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Experts Recommend Cherries For Pain Relief From Arthritis

Eating Red May Help Arthritis Sufferers Manage Inflammation and Stiffness

LANSING, Mich., May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty-six million American adults currently suffer from arthritis - and as the population ages, the number is expected to increase.(1) May has been deemed National Arthritis Month to generate awareness of this growing condition and ways to manage associated symptoms.

For many with arthritis, one step in managing related inflammation, stiffness and pain may include taking a closer look at diet and lifestyle. For instance, many sufferers have sworn for years that cherry juice minimized arthritis symptoms. Now, the anecdotal claims are supported by scientific evidence showing that tart cherries (available dried, frozen or in juice form) may help play a role in reducing the pain of arthritis. Scientists believe it's the anthocyanins - also responsible for cherries' vibrant red color - that are responsible for this anti-inflammatory benefit.(2)(3)(4)

"Often, my clients ask what they can do to manage arthritis pain without medications," says Leslie Bonci, Director of Sports Nutrition in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. "For many arthritis sufferers, what they eat may help dramatically reduce their arthritis-related pain."

To manage the pain and inflammation of arthritis, Bonci recommends the following natural tips:

  • Eat Red - studies have shown that the anthocyanins in tart cherries and other red foods may have anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Stay Hydrated - research indicates that staying properly hydrated may help arthritis sufferers decrease joint pain.
  • Go Fish - Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have been found in studies to reduce joint pain associated with arthritis.
  • Stretch it Out - for some arthritis suffers, gentle stretching may increase comfort and lessen pain and stiffness.

Bonci notes, "Patients with arthritis should work with their health care providers to determine the best course of treatment and pain management for their individual arthritis."

It's Easy to Enjoy "America's Super Fruit"

Cherries are not only good for you, but they're also a homegrown "Super Fruit." According to recent data, more than 9 out of 10 Americans want to know where their food comes from, nearly 80 percent say they're purchasing "locally produced" products, and the majority are defining "local" as made in America.(5)(6)

About 95% percent of the dried, frozen and juice cherries consumed in the U.S. are grown here, with most coming from Michigan, Wisconsin, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania and New York.

This homegrown advantage, coupled with potential health benefits, make cherries "America's Super Fruit." Tart cherries come in dried, frozen and juice forms, so they're readily available to enjoy all year long.

The Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) is an organization funded by North American tart cherry growers and processors. CMI's mission is to increase the demand for tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development and research. For more information on the science supporting the unique health benefits of cherries and for cherry recipes and menu ideas, visit

(1) National Arthritis Foundation.

(2) Blau LW. Cherry diet control for gout and arthritis. Texas Reports on Biology and Medicine. 1950;8:309-311.

(3) Jacob RA, Spinozzi GM, Simon VA, Kelly DS, Prior RL, Hess-Pierce B, Kader AA. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women, Journal of Nutrition. 2003;133:1862-1829.

(4) Tall JM, Seeram, NP, Zhao C, Nair MG, Meyer RA, Raja SN. Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat. Behavioural Brain Research. 2004; 153:181-188.

(5) Survey conducted by IRI Data, 2008.

(6) Survey conducted by The Hartman Group, 2008.

SOURCE The Cherry Marketing Institute
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