(Family Features) It’s no secret: Americans are desperate for sleep. In fact, the U.S. sleep aid market is expected to grow to $44 billion by 2020, according to data from Persistence Market Research. However, achieving better sleep may be as easy as changing what you eat.
A survey commissioned by the Cherry Marketing Institute and conducted online by Harris Poll in January 2017 among more than 2,000 adults suggests that Americans may be open to alternate sleep solutions. An overwhelming 83 percent of Americans would prefer to improve their sleep through diet rather than using over-the-counter sleep aids.
One promising solution that doesn’t require a trip down the pharmaceutical aisle: Montmorency tart cherry juice, which has been scientifically studied for its ability to help improve sleep quality and duration. Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.
“Melatonin plays a big role in the sleep equation,” said Dr. Michael Breus, a nationally renowned sleep expert. “Without it, our bodies aren’t triggered to regulate the sleep cycle and therefore, we can’t get the rest we need. One simple, delicious and natural way to incorporate melatonin into your sleep routine is with Montmorency tart cherry juice. Research has shown adding two glasses of Montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily routine can improve your sleep quality and duration.”
A growing body of research suggests Montmorency tart cherry juice may help with sleep-related concerns, such as:
- Improving sleep efficiency
- Reducing the severity of insomnia and sleep disturbances
- Increasing sleep time
Tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms at retailers across the country and online. For additional information, including more recipes like this soothing bedtime tea, visit choosecherries.com.
Tart Cherry Turmeric Bedtime Tea
Recipe courtesy of Kristina LaRue of LoveandZest.com
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 cup Montmorency tart cherry juice
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 bags chamomile tea
- 1/4 cup frozen Montmorency tart cherries
- In small pot or tea kettle, bring tart cherry juice and water to boil. Stir in turmeric and ginger, and pour over tea bags and frozen Montmorency tart cherries. Steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and drink warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute
(Family Features) Eating with heart health on your mind has never tasted so good. While many aspects of life can impact heart health, opting for nutritious foods plays an especially important role.
“Heart-healthy eating can be delicious and on-trend with vibrant colors and sweet-tart flavors. There are simple ways to add nutrient-rich ingredients to your favorite recipes that add depth of flavor and texture, too,” said Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian. “Packed with beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, research shows Montmorency tart cherries may help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and reduce belly fat – all factors linked to heart disease risk.”
Start the day off by blending frozen tart cherries into a Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowl or incorporating dried tart cherries into your favorite trail mix when it’s time for a snack. This heart-healthy, ruby-red fruit has a distinct sweet-tart taste that makes an easy addition to a variety of dishes and is available year-round in dried, frozen, juice and concentrate forms.
To learn more about the health benefits of Montmorency tart cherries and find more delicious recipes, visit ChooseCherries.com.
Recipe courtesy of Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 2 1/2 cups frozen Montmorency tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup almond milk, plus additional (optional)
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
- In separate bowl, stir together oats, salt, cinnamon and almonds. Pour in mixture. Bake about 45 minutes until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes and watching carefully near end of baking, stirring more, if necessary.
- Roughly chop dried cherries.
- When granola is baked, cool slightly then stir in cherries and pepitas.
Note: Granola can be stored in air-tight container up to 1 month.
To make smoothie bowl: Blend together tart cherries, lemon juice, maple syrup, banana and almond milk. If necessary, add additional milk for a smoother consistency.
Serve smoothie in bowl with 1/4 cup tart cherry granola.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute