Cherries for gout ? Yes. What's the best way of eating or drinking them?

This page about cherries for gout was last reviewed, or updated, on 5 March 2018. 


Which juicy cherries for gout? There are hundreds of varieties. The good news is that any variety can be considered a "gout cherry," except high carb Maraschino. And any colour (color). Sweet cherries have slightly higher amounts of flavonoids than do tart (sour) ones in the USDA Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods. (See link below in Related pages)..

However, assays have found that Montmorency tart (sour) cherries contain more flavonoid anthocyanidins. If you think only sour cherries work, note the cherries that lowered uric acid levels in the ARS study were sweet red ones. 

You have to eat about ½lb (225 grams) of cherries daily to get enough of their anthocyanidins. That's about 20 cherries. In the ARS study 45 cherries were eaten at breakfast.

Or drink 8 - 16 fl.ozs (1 - 2 glasses) of red or black cherry juice a day.

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Cherries are low purine, either moderately alkaline or just moderately acidic (pH balance). They are also low calorie. Raw red cherries have 50 calories per 100 grams of fruit (minus stones) and sweet red raw cherries have 63 calories per 100 grams of fruit (minus stones). All this makes it easy to get them into many kinds of diets.

What about carbs? But if you are on a restricted carbohydrate diet, you'll have a problem eating cherries. 100 grams of cherries raw, sour, are 10.5 grams of net carbs; 12 net carbs if raw, sweet. You could drink cherry juice within your carb budget, but the juice may cost you too many carbs, because for one quality brand, an 8ozs serving of tart (sour) cherry juice made from concentrate costs 19 carbs out of a daily allowance of for example 35-40 carbs. (Commercial cherry juice may contain 36 carb grams for just an 8 fl.ozs glass).

And that's the sour juice. You would do better spending those carbs on low carb fruit and vegetables, (where there is also more fiber) unless you are certain cherry juice or cherries help your gout, as so many people say they do. 

Here's an answer  You can get low carb tart cherry capsules. Traverse Bay Fams in Michigan, U.S.A. quote the number of carbs of a serving of two tart cherry capules on their website. It is less than one gram of sugar and carbohydrate in a two capsule serving. And you would take one serving a day. Less than one gram a day is irrelevant.

Traverse Bay Farms deliver to the U.S., and internationally, quickly to certain countries - see their website. Click on their cherry capsules ad bottom left.

But, another answer to the high carb problem is to make your own lower carb cherry juice, without sugar, possibly from a store of frozen cherries. You might make a glass with just 11 - 14 carb grams. 

Read more in the May 2012 edition of the Gout Dugout newsletter where there are also links to recipes and a make cherry juice video.

If you do eat cherries for gout they are a low Glycemic (Glycaemic) Index food, (a GI of 22) and very low Glycemic Load food (GL of 3). This is low carb diet positive. It means glucose is slowly absorbed. But there is one exception. Don't eat Maraschino cherries - they are very high in carbs.


Cherry pick your purchase – choose the ones with the darkest colour (color).The flavonoids are mainly found in the skin and a darker skin suggests more flavonoid anthocyanidins because they give them their colour (color). And the fresher they are, the better of course. Rock hard cherries are not ripe, and cherries don't ripen after picking. They should be medium firm. 

If you buy them frozen, they may have fewer anthocyanidins and less vitamin C. But if they have been frozen within a few hours of picking (as, for example, are some brans of frozen peas), the nutrients shouldn't be degraded. Your selection skills will grow with repeat buying. Don't forget to choose the darkest coloured (colored) ones.


Cherries are only in season for about three months each year. They freeze well, with or without their stones, but you’d need a lot of freezer space to keep nine months supply. Imported cherries may not be available. So you may have a problem getting sufficient cherries for gout for nine months.

The answers are to buy canned cherries. Or eat dried cherries - gout sufferers report relief eating dried cherries. And cherry juice for gout is just as good and available all year round. Many gout sufferers have reported the beneficial effects of cherry juice too. They often say they have to drink it daily.

And this website has received a testimonial from a gout sufferer  who dealt with gout pain, and cleared it up by the third morning, by eating cans of cherry pie filling! No kidding! That's what he said.

Fresh cherries are an expensive fruit in many countries, but frozen or canned are cheaper. You won't know if they work for you until you try.

Buy black cherry juice or red cherry juice. And you can use cherry dietary supplements. Also acerola cherry supplements. The acerola cherry is among the highest in vitamin C of all fruits and vegetables, an enormous 1.7 grams of vitamin C per 100 grams of raw fruit (no stones).

If you buy juice, make sure it's pure cherry juice, (nothing added), made only from cherries. You're likely to find this product in natural food stores, not supermarkets. If this is too expensive, buy dehydrated  cherries which are cheaper. You can eat them dried. 

Cheers for cherries Cherries, like other fruits and berries, do not have the large sums of money behind them that are required to trial new gout drugs, gain approval from medical authorities, bring them to market and promote them. But the study evidence, small as it is, and the many testimonials, cannot be ignored. Get them into your gout diet in some form.

Cherries also contain melatonin, the sleep hormone and antioxidant.

Did black cherry jam prevent Sir Winston Churchill from getting gout ? (1)

The World War 2 British leader lived to be 90 years old; he did not exercise; and he ate and drank ferociously every day. A classic gout candidate. You might have expected him to get gout say between 65 and 70, a very common age to first get it. But he did not. Could it be because Churchill loved black cherry jam which he always ate at breakfast ?

And it wasn't only black cherry jam at breakfast that could have helped to keep his uric acid down. He also at breakfast, without fail, drank orange juice.

NB You don't have to eat black; red ones lowered uric acid in the ARS study 

Dried cherries - good for gout

Dried cherries are good for gout

 If cherries cure gout for you...celebrate! THREE CHEERS FOR CHERRIES ! You've got off the gout hook lightly and cheaply. Life's again more than "just a bowl of cherries." (Apologies to George Gershwin).

Cherries for gout > Related pages 

Visit the free gout resources page on this website to download your own free copy of this excellent PDF database.

What do our visitors think about cherries? Read their testimonials.

Go to the first of two pages about three cherry juice concentrate for gout trials, published in 2012, which had some surprisingly good news, and a disappointment.

Go to the second of two pages about the cherry juice concentrate for gout studies. Read how flares ceased for some although uric acid was still at a high level.

(1) Churchill's love of black cherry jam and orange juice came from The Last Lion. Alone. Volume 2.1932-1940 by William Manchester.Publishers: Little Brown and Company, Boston, London, Toronto 1988. The guess about the reasons for his avoidance of gout are mine.

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