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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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Drink This, Sleep Up To 90 More Minutes A Night

Give your box of chamomile a rest. New research presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting finds drinking this twice a day can help you sleep nearly 90 more minutes a night.

Researchers from Louisiana State University had seven older adults with insomnia drink eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks, followed by two weeks of no juice, and then two more weeks of drinking a placebo beverage. Compared to the placebo, drinking the cherry juice resulted in an average of 84 more minutes of sleep time each night.

Cherry juice is a natural source of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan, says study coauthor Frank L. Greenway, director of the outpatient research clinic at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU.

“Proanthocyanidins, or the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan, letting it go to work longer in your body,” he says.

Montmorency cherries are particularly high in those compounds. (The study was funded by the Cherry Marketing Institute, but the group had no role in the study design or outcome.)

Sip on cherry juice to sleep better

Greenway estimates that up to one-third of American adults over age 65 have insomnia, which is defined as having trouble sleeping more than three nights per week.

He believes cherry juice is a safer way to improve sleep quality than going the pharmaceutical route, given the lack of side effects.

“Sleeping pills in the elderly are associated with a 4-fold increase in the prevalence of falls which, at that age, can result in fractures that require surgery,” he explains.

Not a cherry juice fan? Try kiwi.

Eating two kiwi fruits an hour before bed was shown to increase sleep time by 13% and decrease mid-sleep waking periods by 29% after just four weeks, finds a recent Chinese study.

Or incorporate seaweed into your dinner; the ocean vegetable is high in omega-3 DHA, which helped children get an extra full hour of sleep, according to a recent University of Oxford study.


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Foods that can fix your health problems

By Sarah Richards, Health.com     Fri August 30, 2013

A regular breakfast of 100% whole grain cereal with fruit and low-fat milk is great. for maintaining mood balance.

(CNN) – Can’t sleep? Got the PMS blues? Before you open your medicine cabinet, step into your kitchen.

“Real, whole, fresh food is the most powerful drug on the planet,” says the author of “The Blood Sugar Solution” cookbook, Dr. Mark Hyman. “It regulates every biological function of your body.” In fact, recent research suggests not only what to eat but when to eat it for maximum benefit. Check out the latest smart food fixes.

Problem: I’m bloated

Food fix #1: Dig in to juicy fruits and vegetables

When you’re feeling puffy, you may not want to chow down on watery produce, but consuming foods like melon, cucumber and celery is an excellent way to flush out your system, says the author of the book “Food & Mood,” dietician Elizabeth Somer.
5 foods you should never eat

“We need sodium to survive,” she explains, “but because we often eat too much of it, our bodies retain water to dilute the blood down to a sodium concentration it can handle. Eating produce with high water content helps the dilution process, so your body can excrete excess sodium and water.”

Food fix #2: Load up on enzymes

Bloating can also be a sign that your intestines are out of whack. “If you’re irregular or experience gas right after eating, papaya can help,” explains the author of the book “Food as Medicine,” Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa. “Eating 1 cup several times a week helps rejuvenate the gastrointestinal system, thanks to papaya’s digestive enzyme papain, which breaks down protein.”

The fiber also helps push food through your intestines, improving regularity. Try a smoothie with papaya, pineapple (it also contains digestive enzymes), protein powder, ice and almond milk.

Problem: I’m on an emotional roller coaster

Food fix #1: Say yes to breakfast

“People who eat within an hour or two of waking up have a more even mood throughout the rest of the day and perform better at work,” Somer says. British researchers found that study participants who skipped their morning meal did worse on memory tests and were more tired by midday than those who had eaten.

The optimal breakfast includes a whole grain to supply glucose for your brain to run on, protein to satisfy hunger and keep your blood sugar levels steady and one or two antioxidant-rich fruits or vegetables. Somer’s suggestion: a 100% whole-grain cereal that contains at least 4 grams of fiber and no more than 5 grams of sugar, eaten with fruit and low-fat milk.

Food fix #2: Stock up on selenium

A lesser-known trace mineral, selenium – found in Brazil nuts, tuna, eggs and turkey – helps keep you on an even keel. Women whose diets are deficient in the mineral are more prone to feeling depressed.

Why? Selenium is crucial for the production of thyroid hormones, which govern metabolism and mood. You don’t need much, though: The recommended daily allowance for selenium is 55 micrograms, and you can get that amount by eating one 3-ounce can of tuna.

Problem: My skin is acting up

The food fix: Eat your onions

Battling breakouts? The antioxidants in onions and other sulfur-rich veggies tamp down the inflammation that leads to acne, says Dr. Valori Treloar, a dermatologist in Newton, Massachusetts, and co-author of the book “The Clear Skin Diet.” The sulfur in onions, leeks and scallions helps produce a detoxifying molecule called glutathione, which a 2011 study found to be lower in the skin of people who were prone to breakouts.

This antioxidant is most potent when eaten in raw or lightly cooked foods. Try adding chopped scallions to your salad or stirring diced onions into your salsa or stir-fry. Taking folate and vitamin B6 and B12 supplements may also boost glutathione levels.


Problem: I get crazy-bad jet lag

The food fix: Don’t snack on the plane

It’s no fun spending the first days of your vacation trying to acclimate. One surprising secret to avoiding the headaches, irritability and upset stomach of jet lag is to fast for several hours before arriving at your destination. That’s because when you eat influences your circadian rhythms, in much the same way that exposure to light and dark does.

Let’s say you’re headed to France. On the plane, steer clear of most food (but drink plenty of water), set your watch to Paris time and eat a high-protein breakfast at 7 a.m., no matter where you are on your trip.

“The fast depletes your body’s energy stores, so when you eat protein the next morning, you get an extra kick and help your body produce waking-up chemicals,” explains Dave Baurac, spokesperson for the Argonne National Laboratory, a research institute based in Illinois.

Problem: I’m tossing and turning

Food fix #1: Have a late-night morsel

We’ve all been told to avoid eating too close to bedtime, but applying this rule too strictly could actually contribute to sleep woes. As anyone who has tried a fast knows, hunger can make you feel edgy, and animal studies confirm this.

“You need to be relaxed to fall asleep, and having a grumbling stomach is a distraction,” explains Kelly Glazer Baron, an instructor of neurology at Northwestern University and spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “It makes it hard to get to sleep and wakes you up at night.”

The trick is to tame the munchies 30 minutes to an hour before bed with a small snack that includes complex carbohydrates. “Since you metabolize sugars more slowly at night, a complex carb like whole wheat is a better choice,” Baron says. “It keeps your blood sugar levels even.” Try cheese and whole-wheat crackers or almonds and a banana.

Food fix #2: Add cherries

You can boost your snack’s snooze power by washing it down with a glass of tart cherry juice. A recent study of folks with chronic insomnia found that those who downed 8 ounces of juice made from tart Montmorency cherries (available in most grocery stores) one to two hours before bedtime stayed asleep longer than those who drank a placebo juice.

These sour powerhouses – which you can eat fresh, dried or juiced – possess anti-inflammatory properties that may stimulate the production of cytokines, a type of immune-system molecule that helps regulate sleep. Tart cherries are also high in melatonin, a hormone that signals the body to go to sleep and stay that way.

Problem: I have wicked PMS

The food fix: Keep an eye on iron

You might be more susceptible to the monthly blahs if you have low levels of iron, according to a new study. Researchers looked at the diets of 3,000 women over 10 years and found that those who consumed more than 20 milligrams of the mineral daily had about a 40 percent lower risk of PMS than those who ingested less than 10 milligrams.

You can get almost your full daily dose by eating 1 cup of an iron-fortified cereal; other great sources include white beans (4 milligrams per one-half cup) and sautéed fresh spinach (3 milligrams per one-half cup).

The beta-carotene found in carrots is one of the most potent carotenoids and protects your skin from the sun.

Problem: I’m so sensitive to the sun

The food fix: Pile on protective produce

While you still need the usual sun protection (SPF 30 sunscreen as well as a wide-brimmed hat), you may be able to bolster your skin’s own resistance to UV rays with what you eat. The details: Micronutrients called carotenoids in fruits and vegetables protect the skin against sunburn, recent science shows.

“Most topical sunscreens work by filtering out the UV component from the solar light that reaches the skin,” explains researcher Wilhelm Stahl, a professor of biochemistry at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. “But these micronutrients, if you have enough in your system, actually absorb UV light and prevent damage.”

The most potent carotenoids are the beta-carotene found in carrots, endive and spinach – and the lycopene in watermelon and tomatoes. Keep in mind that the effect isn’t instantaneous; you would need to eat a carotenoid-rich diet for at least 10 to 12 weeks in order to get the full benefit, says Stahl. Still, there is a reward for your patience: skin fortified to fend off sun damage and wrinkles.


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What to Eat to Help You Sleep

February 21, 2013    by David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now considers our lack of sleep a “public health epidemic.” Currently, Americans spend more than $84 million on over-the-counter sleep aids each year, leaving many searching for natural, cost-effective ways to help manage their sleep deficit. So, what’s keeping everybody up?

Lack of sleep can be influenced by many factors, from medical illness to side effects of drugs to simply having a lot on your mind. Before trying to remedy your sleep deficit on your own, make sure you investigate whatever might be behind your sleep difficulties and seek proper professional attention. Doing so could save you time, money, and many more sleepless nights.

Prescription and over-the- counter sleep aids unfortunately don’t address the root cause of a sleep disorder. They are a temporary fix until the driving force behind the problem can be addressed. Diet and lifestyle changes may be a natural alternative worthy of discussing with your doc. The types of food and beverages you choose and the way that you consume them can play a major role in influencing sleep.

First, here are a few tips on how to make a bedtime snack really work for you:

Time your snack. Research suggests that bedtime snacks are most effective when they happen an hour before bedtime (not sooner) and contain carbohydrates plus a little protein. A small nutrient-balanced snack causes the brain to produce serotonin, which helps calm and prepare you for sleep.

Plan an early bedtime. Short sleep times can cause an imbalance of the hormones leptin and ghrelin; this imbalance increases hunger and decreases satiety cues. What does that mean? It means not getting enough sleep every night can cause you to eat more and feel hungrier, which can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. So, eat a small snack around 9:00 and try to be in bed by 10:00.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol after 7. Caffeine works as a mild stimulant that causes jitters and gets the brain working into overdrive. If you must have caffeine, make sure you have it no sooner than two to three hours before bedtime. Foods and beverages that contain the most caffeine include coffee, green and black tea, energy drinks, caffeinated sodas like cola and root beer, and chocolate. And research shows that while a drink or two may help you get to sleep, alcohol is disruptive of restful REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.
With those tips in mind, here’s what to chew to help you snooze:


1. Cherries are one of the top foods rich in naturally occurring melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep. One study found that healthy adults experienced improved sleep time and a 5 to 6 percent increase in overall sleep efficiency after drinking two servings of tart cherry juice for a week.

2. Carbohydrates before bedtime are one of the best fuels for cranking out sleep-promoting serotonin. But don’t have fatty fries or chips. Have some warm oatmeal or two slices of whole grain toast with almond butter.

3. Milk is the largest contributor of calcium, vitamin D, and potassium to the American diet. Although the scientific literature is a bit thin on milk’s affect on sleep, the nutrients in milk—specifically calcium and tryptophan—are known to induce sleep. Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan. Milk’s carbohydrates help tryptophan work more effectively, too!

4. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fats. Research shows that omega-3–deficient diets negatively affect the sleep hormone melatonin and its function, and throw off the natural sleep cycle called “circadian rhythm,” which can lead to sleep disturbances.

5. Chicken is naturally high in the amino acid precursor to melatonin called tryptophan. I’m sure you were thinking that turkey might have a leg up on the competition, but that’s not the case. Tryptophan helps produce the neurotransmitter serotonin, which in turn makes us feel more relaxed and sleepy.

6. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of the mineral magnesium, as well as an excellent source of tryptophan. Low magnesium levels have been associated with a poor night’s sleep. Eating a handful of pumpkin seeds was found to be as effective in improving tryptophan levels in the body as taking tryptophan supplements.

7. Walnuts contain a number of nutrients that support a relaxed and healthy nervous system. These include omega-3 fats, vitamin E, folate, and melatonin. Research shows that the melatonin in walnuts is well absorbed and will raise blood melatonin concentrations when eaten in moderation.

David Grotto, RD, LDN, formerly the national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, he is now the founder and president of Nutrition Housecall, a nutrition consulting firm that provides nutrition communications, lecturing and consulting services, and also offers personalized at-home dietary services. He is the author of 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life and 101 Optimal Life Foods.


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20 Pain Killers in your Kitchen

A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO TAKING MEDICATION
20 Painkillers in Your Kitchen

Make muscle pain a memory with ginger

When Danish researchers asked achy people to jazz up their diets with ginger, it eased muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 63 percent of them within two months. Experts credit ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended dose: Add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.

Cure a toothache with cloves

Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic. Bonus: Sprinkling a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your ticker. Scientists say this simple action helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as three weeks.

Heal heartburn with cider vinegar

Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before every meal, and experts say you could shut down painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. “Cider vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus, triggering heartburn pain,” explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, AL.


Erase earaches with garlic

Painful ear infections drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices every year. To cure one fast, just place two drops of warm garlic oil into your aching ear twice daily for five days. This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds, say experts at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria. To whip up your own garlic oil gently simmer three cloves of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks, suggests Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy. For an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.


Chase away joint and headache pain with cherries

Latest studies show that at least one in four women is struggling with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, a daily bowl of cherries could ease your ache, without the stomach upset so often triggered by today’s painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing ’s Michigan State University . Their research reveals that anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red color, are anti-inflammatories 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and aspirin. “Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat, many different kinds of pain,” explains Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of food science at Michigan State University . His advice: Enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily, then continue until your pain disappears.


Fight tummy troubles with fish
Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching 18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead , MA . For best results, look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.


Prevent PMS with yogurt
Up to 80 percent of women will struggle with premenstrual syndrome and its uncomfortable symptoms, report Yale researchers. The reason: Their nervous systems are sensitive to the ups and downs in estrogen and progesterone that occur naturally every month. But snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day can slash these symptoms by 48 percent, say researchers at New York ’s Columbia University . “Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux,” explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University .


Tame chronic pain with turmeric

Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually three times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50 percent of people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to Cornell researchers. That’s because turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, naturally shuts down cyclooxygenase 2, an enzyme that churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book, Reversing Diabetes. The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of this spice daily onto any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.


End endometrial pain with oats

The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating cells can turn menstruation into a misery, causing so much inflammation that they trigger severe cramping during your period, plus a heavy ache that drags on all month long. Fortunately, scientists say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for up to 60 percent of women within six months. That’s because oats don’t contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear, explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Colombia University .


Soothe foot pain with salt

Experts say at least six million Americans develop painful ingrown toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt water baths can cure these painful infections within four days, say scientists at California ’s Stanford University . The salt in the mix naturally nixes inflammation, plus it’s anti-bacterial, so it quickly destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain. Just mix 1 teaspoon of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20 minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.


Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple

Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California ’s Stanford University . That’s because pineapple is natually packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.


Relax painful muscles with peppermint

Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.


Give your back some TLC with grapes

Got an achy back? Grapes could be the ticket to a speedy recovery. Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood flow to damaged back tissues (and often within three hours of enjoying the first bowl). That’s great news because your back’s vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.


Wash away pain injuries with water

Whether it’s your feet, your knees or your shoulders that are throbbing, experts at New York ’s Manhattan College , say you could kick-start your recovery in one week just by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Why? Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out, histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues. “Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones, your joints’ lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your spine,” adds Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book, The Good Mood Diet. “And when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move and glide over each other without causing pain.” One caveat: Be sure to measure your drinking glasses to find out how large they really are before you start sipping, she says. Today’s juice glasses often hold more than 12 ounces, which means five servings could be enough to meet your daily goal.


Heal sinus problems with horseradish

Latest studies show sinusitis is the nation’s number one chronic health problem. And this condition doesn’t just spur congestion and facial pain, it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over. Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.


Beat bladder infections with blueberries

Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection (UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University .


Heal mouth sores with honey

Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates . Raw honey’s natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.


Fight breast pain with flax

In one recent study, adding 3 tablespoons of ground flax to their daily diet eased breast soreness for one in three women within 12 weeks. Scientists credit flax’s phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds that prevent the estrogen spikes that can trigger breast pain. More good news: You don’t have to be a master baker to sneak this healthy seed into your diet. Just sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or add it to smoothies and veggie dips.


Cure migraines with coffee

Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.


Tame leg cramps with tomato juice

At least one in five people regularly struggle with leg cramps. The culprit? Potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily and you’ll not only speed your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.


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6 Foods for Better Sleep

by Maren Kasselik 

Instead of downing a glass of vino or popping a sedative, try fighting insomnia au naturale next time—through melatonin. There’s been a lot of buzz concerning the antioxidant lately, and for a good reason: It controls your internal clock. Like an electric alarm clock that can be set and reset, your body’s is adjustable as well.
In a recent study, for example, people who drank an ounce of cherry juice twice a day for a week enjoyed an extra 25 minutes of sleep every night and slept more soundly.
How? Tart cherry juice is laced with tryptophan, an essential amino acid that converts into serotonin, which, in turn, transforms into melatonin in your body, says study coauthor Jason Ellis, Ph.D., the director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research.
Your body naturally creates melatonin—a neurotransmitter—in the pineal gland throughout the day to control your internal clock, Ellis explained toMen’s Health.


Melatonin stabilizes your sleep and wakefulness patterns by regulating the chemicals in your body that make you feel either drowsy or alert—it doesn’t induce sleep like a pill might. If you’re a shift worker, you’re trying to overcome jetlag, or if you’re struggling with random bouts of sleeplessness, increasing your melatonin levels can help you overcome a mismatch between the timing of your internal clock and your environmental routine, Ellis says.

Apart from tart cherries, there are other melatonin-producing food sources you can eat to increase your circulating melatonin. These foods will boost your melatonin the most (in nanograms produced per gram eaten):
Raspberries 387
Almonds 39
Sunflower seeds 29
Tart cherries (up to) 15
Flaxseeds 12
Strawberries (up to) 11

Sources: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition and Food Chemistry      menshealth.com

November 9, 2011       Additional research by Laura Roberson


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Osteoarthritis Patients May Benefit From Drinking Tart Cherry Juice

Jun 2012

Tart cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food, according to researchers, and may help individuals suffering from osteoarthritis manage their disease.

The study, conducted by researchers from Oregon Health and Science University, involved 20 women aged 40-70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis. The study was presented May 30th at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference (ACSM) in San Francisco, California.

The researchers found that drinking tart cherry juice two times per day for three weeks resulted in considerable reductions in vital inflammation markers, especially for participants who had the highest inflammation levels at the start of the study.

Lead researcher of the study, Kerry Kuehl, M.D., Dr.PH., M.S., Oregon Health & Science University, said:

“With millions of Americans looking for ways to naturally manage pain, it’s promising that tart cherries can help, without the possible side effects often associated with arthritis medications. I’m intrigued by the potential for a real food to offer such a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit – especially for active adults.”

 

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, athletes are at particular risk for developing osteoarthritis, due to excessive joint use that can a breakdown in cartilage and lead to pain and injury.

Kuehl’s previous research suggests that the inflammation benefits of tart cherries, available in dried, frozen and juice forms, could be particularly important for athletes. Kuehl found that individuals who drank tart cherry juice while training for a long distance run experienced considerably less pain after exercise than those who didn’t.

The antioxidant compounds in tart cherries, called anthocyanins, provide the fruit’s bright color and have been associated to high antioxidant capacity and reduced inflammation, at levels similar to some popular pain medications.

A daily dose of tart cherries (as cherry extract) reduced osteoarthritis pain by over 20% in most people, according to results from a study conducted by researchers at Baylor Research Institute.

Furthermore, the antioxidant compounds in cherries have also been shown to reduce muscle and joint soreness.

Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center for Sports Medicine, said:

“Why not eat red when there’s so much science to support the anti-inflammatory benefits of this Super Fruit? And for athletes whose palates prefer the tart-sweet flavor profile of tart cherries, it’s the optimal ingredient.”

To learn more about the body of research supporting tart cherries’ pain-fighting properties click here to download The Red Report. There, you can also reference The Red Recovery Routine, a guide to help people train to manage pain with tart cherries.

Written By Grace Rattue 

source: Medical News Today


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Osteoarthritis Patients May Benefit From Drinking Tart Cherry Juice

Jun 2012

Tart cherries have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food, according to researchers, and may help individuals suffering from osteoarthritis manage their disease.

The study, conducted by researchers from Oregon Health and Science University, involved 20 women aged 40-70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis. The study was presented May 30th at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference (ACSM) in San Francisco, California.

The researchers found that drinking tart cherry juice two times per day for three weeks resulted in considerable reductions in vital inflammation markers, especially for participants who had the highest inflammation levels at the start of the study.

Lead researcher of the study, Kerry Kuehl, M.D., Dr.PH., M.S., Oregon Health & Science University, said:

“With millions of Americans looking for ways to naturally manage pain, it’s promising that tart cherries can help, without the possible side effects often associated with arthritis medications. I’m intrigued by the potential for a real food to offer such a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit – especially for active adults.”

Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of arthritis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, athletes are at particular risk for developing osteoarthritis, due to excessive joint use that can a breakdown in cartilage and lead to pain and injury.

Kuehl’s previous research suggests that the inflammation benefits of tart cherries, available in dried, frozen and juice forms, could be particularly important for athletes. Kuehl found that individuals who drank tart cherry juice while training for a long distance run experienced considerably less pain after exercise than those who didn’t.

The antioxidant compounds in tart cherries, called anthocyanins, provide the fruit’s bright color and have been associated to high antioxidant capacity and reduced inflammation, at levels similar to some popular pain medications.

A daily dose of tart cherries (as cherry extract) reduced osteoarthritis pain by over 20% in most people, according to results from a study conducted by researchers at Baylor Research Institute.

Furthermore, the antioxidant compounds in cherries have also been shown to reduce muscle and joint soreness.

Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center for Sports Medicine, said:

“Why not eat red when there’s so much science to support the anti-inflammatory benefits of this Super Fruit? And for athletes whose palates prefer the tart-sweet flavor profile of tart cherries, it’s the optimal ingredient.”

To learn more about the body of research supporting tart cherries’ pain-fighting properties click here to download The Red Report. There, you can also reference The Red Recovery Routine, a guide to help people train to manage pain with tart cherries.

Written By Grace Rattue 

source: Medical News Today