Stop Joint Pain and Inflammation with One Little Fruit

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

When you have joint pain, or swelling and stiffness of your joints, it’s absolutely debilitating. Many people seek relief with prescription medications, but it generally takes a combination of medications to find pain relief. In the meantime, those chemically filled, synthetic medications are causing damage to your liver and filling your body with toxins.

Typical treatment for arthritis and inflammation is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In fact, these pain killers account for about 60 percent of all pain reliever sales in the US and are among some of the most commonly used medications. They have terrible side effects, however, sometimes deadly ones. The most common side effects are gastric bleeding, kidney damage or failure, and heart attacks.

Recent scientific discoveries, however, show us that there is another exciting option to those toxic medications. Tart cherries have been shown to have the highest level of anti-inflammatory compounds of any other food, even more than pomegranates and blueberries! These beautiful little red jewels could be the answer you have been looking for to manage your arthritis pain and inflammation in a manner that is gentle and natural to your body.

In this study, researchers tested several different varieties of cherries. Although all cherries contain anthocyanin, which is the substance that gives them that beautiful red color, it was found that tart cherries contain the highest level. Since anthocyanins are known to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, this makes tart cherries the clear winner when it comes to their potential to heal, stop inflammation, and reduce swelling.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Tart cherries are closely related to sweet cherries, but they are much more acidic. It’s believed that this is what gives them their powerful medicinal effects. Tart cherries are sometimes referred to as sour cherries, but they all contain high levels of vitamin C and beta carotene. Sour cherries are indeed a super food and the good news is, no matter how you consume them– dried, fresh, frozen, as a juice, or in an extract– they will reduce inflammation in the body.

The compounds in tart cherries modulate numerous pathways, which can also protect us from other conditions that are caused by inflammation, including metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Tart cherries contain compounds that turn off, or on, critical genes in the body. They modulate cell signaling molecules, such as tumor necrosis factor, and, in one amazing study model, a 65 percent reduction in early mortality.

One study found that using tart cherry extract for those with osteoarthritis pain reduced the amount of pain in more than half of the subjects. This study, performed at the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, Texas, was quite small, with only 20 subjects, but it is considered to be a good pilot study.

Another study, conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University, also involved 20 subjects with inflammatory osteoarthritis. The subjects were instructed to drink tart cherry juice twice each day for the three week study period. There was a significant reduction in the inflammatory markers, especially among those who were more severely affected.

A larger study, performed at Boston University Medical Center, involved 633 subjects who had gout. These subjects consumed 10 fresh tart cherries each day. After just 48 hours, these subjects had a 50 percent lower risk of gout flare ups.

Few people are aware that obesity can be both a cause, and consequence, of chronic low-level inflammation. Belly fat creates a huge store of pro-inflammatory cell-signaling compounds known as cytokines. Left alone, cytokines can trigger a huge wave of destruction that can lead to numerous degenerative diseases. One study showed that when overweight and obese adults drank just 8 ounces of tart cherry juice during the 4 week study period, all subjects showed significantly lower levels of inflammation, including decreases in tumor necrosis factor levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and monocyte chemotactic protein. These are all key markers of inflammation, and tart cherry juice worked to lower every single one of these.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Another interesting study involved cholesterol. Rats that were fed a high cholesterol diet were then given tart cherries to eat. After consuming these fresh fruits, inflammation sites in the heart and the belly, were much lower, along with lowered body fat, weight, abdominal fat, and lower cholesterol levels in general. This study, performed in 2011, showed a 26 percent decrease in cholesterol levels and a 65 percent reduction in early mortality rates. Pretty impressive results for one little red marble sized fruit!

Even sweet cherries can reduce the number of markers associated with inflammatory diseases. However, tart cherries are what are recommended because they don’t contain the sugar or calories that sweet cherries have.

It’s interesting to note that the FDA has threatened cherry farmers to stop using these studies in their ad’s promoting cherries. The FDA went so far as to send out warning letters to cherry farmers insisting that they stop making “unsubstantiated” claims regarding cherries and their ability to reduce pain and inflammation. You can’t help but wonder if Big Pharmacy is behind these letters, since a 60 percent market share of all medications sold is a big chunk of money.

So even though the FDA might be trying to keep this super food under wraps, but they can’t control the internet and freedom of the press, nor can they control freedom of speech. You can look at the studies and come to the same conclusion that many scientists will tell you themselves: that tart cherries can help reduce osteoarthritis, obesity, gout, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and cardiovascular disease.

 

SEE ALSO: 17 Simple Common Sense Home Remedies for Arthritis

 

Although there is no specific regime that has been recommended so far, it’s clear that consuming tart cherries, in whatever form you choose, can help manage gout and arthritis pain. Try drinking at least 8 ounces of fresh, organic tart cherry juice, consuming extract supplements according to directions, or eating a handful or two of fresh or dried tart cherries daily. What have you got to lose but some inflammation and pain?

References:

Antioxidant-fruits.com

Arthritis.org

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov