Cherries could reduce joint pain in both osteoarthritis and gout patients, scientists have claimed.
The fruit contains anthocyanins – plant pigments that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Anthocyanins are found in red and purple fruits – including raspberries and blueberries – but they’re especially rich in tart cherries.
Eating at least 10 cherries a day provided enough anti-inflammatories to reduce joint pain in gout patients, according to Boston University researchers.
The scientists analysed 633 people with gout as part of the study.
Eating at least 10 cherries reduced the risk of gout flare ups by 50 per cent, the researchers said.
“We extrapolate that cherries will continue to work long-term,” said co-author of the study, Dr Hyon Choi.
“This is definitely a topic worth investigating. If cherries prove effective in large trials, they could provide a safe, non-pharmacological option for preventing recurrent gout attacks.”
Eating cherries could benefit osteoarthritis patients, too.
Philadelphia VA Medical Center scientists found that eating just over 400g of cherries daily would significantly improve pain, stiffness and physical function in patients.
Researchers are reluctant to recommend a specific cherry diet for arthritis patients until more evidence is gathered, said the Arthritis Foundation.
But, they agreed it could be a possible tool in managing gout and osteoarthritis pain, it added.
Arthritis affects about 10 million people in the UK, including people of all ages.
Symptoms of the condition include joint pain, inflammation, restricted movement, muscle wasting, and red skin over the affected joints.
There’s currently no cure for the condition, but some treatments could help to slow down its progress.
Painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids could all reduce symptoms, according to the NHS.