Montmorency Tart Cherries – A Powerful Source Of Melatonin

Montmorency tart cherry juice was found to help extend sleep time by 84 minutes among eight study participants, ages 50 and older who suffer from insomnia, according to a new pilot study published in American Journal of Therapeutics. Available data do support the presence of several phytonutrients in Montmorency tart cherries including the phenolic acids—chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and ellagic acid—and the flavonoids—isorhamnetin, kaempferol, quercetin, catechin, epicatechin, procyanidins, and anthocyanins.

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Melatonin Molecule

Tart cherry juice is sour to taste and provides a higher amount of anthocyanins compared to black cherry juice, which is sweeter in taste and has less anthocyanins. Anthocyanins promote anti-inflammatory processes in the body. Both are great, nutritious options.

Cherry juice is not only refreshingly delicious, but it provides some solid health benefits, too. With about 120 calories per 1-cup serving, it’s rich in nutrients like potassium and iron. Like all fruits and vegetables, cherries pack a powerful antioxidant and antiviral punch. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant in cherry juice, are made by plants to fight infection. Research shows that these chemicals can have a significant impact on immune system function.

The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice combined with a dash of sleep-regulating melatonin may help you sleep better, according to a small 2010 study. The results suggest that tart cherry juice has similar effects as insomnia medications like valerian or melatonin on older adults.

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When compared to a placebo, Montmorency tart cherry juice was found to significantly extend sleep time of the senior insomniacs by 84 minutes.

Cherries In Blossom

Sleep is something that is crucial to athletes and their recovery. The cherries naturally produce high levels of melatonin which is a hormone made by the pineal gland, (a small gland in the brain) the melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles.

Drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help you get up to 90 more minutes of sleep each night, according to research from Louisiana State University. In a small study, researchers observed the sleep patterns of 7 adults, then put them on a two-week trial. During the first two weeks, participants drank tart cherry juice twice daily, followed by two weeks of drinking nothing, and then two weeks of knocking back a placebo beverage. The tart cherry juice prompted participants to get, on average, 84 more minutes of sleep each night compared to the placebo.

One working theory why? Tart cherries have more melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleepiness) than any other fruit. They also have tryptophan, a slow-metabolizing amino acid your body uses to create melatonin.

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Our body has its own circadian internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours.

Eight healthy male and female subjects 50 years or older with chronic insomnia and a usual bedtime between 9 p.m. and midnight participated in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Research shows that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice can reduce pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis (OA). A 2012 study showed that drinking cherry juice twice a day for 21 days reduced the pain felt by people with OA. Blood tests also showed that they experienced significantly less inflammation.