Friday, 15 January 2016

Tip of The Day #6

The research results are in: quality sleep has a massive impact on your overall health and well-being, and not surprisingly in our pedal to the metal culture, few people are getting enough. According to research almost 25% of people struggle to get the quality sleep they need to function at their best. As a result more and more people are relying on external aids, such as prescription drugs, to remediate their problem.

If you are researching natural ways to alleviate these struggles it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Often old wives tales (which may work) are passed as scientific truths when in fact this is not true. Sometimes, these two paths do cross though, as is the case with tart cherry juice, and recent research looking at its effects on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality.

Cherries are small sweet fruits usually classified into two categories: sweet cherries (Prunus Avium); and tart cherries (Prunus cerasus). Both are nutrient packed, health giving fruits yet, it is the tart cherry which has received much press over the last few years as a natural sleep aid. A study published in 2011 in the European Journal of nutrition examined the effect of 60ml of the juice taken daily and it effects on sleep patterns. While the study was only done on twenty people the results showed improved sleep duration and quality by those who consumed the juice verse the placebo.

As always there are no magic bullets to complex multifaceted issues such as sleep. It takes work, and time, to get to the route of sleep problems, and when we can do something fun, tasty, and easy to stack the odds in our favour it makes sense to do so.

Cherries are generally in season from May through to August. They are also available frozen and dried for the rest of the year, although fresh and local is preferable when available.
When buying cherry juice, or any fruit/vegetable juice for that matter, look for brands which contain 100% percent juice. The juice can be drunk straight or added to smoothies or sparkling water.

Cherries go great with raw chocolate. The rich magnesium content of the chocolate assists in relaxing your muscles for a deeper sleep. Some people find raw chocolate too stimulating. If this is you then skip the recipe below and opt for the straight juice.


•60ml tart cherry juice
•2TB raw cacao powder
•2 cups homemade almond milk
•2TB raw sweetener of choice

Add everything to the blender and blend until smooth. Drink immediately or keep in fridge for as/when required.

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