Cherries are rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are phytochemicals (phytonutrients) found in plants: fruit and vegetables have varying amounts of phytonutrients. Cherries have been studied in regard to oxidative stress and LDL. I started using cherries in my protein smoothies when I had a gout flare up in my big left toe. Gout results from an overabundance of crystals forming in the uric acid. The kidneys are meant to flush and cleanse the blood.
Healthy kidneys filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine. The urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder through two thin tubes of muscle called ureters, one on each side of your bladder.
My kidneys didn’t seem up to the task. Crystals getting stuck in the joints are no fun at all. Painful. My big toe was so sore it was nearly impossible to walk. Here’s what I did:
- I increased my water intake by taking sips every few minutes. I would start the day with 8 oz in the morning and then drink plenty more throughout the day. I realized I had been going through my day thirsty but ignoring it out of sheer ignorance.
- I added frozen, pitted cherries to my smoothie. I probably make a smoothie five times a week. After 2 smoothies, my gout was on its way out and gone within a week. It has not returned in two years.
- In clinical studies, the polyphenols in cherries showed a decrease in triglycerides and an increase in HDL (the good cholesterol). This aligns with current thinking that polyphenols also help cleanse the blood via the microbiome. Good gut bacteria thrive on polyphenols. Sometimes called prebiotics, supplying the good gut flora with its needs improves all areas of health, including better heart health, a better blood lipid profile.
For further information, read here (Science from NIH)