillow may also help reduce swelling.
- Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water can help flush uric acid out of the body. The Arthritis Foundation suggests drinking 816 cups of fluids per day, with half or more being water.
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Cherries May Help You Sleep
Choosing cherries for your late-night snack could mean the difference between a restless night and sweet dreams.
Cherries contain melatonin, a substance that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle, according to a small December 2012 study in the European Journal of Nutrition.
Research also suggests that cherries may help you sleep for longer. In a study of adults with insomnia, those who drank 1 cup of tart cherry juice before bed increased their sleep time by 84 minutes, per a small March 2018 pilot study in the American Journal of Therapeutics.
It’s important to note that these studies focused on concentrates of the fruit, so more research is needed to understand whether eating fresh cherries could have similar effects.
Sweet Sour And Good For You
Cherries are not only pleasing to the eye, they can also be pleasing for your health. And the cherry on top has got to be their deliciousness. There are many varieties of sweet and sour cherries, all with a number of remarkable health benefits. Although there are a few things to look out for with cherries, including their high sugar content and the potential for pesticide contamination, with an awareness of these issues, cherries can be, for most people, an excellent addition to a healthy, whole foods diet with many ways to prepare and eat them.
Tell us in the comments:
- Are you a fan of cherries? Do you prefer tart or sweet cherries?
- What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate cherries into your diet?
- Do you live in an area where you can go cherry-picking and enjoy them right off of the trees?
and receive the Top 10 Foods To Eat And Avoid For Longevity infographic poster!
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Cherries Can Improve Gout And Arthritis
Because gout and arthritis are both inflammatory diseases, cherries can help reduce symptoms.
In fact, studies show 2-3 cups of sweet cherries alone can cut gout attacks in half. Eating cherries plus taking medicines the doctor prescribes for gout can reduce gout attacks by up to 75%, Stacey said.
Thats sweet news for gout sufferers.
Sweet Cherry Juice Vs Tart Cherry Juice:
When looking for the natural joint pain relieving benefits of this fruit, many also want to know they are limiting their sugar intake, too.
For many, the amount of sugar per serving is an important factor. The amount of sugar is a difference between sweet and tart cherry juice. Here is a side-by-side comparison for your review.
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