With a wide range of health benefits, cherries — and more specifically, tart cherries — are an oft-overlooked superfoods. But whether it's insomnia, joint pain or belly fat you're dealing with, cherries may be just what the doctor ordered. Here's why.
by Case Adams, Naturopath
Several studies have now confirmed that cherries not only increase sleep duration and sleep quality, but they are anti-inflammatory.
The newest study comes from researchers at Spain's University of Extremadura. They tested 30 people ten between 20 and 30 years old, ten between 35 and 55 years old and ten between 65 and 85 years old.
The researchers randomly divided the subjects into two groups. They were given either a tart cherry juice drink or a placebo with cherry flavor twice a day. Those who drank the cherry juice experienced substantially better sleep quality measured by sleep efficiency, awakenings, and total sleep time.
Moreover, the researchers found that the older group experienced better improvements in sleep quality that the younger groups.
Another study included scientists from the United States (Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine), the UK (Northumbria University and the University of Surrey) and South Africa (University of Johannesburg). …
Low melatonin levels have been correlated with sleep disturbances and insomnia, particularly in the elderly. Endogenous melatonin, on the other hand, is naturally derived from tryptophan and serotonin. This most likely is the reason that melatonin supplements assist in achieving good quality sleep patterns. Jet lag, a sleep/wake disturbance caused by travel across more than three time zones, responds successfully to melatonin supplementation. The traveler should take the supplement before bedtime at the new location and also avoid bright light, as well as caffeine and alcohol intake, at that time.
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