Can eating cherries really help relieve the pain of arthritis? Recent research suggests that sweet cherry has anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful in treating inflammatory disorders, such as arthritis.
Researchers found a decrease in inflammatory markers in the blood of 18 healthy men and women, who consumed sweet cherries for 28 days.
Revista de Nutrición, a study published in 2006
Arthritis and cherries
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects your joints. It can cause swelling, joint pain and reduced ability to move them.
When researchers began looking for natural treatment options for arthritis, they examined cherries, since these small, boneless fruits are rich in polyphenols, chemicals known to fight inflammation. Specifically, cherries contain the polyphenol called anthocyanin. This natural chemical helps to produce the typical reddish shade of cherries and is an antioxidant that prevents against free radicals.
Cherries are very good for you even if you do not have joint inflammation; They are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium.
A previous study suggests that cherries contain anti-inflammatory properties. The scientists examined Bing cherries (a very popular type of sweet cherry) to determine their power to reduce inflammations, which cause pain with arthritis.
In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found a decrease in inflammatory blood markers in 18 healthy men and women, who consumed sweet cherries for 28 days. Although these results are promising, the study was limited by its small size and the lack of a control group. Inflammatory markers were reduced with cherry consumption, but did not increase to the reference point at the end of the study; therefore, there could be another factor that caused the reduction in inflammation.
Although more research is needed, you know that cherries have a healthy contribution and can help reduce inflammation.
Do not limit yourself to cherries; All fruits and vegetables are beneficial to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, as well as to prevent other chronic diseases. These foods contain antioxidants along with vitamins, minerals and fiber essential for your body.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial. These foods have anti-inflammatory properties, and can help prevent or treat arthritis.Excellent sources of omega-3 include cold-water fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel. Some vegetable sources of omega-3 include flax seeds, nuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil and soybean oil.
It is also important to limit your consumption of processed and fried foods, which are high in saturated fats, because they can generate an increase in the inflammatory response associated with arthritis. Fat cells actually produce proteins that promote inflammation, so losing weight can help reduce joint pain in your legs and feet, if you suffer from excess weight or obesity.
Maybe you can not stop taking your medicines, but sweet cherries can help provide temporary relief from arthritis pain. More importantly, whether you suffer from arthritis or not, cherries are packed with vitamins, minerals and polyphenols and can be a delicious and healthy snack.
Do not forget to talk with your doctor or professional nutritionist before making any important changes in your diet. Although eating cherries is unlikely to generate any negative side effects, and will probably not interfere with your medication, it is best for your doctor to keep abreast of all aspects of your treatment plan.
About the author
Alexandra Kaplan, MCs, RD, CDN (Certified Nutritionist-Dietitian, for its acronym in English) is a registered dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center, where she covers all inpatient units. Kaplan completed his Master's degree in Clinical Nutrition at New York University, and his practical training at Montefiore Medical Center.
Kaplan holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University, where he studied human development. He is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the New York State Dietetic Association