A new study taught us something that even we didn’t know – tart cherry juice has now been shown to lower markers of inflammation and potentially improve the pain and symptoms of arthritis and gout.
If your joints are starting to hurt and ache as the weather gets colder, keep reading!
You may know that gout is a type of arthritis that often occurs as sudden, severe pain attacks. It commonly affects the big toe, and it can also affect the knees, ankles, heels, elbows, wrists and fingers.
Gout is caused when crystals of uric acid form in the joints, often because your body is making too much uric acid or is having trouble getting rid of it (mostly in urine). These crystals then can cause pain and inflammation in your joints.
If you think you might have gout, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare professional to evaluate and treat it. Here are some useful tips from the Mayo Clinic about what to do if you think you have gout.
Your risk of gout is increased if you are male, have a family history of gout or if you are overweight. Certain foods have also been associated with a higher risk of gout, including meat, alcohol, high-fructose corn syrup, and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and candy.
IMPROVEMENT WITH TART CHERRY JUICE
In a new study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, 12 healthy participants received Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate (which we use in our Food for Sleep) and were measured for levels of two markers of inflammation – uric acid and C-reactive protein.
The results of the study showed that blood levels of uric acid and C-reactive protein both were decreased after participants consumed the tart cherry juice.
(For you science geeks like us, there were also higher levels of uric acid in the urine of participants, potentially showing that the uric acid is being eliminated and thus has a lower chance of causing gout pain.)
More research remains to be done, but this is exciting news.
If joint pain is keeping you awake at night, tart cherry juice could help improve both your pain and your sleep!
Dr. Paruthi is a published researcher in the fields of obesity and diabetes, and he always sleeps on the cool side of the pillow.
Food for Sleep is a 2 ½ ounce drink designed to help you sleep at night. It’s a science-based recipe made with food ingredients clinically demonstrated to promote healthy sleep.
[Image Credit: Andrew Magill via Flickr]