Monday, April 1, 2013

Life Really Is a Bowl of Cherries!

People with gout may be able to cut in half their risk of recurrent attacks by eating about 20 tart cherries a day, according to research from the Boston University School of Medicine. Cherries contain a powerful natural property that inhibits the production of uric acids in the body, and the elimination of the same. It is the high levels of uric acid that cause the joint inflammation. The phyto-chemicals in the red cherries also work as an anti inflammatory similar to ibuprofen. Subjects in several studies concerning arthritis have reported relief from arthritis pain not related to gout.
The flavinoids in cherries are most concentrated in the skins of the cherries, so the best way to get the powerful antioxidant benefits is by eating the whole fruit, either fresh or dried. Look for juices containing the entire fruit; a residue of settled fruit puree on the bottom of the container is the best evidence the whole fruit was used to make the product. Also, many  juices are mostly apple juice with cherry flavoring or just enough cherry juice to give it color. Be sure the ingredient label says "100% cherry" juice and not just "100% juice."  If you eat cherries alone for gout treatment or in combination with  medication, it is advised to drink a lot of water to help flush out the toxic properties of uric acids from the body.
The benefits of medical diets often work as well as traditional medications and have no side effects. And, when used on a long-term basis, they provide the body with other health benefits. Even with the cherries, it is still necessary to stick to a low-purine diet for the treatment of gout. As always, be sure to discuss your diet and medications with your doctor so that there won't be a surprise of drug - food interactions.

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