Tart cherries, a pain relieving fruit
I wrenched my neck a couple of days prior and wondered whether there was something else I could take for the pain instead of ibuprofen. In view of what I'd perused in magazines, I searched for the answer in my fridge, which had more than 40 pounds of tart cherries I had just picked.
Researchers found that cherries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce inflammation, pain and cells damage, organs and blood vessels.
I use tart cherries to make fabulous pies. You can find tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries in stores and online. You can also get fresh tart cherries at farmers’ markets.
“What we found is that this food is as good as ibuprofen in terms of pain reduction,” said Kerry Kuehl, a practicing internist and chief health promotion and sports medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “It worked as well as 600 to 800 milligrams of ibuprofen, post vigorous exercise.”
These researchers found that runners who drank tart cherry juice before and the day of 198-mile Oregon Hood to Coast relay race, had much less pain than runners who drank a fruit punch. (The juice they drank each day was equivalent to eating about 90 to 100 tart cherries).
Kuehl said, tart cherries are among the foods with the highest levels of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants of any studied food. Tart cherries contain these nutrients including anthocyanins and flavanoids, in higher amounts than other cherries. Tart cherry juice is effective for people with arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia.
Montmorency is the variety of tart cherry most commonly grown in the United States, and what scientists use in their research. British cycling teams have been using tart cherry juice for years, and most athletes use a concentrate of cherry juice, says Malachy McHugh, director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, based at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
I ate four big bowls of tart cherries for my neck pain and went to bed. Next morning, I felt much better. I’ve been eating several handfuls a day.
By the way, they taste great. I’ve been baking pies, too