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'America's Super Fruit' May Help Reset Body Clock
Date:3/3/2009

Cherries Offer Natural Source of Antioxidant Melatonin

LANSING, Mich., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Setting the clocks forward this spring can have the unfortunate side effect of disrupting your body's clock. In fact, research indicates that losing even one hour of sleep may affect us for days or even weeks.(i)

Experts recommend the antioxidant melatonin as one way to help regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle. Produced naturally by the body in small amounts, melatonin plays a role in inducing sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day. Recent studies have revealed that frozen tart cherries - "America's Super Fruit" - are one of the few known researched food sources of melatonin.

Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, a nutrition researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center and one of the world's leading authorities on melatonin, says while melatonin supplement pills have been heavily promoted as a sleep aid, foods such as cherries may be a better alternative for boosting the body's own supply of melatonin.

"When eaten regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body's natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep," says Reiter. "And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits."

Melatonin may also be helpful for treating jet lag for international travelers, for new parents who are up all night and for late-shift workers trying to adjust to a new schedule. Increasing melatonin also has been shown to help with sleep-onset insomnia in older adults with a melatonin deficiency.

The Power of Cherries

Instead of sourcing exotic berries from halfway around the world, Americans can find powerful antioxidants in "America's Super Fruit," cherries. Nearly all (94 percent) cherries consumed in the U.S. are g
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SOURCE The Cherry Marketing Institute
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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