4 Ways Cherries Help Prevent Gout Flare Ups

Gout is a terribly painful type of arthritis the results from uric acid buildup in the bloodstream. As uric acid reaches high levels, it uric acid crystals develop within the joints, often the big toe.

Due to the fact that gout is often chronic and extremely painful, many patients seek relief from pain with home remedies and by making dietary changes. While there are many foods and beverages that gout patients should steer clear of (i.e., seafood, alcohol, soda, game meats, etc.), other foods have been linked to reducing and prevent gout attacks by lowering uric acid levels in the body. Cherries have long been used by gout patients in the following ways:

1. Tart cherry juice
Google “natural gout remedies” and you’ll likely be served up pages of search results that assert the benefits of tart cherry juice. Granted, multiple scientific studies on the smaller scale have found drinking cherry products decreases inflammation by lowering uric acid levels in the body.

2. Red and purple produce
Beets, blueberries, raspberries, cabbage, grapes, and cherries…oh my! Not only are these royal-hued fruits and veggies quite tasty, researchers from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina point out that they are jam-packed with an antioxidant pigment, known as anthocyanins. These specific antioxidants are natural anti-inflammatories that are able to protect the body from cell-damaging effects of free radicals, and have been linked to reducing gout pain.

3. Cherry extract
As a preventative measure, many gout patients keep cherry extract on hand in order to prevent gout attacks. Although more research must be done to prove it’s effectiveness, many gout patients swear that taking cherry extract regularly banished gout flare ups for months at a time. Further research published by the American College of Rheumatology suggests regularly consuming cherry extract reduces recurrent gout attacks by up to a 40%.

4. Fresh cherries
A study conducted by researchers at University School of Medicine, in Boston, examined the effects of eating fresh cherries on a group of over 600 gout patients. Findings claimed that study participants who consumed roughly 1 cup of the fresh fruit daily, significantly decreased frequency of gout attacks.