There Is More To Cherries Than Meets The Eye!

Jonathan G. Michel

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The Leelanau Peninsula (also known as Michigan's little finger), is unlocking its most precious secret: the health benefits of cherries!

We all love cherries because of its flavor, and they've been a long time favorite ingredient for cooking and even some of our drinking delights. But now researchers are alerting us to the fact that there is more to cherries than meets the eye and our taste buds!

There Is Magic In Cherries!

My personal experience with cherries has been more than astonishing. Many years ago (in my thirties), I experienced throbbing and excruciating pain in my left big toe. Practically in tears from the pain, my Mom suggested I had the ‘gout’ and to eat cherries. When I asked her how many, she suggested as much as I could eat. So I went out and bought a medium brown bag of cherries, sat on my bed watching TV, and ate all of them.

Needless to say, that the next day I made regular visits to the bathroom, but it was all worth it. I no longer had the ‘gout’ and never had it since. But that's not all, I slept like a baby! She had spoken from experience, probably passed down from her mother, and her grandmother. So do I believe in the magic of cherries? You bet I do!

Now, researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio has shown that cherries contain significant quantities of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant. According to Dr. Russel J. Reiter, “Tart cherries, specifically the Montmorency variety, contain an extremely significant quantity of melatonin, enough to produce positive results in the body. "

Melatonin is a hormone secreted from the pineal gland; its concentration in the blood varies throughout the day, peaking at night-time, triggering sleepiness. Melatonin levels seem to decrease with age, which may explain why the elderly have more problems sleeping than children. Isn't it ironic how nature seems to be waiting, for those wise enough to discover the truth, as it was intended.

If you're one of more than 90% of North Americans who complain of difficulty sleeping at some point in their lives, and I add have the ‘gout', what are you waiting for? Here are some of the benefits to you.

1. Helps to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep 2. Helps relieve the daytime fatigue associated with jet lag 3. Helps improve your total sleep time when your sleep is restricted or your sleep schedule is altered 4. Last but not least, through personal experience, it will cure your ‘gout’.

You should know that Michigan is the cherry capital of North America, so it's no surprise that researchers at Michigan State University were the first to identify the presence of numerous natural compounds in tart cherries with antioxidant properties, so they say. . These bio active phytochemicals, called anthocyanins, are especially enriched in tart cherries. But were they really the first? I believe that our grandparents and great parents were the first. Not the clinical studies. They are just confirming what our forefathers and mothers already knew. OK, let's give credit where credit is due. They at least can explain the ‘why’ so we can better understand the connection between our bodies and nature, and again, as it was intended!

Why is this important to you? Vitro studies have revealed that anthocyanins are extremely effective in inhibiting the COX enzyme. COX enzymes speed up your body's production of hormone-like substances called prostaglandin's which cause a feeling of discomfort by irritating your nerve endings. Yes I agree, it's too damn complicated. So why not accept the simple truth.

A Cherry a Day. . . Does Keep The Doctor Away!

Actually, you'll need more than one. But, to top it all off, tart cherries are loaded with a variety of nutrients, including vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin B6, thiamine, phosphorus, iron, calcium and potassium.

So if I were you, next time you're feeling all of the above ailments, run to your local grocery store not your doctor. Pills won't do it, or as I say, ‘pills are a band aid solution to make doctors and pharmaceutical drug companies rich'!

Jonathan G. Michel is a strong advocate of alternative medicine as a means of curing certain, if not most, health issues. To learn more about tart cherries and alternative ways of making them a part of your daily diet, click on the link. Copyright © 2006


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