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It’s easy forgot about a cherries’ effect on inflammation. I personally was reminded of it in 2018. It got me thinking more about natural ways of treating muscle and joint pains (and also because my mom commented to me about arthritis in her hands).
I’ve definitely had my share of “pains” and injuries throughout the years. After my first 20 years of life was consumed by organized sports, I became a recreational athlete. Life and schedules changed, so now I push hard for 30 to 45-minute workouts. But as a result of some of the years of organized sports, I got an annoying injury inside the right side of my neck. It most likely originated from gymnastics or cheerleading.
In 2015 a Chiropractor took an x-ray of my neck and shoulders. The doctor sparked my attention when he asked me if I had had a bad head/neck injury years ago. He illustrated to me by drawing a “normal” S-shape on my spinal scan, which was a contrast to the “abnormal” curvature of my spinal scan.
I had several concussions before age 10 (the result of spending my childhood years mostly upside down). To my knowledge, none of those injuries damaged my neck, at least this is what the specialists told me. Clearly that was not what my body was telling me.
When my neck and shoulder get irritated, sometimes I feel nerve pain tingling down the back of my shoulder blade into the back of my right arm, elbow, and into my forearm. Consistent yoga and specific stretches usually keep the pain at bay, but it still “sneaks” up on me during some weeks or seasons.
Perhaps you can relate to an acute injury or chronic nagging pain—whether you’re more sedentary at work, have strains from exercise, overuse, picking up children constantly, or have stress (always!)
I get it, injuries are a fact of life. They might be unrelenting chronic ones or short term injuries.
Doctors highly discourage long-term use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, which can damage your liver and digestive system over time. These over-the-counter drugs are also a definite “no” if you’re pregnant. So neither of these are good long-term solutions.
Conventional medicine (use of prescriptions and surgeries) is good for specific scenarios, however natural solutions (Integrative Medicine is what Dietitians call it) is something to consider as well.
Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal if we make some lifestyle changes. Food & medicine are two of those we can more easily control.
When I first learned about cherry juice, it was years ago in college. I only studied it in the context of marathon and triathletes. Athletes swore by it for joint and muscle recovery, plus for fighting fatigue. It was supposedly extremely well-suited for races and post long races.
Cherry juice is widely available online, it’s just not as popular as other juices.
The internet isn’t flooded with articles about cherries like it is about blueberries, kale, or quinoa. Even a 2017 USDA Economic Research released that cherries have been a popular fruit consumed in the U.S, and there’s been a more rapid increase in consumption since 2009 because their health benefits are more well-known now*.
It’s no secret that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables are the best for overall nutritional intake and health, so it’s not just all about them apples.
Cherries are a delicious fruit, rich in red color so they’re obviously full of awesome antioxidants like anthocyanins. They have this sweet and tart complex, making them incredible in pies, preserves, and by themselves.
Concentrated sources of anthocyanins (blue, red, violet pigment in plants) are attractive because they’re super-rich in antioxidants, so you can get health benefits in a smaller amount (like blueberry, pomegranate, and cherry juice concentrate, versus eating multiple times more servings in fresh fruit form to receive the same amount of antioxidants.
“Concentrate” simply means that manufacturers evaporate the water from the fresh cherry juice to “condense” it. For example, 1 tbsp of cherry juice concentrate is the antioxidant equivalent to 100 cherries! Efficient and tasty. So, cherry juice concentrate is no exception.
I brought up the topic of cherry juice concentrate to my mom. I knew she was struggling with arthritis in her hands. There were days when it was too difficult to open a jar, or even chop with a chef’s knife.
Cherry juice concentrate was an easy sell for my mom mostly because she has a “slight” obsession with cherries! Ultimately, she desperately needed some pain relief, and the over the counter pain meds weren’t cutting it.
I asked her to run a little experiment with the cherry juice concentrate so we could see if it helped her arthritis pains. So, here are the details:
My mom’s worst aches and pains were: arthritis in her hands aches in most joints in the body, a swollen bump on top of her foot that was actually calcified, some calcification in one shoulder which caused pain, and aching/pain in her hips. Arthritis in her hands felt the worst, then followed by her hips, shoulders, neck, and foot.
The product she used was the Dynamic Health Organic Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
In order to get the best results, you definitely want to stay consistent by taking the cherry juice concentrate twice daily. My mom noted that whenever she fell behind on schedule and skip a few days, or only remembered to take the concentrate 1 time daily, her inflammation returned.
As I noted above, for our experiment, we used the Dynamic Health Organic Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate. I did quite a bit of research online before selecting this particular one so it has my approval.
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