Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Drink Tart Cherry Juice to Catch Some Zzzsss

If you’re like most Americans today, you are busy. You have many responsibilities, and not much free time, and you spend your free time worrying about your responsibilities. When life is moving at 150 mph, sometimes sleep can seem like a luxury…because you don’t get enough of it. Whether its stress that keeps you awake, or other things, chances are your melatonin level is to blame. 

What the heck is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep, and is naturally occurring within the body. It is secreted from the pineal gland in the brain, and the concentration of this hormone in our blood varies throughout the day. The amount of Melatonin in the body peaks at night, when we have a normal pattern of sleeping. Melatonin production decreases with age, which may contribute to insomnia, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.

There are a number of products on the market that claim to boost your melatonin. The challenge is that these products often only contain one particular vitamin, mineral or ingredient, and after a while the body compensates and the supplements become ineffective. Studies have shown that when we consume those same vitamins and minerals in the form of food, naturally occurring phytochemicals work in harmony with each other to increase absorption and positive impact on health. 

When it comes to obtaining Melatonin from food sources, tart cherries have been shown to have relatively high melatonin content.  The “ultimate sleep aid,” tart cherry juice has been put to the test to see if drinking it has a positive impact on those suffering from insomnia and trouble sleeping.

In 2010, a team of University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and VA Center of Canandaigua researchers conducted a pilot study on the sleep habits of 15 older adults. The adults drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice beverage (CheriBundi, in the morning and evening for 2 weeks, and a comparable matched juice drink, with no tart cherry juice, for another 2 week period. There were significant reductions in reported insomnia severity and the adults saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, when drinking cherry juice daily, compared to when they were drinking the juice drink. Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, 2010
Not only is melatonin linked to sleep, but research suggests melatonin can be a powerful antioxidant, helping reduce age-related inflammation and fighting free radicals in the body. Beyond melatonin, cherries are packed with other powerful antioxidant compounds, including anthocyanins - the compounds responsible for cherries' bright red color. A growing body of science indicates that cherries may help reduce inflammation, aid muscle recovery and reduce risk factors of age-related conditions.
Do you suffer from sleep issues? Try some cheribundi for a daily dose of melatonin. Let us know how it works for you!

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