How Do Cherries Impact Your Evening?

When you’re having trouble sleeping, you may try a warm bath, warm milk, quiet time, reading a book. The old advice is to never eat before bed. However, eating some foods earlier in the evening may help you nod off quicker.

We think of milk first. We grew up with it, and it contains the amino acid tryptophan — also found in turkey — that makes you sleepy. However, milk is far from being the only food that can help you get to sleep faster. Cherries, with their GI score of 20, are high in potassium and antioxidants, which means they aid the immune system. Tart cherries have far are higher in antioxidants than sweet cherries.

Test after test has also shown that tart cherries can significantly aid sleep as well. Cherries, like milk, contain tryptophan. They also contain melatonin, potassium and serotonin — all of which play a role in sleep regulation. Tart cherries have six times more melatonin than sweet cherries. Additionally, anti-inflammatory properties within the fruit can ease pain and aid cognition. Being of sound body and mind can help you drift off.

Multiple studies have seen links between ingesting cherries and sleep. Four of the studies showed that cherries not only increased the amount of sleep people got but also the quality of that sleep. People in the studies didn’t see results immediately; it took five days of enjoying the fruit for them to experience markedly improved sleep.

Unlike ordinary cherries, tart cherries are usually frozen, juiced or dried. Tart cherry juice is by far the easiest way to add the fruit to your day. Tart cherry juice has the highest amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories as compared to dried, frozen or canned cherries. In one study, people with insomnia who drank 16 ounces of tart cherry juice a day got an extra 85 minutes sleep, compared to people drinking a placebo. That much juice has 56 carbs, 10 grams of fiber, 238 calories, 124 percent of your daily vitamin A and 80 percent of your vitamin C.

In a different study, people who drank one ounce of concentrated tart cherry juice twice a day got 39 extra minutes of sleep compared to people drinking a placebo. This shows that, regardless of the amount you drink, adding the juice to your diet can seriously help. Two ounces (one ounce drank twice a day) would have seven grams of carbs and just over one gram of fiber. Adding seven grams of carbs into your day might be a fair trade for a better night’s sleep. However, be sure to read the label to check for added sugar.  

Hopefully, adding cherry juice into your routine can aid you if you have been fighting for better sleep. Little changes, like two ounces of juice, can actually have a significant impact in the long run!
October 30, 2019
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