A "berry" good new year ahead... for your knees!
As we prepare to close the book on 2017, I'm sure you're looking back fondly on the memories you've made this year.
Maybe you traveled to a bucket-list place... tried something out of your comfort zone... or let the good times roll with friends and family.
And as you've beaten new paths, you've also undoubtedly racked up some mileage.
I'm not talking about your trusty ol' SUV, though -- I'm talking about the wear and tear on your KNEES!
You see, as the years pass, the cartilage that cushions your joints can break down, wear away, and leave you with bones that rub painfully against one another, a.k.a. knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Now, if the pain of OA has brought you to your knees this year, don't despair -- there's hope for relief next year.
Because according to a new study, something that tastes delicious with your New Year's champagne toast can ease the ache of OA naturally... and even turn back the clock on your condition.
I'm talking about strawberries!
In the study out of Oklahoma, a group of folks with knee osteoarthritis was randomly divided in two. Every day for three months, half of the group ate a compound of powdered strawberries -- the equivalent of about a quarter cup, or a small handful, of fresh berries -- while the other half ate a similar compound that contained strawberry flavoring but no actual fruit.
By the end of the study, ONLY the strawberry eaters experienced changes in their conditions -- and those changes were all for the better.
First off, no matter whether their knee pain was constant or came and went, members of the strawberry group reported a REDUCTION in their aches.
What's more, their markers of cartilage breakdown DECREASED, suggesting that the fruit may actually help preserve the cushioning in your knees.
The theory is that anti-inflammatory compounds in strawberries can prevent oxidative damage to your cartilage -- confirmed by the fact that the strawberry eaters' biomarkers of inflammation also plummeted.
Strawberries are also full of fiber, and we know from previous studies that high-fiber diets can protect you from OA... or slow its progression if you already have it.
And the berry's benefits don't stop there. This juicy, red powerhouse has also been proven to fight cognitive decline... slash your risk of heart attack and stroke... and even help prevent certain cancers.
So, if your knees are aching from OA, don't reach for a bottle of pain pills. Grab a pint of strawberries instead!
They're not in peak season until June, but you can find them pretty much year-round at many grocery stores. Just be sure to buy organic strawberries -- because conventionally grown berries are typically contaminated with pesticide residues.
Slice fresh ones onto spinach salads... swirl a homemade compote into your Greek yogurt... or blend frozen strawberries into your smoothies.
Just stay away from strawberry-flavored treats like hard candies, which don't contain any actual fruit.