Though living with arthritis is the pits, life can be better with a bowl of cherries. Specifically, tart cherries, which are different from sweet cherries and not usually eaten in their fresh state. They are popular in juices, smoothies, baking and recipe creation, including cherry pies, cherry desserts and other cherry-based concoctions. Several studies have linked the consumption of tart cherries to decreased inflammation and inflammatory-related conditions like arthritis.
Scientists suspect it’s the flavonoid, anthocyanin, along with other phytonutrients, that gives tart cherries their powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Research has found that the fruit may relieve joint pain in people with osteoarthritis and lower the risk of flares in those with gout, as well as boost the immune system. Tart cherries are also shown to decrease cholesterol and reduce risk for hardened arteries (called atherosclerosis), which are risk factors for heart disease.
In addition, tart cherries are rich in vitamin C, zinc, potassium and iron. Studies further indicate that tart cherries may improve the quality and duration of sleep because they contain melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone in the brain. When melatonin levels are too low, from factors such as stress or too much caffeine, the body’s sleep cycle can be disrupted.
Nutrition’s Role in Managing Arthritis
In a recent survey of nearly 900 Arthritis Foundation constituents, 84 percent of those surveyed said they believe a healthy diet is important for managing their arthritis. Two-thirds said that nutrition moderately to greatly impacts the disease. Yet only 12 percent identified tart cherry juice among foods and beverages good for arthritis, suggesting that most people don’t realize the fruit’s enormous benefits.
Keeping the Good In
Cheribundi has built their company on the powerful benefits that come from tart cherries, and we’re grateful they’ve joined with us as Official Juice Partner of the Let’s Get a Grip on Arthritis campaign. Together, we’re working to increase awareness about the disease’s far-reaching effects on the lives of at least 54 million Americans.