With millions of Americans looking for ways to naturally manage pain, I think it's promising that tart cherries can help, without the possible side effects often associated with many current pain and arthritis medications.
Most of the studies I refer to specifically investigated the impact of Montmorency cherries on systemic inflammatory and oxidative stress. Rather than consume whole cherries (something I would prefer over juice), participants were given two daily doses (about 1 oz. each) of tart cherry juice concentrate. This amount was considered to significantly lower levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), (both associated with triggering the body’s inflammatory response) compared to those who received the placebo.
You can opt to eat the cherries instead of drinking the juice, but just so you know, it takes about 100 cherries to equal 1oz. of juice. However, the juice will be void of fiber (another beneficial component to anti inflammation).
Studies like this offer further support for the need to consume a wide and varied array of antioxidant rich foods, such as cherries, in order to potentially reduce inflammation and have the potential to lower our overall risk of disease.
Previous research on tart cherries and osteoarthritis conducted by researchers at Baylor Research Institute found that a daily dose of tart cherries (as cherry extract) helped reduce osteoarthritis pain by more than 20 percent for the majority of men and women. And the same compounds linked to cherries' arthritis benefits have now shown promise for athletes and sports recovery to help relieve muscle and joint soreness.
Click Here: For more information on the Montmorency Cherries Study.
In the meantime, I'm encouraged by the potential for a real food to offer such a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit – at levels comparable to some well-known pain medications, but with minimal to no side effects at all.
So my take away is “Go Red Instead” to manage chronic pain, and be sure to include a combination of therapies including exercise, flexibility and massage therapy. You’ll be glad you did.
Listen to your body,
John Aaron Villarreal