I am not sure about you, but I am definitely not one of those morning people. You know the kind – those people who get up at 6 a.m. to exercise or walk their dog or leisurely read the newspaper while having their morning coffee. Not only do these people have enough energy to be out and about super early, but they are also usually chirpy and happy in the morning. You know the kind, those people. I love sleeping and if sleeping ever becomes an Olympic sport, then sign me up for I think I can win gold! But one thing I strongly dislike more than morning people is interrupted sleep. Ever had nights when you’re constantly tossing and turning, for some reason your ears decide to become bat ears and you can hear everything from your husband’s snoring, to the dripping faucet and to the stupid clock tick tocking away (I don’t think tick tocking is a real word, but you know what I mean) and your brain decides to go through your endless to do lists? I’ve had my fair share of sleepless nights myself and one day during my research to find something, anything, to help me sleep better, I came across an article that suggested drinking tart cherry juice. Note: if you decide to try tart cherry juice, considering diluting it with some water first because they are not kidding around when they say tart ! Thankfully I came across this recipe that calls for dark cherries in a breakfast parfait. I not only get to eat a healthy breakfast, but I also get the health benefits from having dark cherries. These little jewel like fruit are packed full of nutrition. See below for a list of dark cherries health benefits.
And so if you’re like me and want to find something to help you sleep a little better at night, here’s a recipe for a super awesome and nutrition packed breakfast for you to try:
- ⅓ cup of old fashioned or rolled oat
- ⅓ cup of unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup of 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
- ½ tablespoon of almond butter (optional)*
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
- ½ cup of frozen cherries
- Layer the uncooked oats, then the milk, then the chia seeds, honey, almond butter, Greek yogurt and cherries.
- Cover and leave in fridge overnight.
This recipe comes from fitgirlsguide.com and they have other clean eating recipes to help kick start a healthier you!
You can make several of these cherry pie fridge oats all at once, leave them in the fridge and so every morning, you have an easy and healthy to go breakfast.
Here are some health benefits of dark cherries according to the nervehealthinstitute.com :
Published in the June 2003 Issue of the Journal of Nutrition, a study by R.A. Jacob showed that because cherries inhibit inflammatory pathways, inflammation was decreased by ingesting sweet and/or tart cherries.
Help lower uric acids levels in the body
Because elevated uric acid in the body leads to conditions such as gout, two weeks of drinking 8-16 ounces of any cherry juice helped prevent gout attacks. A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California at Davis in 2003 followed a small sampling of healthy women who consumed sweet cherries, discovering that the urate in plasma decreased by 5h.
Black cherries house powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins whose distinctive red color are a type of phytonutrient known as flavonoids, which have been linked to a variety of health benefits (cancer and heart disease). Studies suggest that these disease-fighting pigments possess anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Black cherries and concord grapes are two of the richest sources of anthocyanins.
Can help you sleep
Black cherries are a natural way to boost melatonin levels since they are one of few known food sources of melatonin, a potent anti-oxidant that is produced naturally by the body’s pineal gland that helps regulate natural sleep patterns. Scientists have found melatonin in black cherries contain more of this powerful antioxidant than what is normally produced by the body.
Reduce oxidative stress
Occurring when free radicals overwhelm the body’s defense, when left unchecked, free radicals rob DNA of its electrons (known as oxidation). Thankfully, the antioxidants in black cherries may neutralize free radicals.
A study published in the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry by N.P. Seeram tested black cherry juice, among others. The juice tested in the top four for potency to inhibit LDL (low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol oxidation).