Sweet delicious cherries are great for more than just a snack or baking into a pie. They are also an effective treatment for insomnia and could help to improve your health in many other ways, too.
Types of Cherries
The two main types of cherries grown in the United States are sweet or tart (also known as sour) cherries. The biggest sweet cherry producing states are California, Oregon and Washington. Tart cherries are grown mainly in Michigan, Utah and Washington.
Cherries are in season during the summer months so now is the time to load up on these tasty little bite-sized snacks. Doing so could help improve your health in a number of ways, one of which is as an insomnia treatment.
Tart Sleeping More Soundly
Researchers at Louisiana State University published results from a study that found drinking tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks significantly increased sleep time in older adults diagnosed with insomnia. They experienced around 90 minutes more sleep than normal!
Tart cherries, specifically the Montmorency kind, are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone crucial to regulating our sleep cycles.
Tart cherries also have a small amount of tryptophan, an essential amino acid and precursor to the release of serotonin, also a critical hormone for helping you sleep. Researchers speculate that the tryptophan from tart cherries helps keep it in the body longer, and helps to prompt the synthesis of serotonin.
Related: Sleep tips: Steps to Better Sleep
Cherries To Your Health
Eat then and drink them! Cherries have more health benefits than just helping you sleep better. They are packed with the antioxidants, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids.
Anthocyanins have been shown to be particularly effective in reducing the risk of cardiac disease, improving brain function, and reducing cognitive decline. They are also thought to help lower the risk of developing colon cancer.
Bioflavonoids are sometimes called vitamin P and are powerful antioxidants that support healthy cell formation, suppress weak cells from forming, and have an anti-carcinogenic effect. They are also helpful in preventing cardiac disease, stroke and slowing down Alzheimer’s.
Athletes can benefit from drinking tart cherry juice, as it has been shown to reduce muscle pain and soreness. In studies, those who were diagnosed with the disease reported significantly less pain after drinking tart cherry juice post exercise.
Cherries and cherry juice are best known for their ability to relieve gout. Their anti-inflammatory properties help relieve swelling. They also inhibit the formation of uric acid crystals, which form in the afflicted joints and cause pain and swelling.
If you are seeking a safe, very healthy and natural insomnia treatment, then try adding a couple of glasses of tart cherry juice to your diet to help greatly increase the amount of shut-eye you get every night.
So, if you are keeping score, cherries can help:
- Increase your intake of antioxidants
- Insomniacs get more sleep
- Relieve painful gout symptoms
- Reduce your risk of colon cancer
- Ease the aches and pains of fibromyalgia
- Lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
I’ll sleep to that!