If you have problems sleeping at night, and find yourself tossing and turning in bed, you may be alone in your bedroom, but you’re not alone in your frustration.
About 60 million Americans suffer insomnia. And it gets worse as you age. For reasons that researchers have not pinned down, sleeplessness is particularly troublesome for folks over the age of 65. Plus, among people still in the workforce, studies say that fatigued, insomnia-afflicted workers cost the US about $63 billion a year in lost productivity.
But researchers at Louisiana State University believe they have a potential answer to some of those restless night.
In a study of people over the age of 50 who were having trouble sleeping, the researchers found that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day – one eight ounce glass in the morning and another at night – enabled the insomniacs to get an average of 84 extra minutes of sleep a night. That’s a remarkable difference.1
The LSU scientists also found, when they tested the participants’ blood, that the tart cherry juice had reduced inflammation. They believe that, in some way, this reduction of inflammation is related to the fact that the juice helps people sleep more easily.
Plus, tart cherry juice contains a fair amount of natural melatonin – pretty much identical to the melatonin your body is supposed to release in the evening to help you feel sleepy.2
Take Advantage of Cherry Power
The antioxidant and inflammation-limiting power of the natural chemicals in tart cherries are now thought to be the source of many other good effects, too.
For instance, in a study at Northumbria University in England, when researchers investigated how consuming tart cherry juice affects sports performance, they found that it could reduce the immediate inflammation – and pain – that takes place in stressed muscles.3
Along with those benefits, the chemicals called anthocyanins found in tart cherries are also proven health-promoters. These pigments, which give the cherries their color, can help your circulation and cardiovascular system.4 And, according to research at Harvard, anthocyanins can significantly lower a man’s risk of erectile dysfunction.5
The Harvard scientists point out that erectile dysfunction causes problems for about half of all middle-aged men. But in their 30-year study, the scientists found that a diet high in fruits like tart cherries that contain anthocyanins can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction by 14 percent.
Either Way, Take a Walk While You’re at It
If you combine your cherry consumption with a regular exercise program – like a brisk walk everyday – the research showed that your erectile dysfunction risk drops by 21 percent.
Harvard investigators have also found that anthocyanins can help your brain resist Parkinson’s disease.
In a two-year study that involved about 80,000 people, the researchers found that the people eating fruits with the most anthocyanins reduced their chances of Parkinson’s by a whopping 40 percent compared to the people who ate the least.6
The reasons that anthocyanins help the body stay healthier include:
- They stimulate the body to produce detoxifying enzymes.7
- They act as antioxidants and fight off oxidative stress.8
- They control and reduce inflammation.9
And if all that weren’t enough to convince you to drink tart cherry juice regularly, evidence from lab tests at the University of Michigan indicate that tart cherry juice could help you lose weight and lower your risk of developing diabetes.10
In the competitive athletic world, tart cherry juice is becoming more popular because of the fact it helps speed recovery from tough workouts. But you don’t have to be an athlete to get a health advantage from tart cherries. Its range of benefits go to work in just about every part of the body.
The impressive evidence of anthocyanins means you might want to take advantage of TheraFlex ACN, Green Valley’s anthocyanin supplement. TheraFlex’s anthocyanins are extracted from aronia berries, the richest source of these nutrients we could find.
Full disclosure: Because cherries are cherries and aronia berries are aronia berries, I can’t promise the cherry studies described above will hold good for TheraFlex. But I do know that other studies confirm aronia berries are a powerful anti-inflammatory.