Posts tagged: cherries

Cherries Are A Great Late-Night Snack

Cherries Are A Great Late-Night Snack
Cherries Are A Great Late-Night Snack. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Background image – Pexels (PD)

Who loves cherries? They are delicious, nutritious, go perfectly with any dessert, and as it turns out, they help you sleep better. Next time you feel restless and feel that you are having a hard time winding down, consider a handful of cherries as a late-evening snack.

What Does Research Say?

Struggling with insomnia? Having restless nights? Well, the melatonin in cherries could be your ticket to sleeping like a baby. Melatonin is a chemical that helps regulate your sleep pattern – or your body’s internal clock. As the day progresses towards the evening hours, the level of melatonin in your body increases and drops as morning approaches. These fluctuations affect your feeling of drowsiness and body temperature.

According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Botany, cherries are one of the natural sources of melatonin. [1] Additionally, a team of British researchers studied the effects of tart cherry juice on the sleeping habits of 20 individuals for 7 days. [2] They concluded that cherries “provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”

Similarly, another study in the American Journal of Therapeutics found that drinking cherry juice before bedtime increased sleep efficiency and duration. [3] Cherry juice also reduced inflammation and increased tryptophan availability.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Tan, D. X. et al. 2011. Functional roles of melatonin in plants, and perspectives in nutritional and agricultural science https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article/63/2/577/497468.

[2] Howatson, G. et al. 2012. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497.

[3] Losso, J. N. 2018. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28901958.

Top 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cherries

Amazing Health Benefits Of Cherries
Top 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cherries. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Cherry photo © AdobeStock 66412088 (under license)

Cherries are packed with nutrients! They are becoming more well known for their many health benefits, mainly due to the high levels of some vitamins and strong antioxidants that help the body to remain in balanced health, supporting its defense against many degenerative diseases. Did you know that Turkey is the country that produces the most cherries in the world?

Growing your own cherries has the added benefit of the abundant, beautiful blossom in the spring although you’ll probably have to defend your crop against birds and wild animals – surely a sign that cherries are a great source of nutrition! 😉 Here’s our list of the Top 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cherries….

1. Promote Liver Health – As a precursor to vitamin A, the beta carotene found in cherries is very important for good health, especially for the liver, and has shown protective effects against liver damage. [1]

2. Keep Your Heart Healthy
– Cardiovascular disease can be kept at bay by regular consumption of plant polyphenols, which are found in abundance in cherries! [2]

3. Help Fight Cancer – The antioxidant, nutrient and vitamin boost from cherries gives the body extra resources which may help prevent or fight off cancer! [3]

4. Arthritis Relief – Cherries are listed in the top 12 foods for arthritis by the Arthritis Foundation. Drinking a lot of cherry juice, especially from tart cherries, has been shown to help alleviate the painful symptoms. [4]

5. Bone Density – Low bone mineral density, particularly in women, is a common problem in the western world – poor diet and a lack of dietary flavonoids can lead to degeneration and conditions like osteoporosis. A diet rich in anthocyanins has been shown to make a difference! [5]

6. Gout Relief – Cherries have been used for many years as a folk remedy for gout… and there is now evidence to back up this claim; a recent trial reported a 35% lower risk of flare-ups! [6] Cherries have been found to increase the excretion, and block the reabsorption, of urate that can cause gout. Great news for gout sufferers! [7]

7. Anti-Inflammatory – It’s those anthocyanins again! – there is growing evidence that cherries are beneficial in reducing the inflammation that accompanies many degenerative diseases. [8]

8. Reduction In Diabetes Symptoms – Preliminary testing shows a positive link between antioxidants from cherries and a reduction of diabetes symptoms although further research is needed to strengthen the claim. It is recommended to eat tart, rather than sweet, cherries due to their lower sugar content. [9][10]

9. Promote Kidney Health – High levels of potassium can help the kidneys to stay healthy and the same action that lessens gout symptoms can help to prevent kidney stones from forming. Tart cherries contain even more of the active components. Important! – chronic kidney disease could be made worse by taking large doses due to the strong anti-inflammatory effect so please check with your doctor before using the juice medicinally! [11]

10. Improved Sleep

If you suffer from a sleep disorder, jet lag or you simply need to maintain a good sleep cycle during shift work, cherries are rich in melatonin, a hormone that contributes to establishing a regular pattern of sleep and other biological rhythms! [12] See also – 20 Foods To Help You Sleep Better

For best results, please eat organic cherries and be sure to wash fruit thoroughly before eating.