Black Cherry Health Benefits
- Reduces gout pain
- Potent antioxidant
- Strengthens the kidneys
- Promotes healthy joints
- Rich in melatonin
- High in nutrients
Certain foods contain high levels of a uric acid precursor called purine and should be avoided by those with gout. These include organ meats (liver, kidney, heart, brains), meat gravies, anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, trout, salmon, game meats (venison, pigeon, goose), asparagus, spinach, rhubarb, cauliflower, strawberries, tomatoes, and alcohol, especially beer.
Antioxidant Power: Anthocyanines are potent antioxidants with over 300 being discovered so far. Most antioxidants have to be consumed in our diet, but some are made within our bodies. Ironically, uric acid is one and does play a beneficial role in protecting the brain against stroke. When too much is produced, it becomes a health liability instead. Since antioxidants are known to reduce inflammation, the more pain a person has, the more antioxidants he/she should be taking.
Kidney and Joint Strength: When certain foods can not be digested properly, the kidneys are left to try to eliminate the waste. When they cannot do that, the result is a build-up of uric acid which is then deposited in the joints, especially the great toe. These uric acid crystals will eventually damage the kidneys, joints, and tendons. Cherries have shown to help strengthen the kidneys and reduce inflammation in the joints.
Melatonin Magic: Cherries have high levels of melatonin, a hormone produced mainly by the pineal gland located in the brain. However, it can also be produced in the retina and GI tract. Melatonin is responsible for such processes in the body as sleep, temperature, growth and maturity. Low levels are associated with insomnia, depression, fibromyalgia, and some seizure disorders. Research has shown that people who have heart attacks also have low melatonin levels. Melatonin is also believed to be important for the function of the immune system.
Nutrients: Cherries contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. The darker the cherry, the richer it is in antioxidants. They are also very alkaline and can therefore, neutralize the uric acid.
Updated November 2012