Cherries and Gout Pain
Cherries have long been a favorite remedy for gout pain. There are a number of reasons for this. This hubpage will deal with three of them.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a great remedy in the fight against this disease. Studies show that vitamin C used consistently can reduce uric acid levels, the main reason for gout, by up to fifty percent. That is quite significant. Cherries are filled with vitamin C as well as most fruits. According to wikipedia, cherries contain 7mg of vitamin C per serving and account for 12% of your daily allowance of this powerful vitamin.
So not only can you reduce your gout pain by lowering your uric acid level content, you can also help prevent future gout attacks. Other potent vitamin C fruits would be avocados (17% daily allowance), grapes (18%), and pomegranate (10%).
Anthocyanins are found in many fruits, especailly darker colored fruits such as cherries and grapes. These compounds are found in the skin of the fruit. The darker the color the higher the amount.
So what do these compounds have to do with gout. In 1999, a study (-Wang, H. et al. 1999 Anti-oxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities of Anthocyanins and their Alglycon, Cyanid, from Tart Cherries. Journal of Natural Products 62(2): 294-296.) showed that twenty five milligrams of anthocyanins enabled the body to stop the enzymes that cause swelling in your tissues.
This is important because when uric acid crystals settle in your joints, they cause damage to your tissues and your body responds to the damage by swelling. Most people think of swelling as a bad thing and while it usually is, it is one of the ways the body tries to heal itself. Unfortunately, this swelling causes intense pain and anthocyanins can help with that. Darker varieties of cherries can contain anywhere from eighty to three hundred milligrams of anthocyanins per serving, so it would be wise to take advantage of their potential relief of your gout pain.
Cherries contain potassium. This is important because potassium, which is an important electrolyte in the body helps your body excrete excessive amounts of uric acid from your system. This potent electrolyte helps provide fluid balance and proper kidney function. Potassium helps gout by turning the hard painful crystals into a liquid form that your kidneys can process in order to eliminate it during urination.
Cherries contain a moderate amount of potassium. Other potassium foods to consider would be bananas, cantaloupe, and tomatoes. These three foods would be classified as being fairly high in potassium.
There are other benefits to using cherries and gout remedies similar to cherries, but these are the main ones. The great part of using cherries for this disease is that they contain several different way to attack this problem. Whether you use cherry juice, dried cherries, tart cherries, or just plain regular cherries for gout pain relief, you will get these great benefits to help you either reduce the current pain you feel or help you reduce the likelihood or severity of future attacks.
Dried Cherries for Gout
Does it matter whether you use dried cherries for gout versus fresh cherries or cherry juice for gout? No. Not really. There is not much difference. Dried cherries have close to the same nutritional content as fresh ones. Use what you can. Depending on the season you may not be able to get fresh cherries.
One thing to note is if cherries are not in season, as they sit on the shelf their nutritional value drops much more quickly than dried cherries or cherry juice. In fact, freeze dried cherries nutrional value stays the same as fresh cherries according to some studies for a very long time. Eat what you can and hopefully you will see the benefits in a month or two once your body builds up the benefits.