I bet you did not know nearly 20% of Americans suffer from Arthritis? Did you know there exists a 'natural remedy' for reduced arthritis pains? That relief is supposedly to be the “Cherry.”

Like it's fellow dark-skinned fruits, a 'cherry' is high in antioxidants and phytochemicals that may promote your health in a variety of ways. The best infection-fighting cherries are classified as the ones with the [most sour taste] even though the sweeter cherries may be more fun to actually eat.

What are Antioxidants?
'Antioxidants' are substances that researchers claim protect cells from damage caused by unstable molecules known as 'free radicals'. 'Free radical' damage can lead to cancer. 'Antioxidants' interact with and stabilize 'free radicals' and can help prevent some of the damage 'free radicals' can cause if left on their own. Antioxidant-examples are vitamins C, E, A, lycopene, and other substances.

Can Antioxidants prevent cancer?
Considerable laboratory evidence derived from cell culture, chemical, and animal studies shows antioxidants may slow or possibly even prevent the development of cancer. But recently other clinical trials came to inconsistent conclusions.

The phytochemical that has given cherries their vibrant red color is' anthocyanin. “It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It may shut down the enzymes that can cause inflammation in the tissues and resultant soreness.” (Scaninavian Journal of Rheumatology, Sept.-Oct 2006).

Lab rats given [Tart cherries] were found to get Reduced common marks involving involuntary blood poisoning by as much as 50% which was observed by University of the state of Michigan researchers. This proved in lessening arthritis pain and helped to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes together with reduced chance of heart disease.

in 1993 the first large test-trial on antioxidants and attendant cancer risk was conducted in the Chinese Cancer Prevention Study. This test undertook investigating the effect of combinations of selenium, vitamin E, and beta-carotene on cancer in healthy Chinese women and men at the highest risk for gastric cancer. The study showed a combination of vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene reduced the incidence of gastric cancer significantly.

How may antioxidants prevent cancer?
Antioxidants can neutralize 'free radicals' as a natural by-product of normal cell processes. 'Free radicals' are molecules with incomplete electron shells which make them more chemically reactive than those with complete electron shells. Exposure to various environmental factors, including radiation and tobacco smoke can lead to free radical formation.

Oxygen is the most common form of free radicals. “When an oxygen molecule (O2) becomes electrically charged or” radicalized “it attempts to steal electrons from other molecules, causing damage to the DNA and other molecules.” Ultimately, this damage may become irreversible and lead to diseases including cancer. Antioxidants are frequently described as “mopping up” free radicals, which means that they neutralize the electrical charge which then prevails the free radical from stealing electrons from any other molecules.

1.Which foods are rich in antioxidants?
Antioxidants are abundant in vegetables and fruits and in other foods including poultry, nuts, fish, grains, and some meats. The below 'list' describes food sources which contain common 'antioxidants'.

o Selenium is a mineral, not an antioxidant nutrient. But, it's a component of antioxidantenzymes. In most countries Plant foods like rice and wheat are the major dietary sources of selenium. The amount of selenium in soil varies by region, which determines the amount of selenium in any foods grown in that soil. Animals who eat plants or grains grow in selenium-rich soil are found to have muscles with higher levels of selenium. Breads and meats are common sources of dietary selenium in the United States. Large quantities of selenium can also be obtained from Brazil nuts.

o Lutein, is best known as a contributor to healthy eyes, and is profuse in green, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collard greens.

o Beta-carotene is found in foods that are orange in color, including squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, and mangos. Some green, leafy vegetables, include kale, spinach, and collard greens are all rich in beta-carotene.

o Lycopene is known as a potent antioxidant that is found in apricots, tomatoes, blood oranges, papaya, guava, watermelon, pink grapefruit and like foods. Estimates estimate about 85 percent of American intake of lycopene comes from tomato products.

o Vitamin A presets in three main forms: 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3), Retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2) ,. Foods rich in vitamin A include egg yolks, milk, sweet potatoes, liver, carrots, and mozzarella cheese.

o Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It can be found in abundance in many vegetables and fruits and it's also found in poultry, fish, beef and cereals.

o Vitamin E is also known as alpha-tocopherol. It'is found in corn, soybean oils, almonds, in many oils including wheat germ, safflower, and also found in broccoli, nuts, mangos, and other foods.

Additional studies suggested antioxidant-rich foods (like cherries) most likely reduce levels of nitric oxide, a compound that's associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Cherries have a very unique antioxidant profile that works a lot like other types of soreness / pain medication.

Cheers, Josh Holliday