Which foods help you sleep better? The Nutrition Breakthroughs Blog has provided several articles on the best sleep inducing foods, and those that follow below are the top five most popular articles of all time.
This article features a chart that summarizes research studies on foods that are high in the natural sleep hormone known as melatonin. What foods are high in melatonin? Find out more about walnuts, cherries, almonds and more. Also included in this article are good sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.
Melatonin levels start rising in the evening and go up to a peak level in the early hours of the morning, perhaps around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m, and then they reduce. This may partially explain why some people can sleep fine for a few hours and then suddenly find themselves wide awake and unable to go back to sleep.
Do bananas help you sleep? Learn more about the research study that shows how tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapples increase melatonin in the body. It was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.
This article focuses on articles from research journals that have studied which foods are best for inducing sleep, and it also has some doctor recommendations on good bedtime snacks.
This collection of natural health articles on sleep helping foods is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001.
Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Which foods help you sleep better?
Studies have shown that certain foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and can help with a better night’s sleep. These include bananas, almonds, walnuts and tart cherries or their juice. Magnesium rich foods include yogurt, avocado, figs, nut butter, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
What foods are high in melatonin?
Learn more about walnuts, tart cherries, almonds, bananas and more. Also included in this article are good food sources of potassium, calcium and magnesium – all proven to help remedy insomnia.
Do bananas help you sleep?
Bananas are very high in potassium and a deficiency of potassium can interfere with restful sleep. Eating a banana before bedtime may help reduce nighttime awakenings and provide a better, deeper night’s sleep. Potassium is found abundantly in fresh vegetables and fruits, so these are a good focus as opposed to eating a lot of processed or packaged foods containing high salt.
What foods are sleep inducing?
Studies have shown that the following foods and beverages are sleep inducing: Bananas, tart cherries, tart cherry juice, almonds, walnuts, yogurt, salmon, pumpkin seeds, pineapple, nut butter, turkey, kiwi fruit and warm milk. Soothing teas shown to help sleep include chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and passionflower.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
*************************************** While the importance of vitamin D has become more fully appreciated, another vitamin that is just as important as vitamin D, vitamin K2, needs wider recognition. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin most well known for its role in blood clotting.
However, there are two primary kinds of vitamin K, and they serve very different functions. Vitamin K1 is the primary form of vitamin K responsible for blood clotting, whereas vitamin K2 is essential for bone strength, the health of arteries and blood vessels, and plays a role in other biological processes as well, including tissue renewal and cell growth.
In the 2014 paper, “Vitamin K: An old vitamin in a new perspective,” vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick and co-authors review the history of vitamin K and its many benefits, including its significance for skeletal and cardiovascular health. They also discuss important drug interactions.
Vitamins K1 and K2 are Not Interchangeable
The difference between vitamins K1 and K2 was first established in the Rotterdam Study, published in 2004. A variety of foods were measured for vitamin K content, and vitamin K1 was found to be present in high amounts in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage.
Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is only present in fermented foods. It’s produced by certain bacteria during the fermentation process. Interestingly, while the K1 in vegetables is poorly absorbed, virtually all of the K2 in fermented foods is readily available to your body.
Examples of foods high in vitamin K2 include raw dairy products such as certain cheeses, raw butter, and kefir, as well as natto (a fermented soy product) and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut.
However, not every strain of bacteria makes K2, so not all fermented foods will contain it. For example, pasteurized dairy and products from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are NOT high in K2 and should be avoided. Only grass-fed animals (not grain fed) will develop naturally high K2 levels.
Most commercial yogurts are virtually devoid of vitamin K2, and while certain types of cheeses, such as Gouda, Brie, and Edam are high in K2, others are not. It really depends on the specific bacteria present during the fermentation.
One of the best sources I’ve found is to ferment your own vegetables using a special starter culture designed with bacterial strains that produce vitamin K2.
My research team found we could get 400 to 500 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K2 in a two-ounce serving of fermented vegetables using such a starter culture, which is a clinically therapeutic dose.
If you want to learn more about making your own fermented vegetables with a starter culture, you can watch the video at Mercola.com.
Sub-Categories of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 (a fat-soluble vitamin) can be broken into two additional categories, called:
MK-4 (menaquinone-4), a short-chain form (a type of fat) of vitamin K2 found in butter, egg yolks, and animal-based foods. Short chain fats are often liquid at room temperature.
Avoid this in supplemental form, as it’s only available in synthetic form. MK-4 also has a very short biological half-life (the time it takes to reduce the amount of a supplement by one-half in the body) — about one hour— making it a poor candidate as a dietary supplement.
MK-7 (menaquinone-7), longer-chain forms. (A longer chain form has more chains of carbon atoms). (These are fats that are solid at room temperature) and found in fermented foods. There’s a variety of these long-chain forms but the most common one is MK-7.
This is the one you’ll want to look for in supplements, as this form is extracted from real food, specifically natto, a fermented soy product. You could actually get loads of MK-7 from consuming natto, which is relatively inexpensive and available in most Asian food markets.
The MK-7, which forms in the fermentation process, has two major advantages. It stays in your body longer, and has a longer half-life, which means you can just take it once a day in very convenient dosing.
Research has shown MK-7 helps prevent inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory markers (substances) produced by white blood cells called monocytes.
Health Effects of Vitamin K2 Deficiency
Vitamin K2 is an important adjunct to vitamin D, without which vitamin D cannot work properly. K2’s biological action is also impaired by a lack of vitamin D, so you really need to consider these two nutrients together.
This means that if you take high doses of oral vitamin D you need to remember to also increase your vitamin K2 intake from either food or a MK-7 supplement. Failing to do so could cause harm, as without K2, your body will not be able to complete the transport of calcium into the proper areas, and arterial calcification could set in.
If you get your vitamin D primarily from sun exposure then this issue is largely circumvented, as your body is then able to regulate its vitamin D production. You simply cannot overdose on vitamin D from sun exposure.
Vitamins D and K2 also work synergistically with magnesium and calcium, so this quartet should ideally be taken in combination. Unfortunately, most people are deficient in both vitamins D and K, and magnesium insufficiency is also common.
At least 50 percent of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, and as many as 97 percent may be lacking in vitamin K2. This could very well be due to the fact that we stopped eating fermented foods with the advent of refrigeration and other food processing techniques.
While you likely get sufficient amounts of vitamin K from your diet to maintain adequate blood clotting, you’re probably not getting enough to protect you from a variety of other health problems that are more specifically associated with vitamin K2, such as:
Arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease
Leukemia and cancer of the lung, prostate, and liver
Neurological deficiencies, including dementia
Infectious diseases such as pneumonia
Beware: Statins May Deplete Vitamin K2
Statins are a group of drugs that act to reduce levels of fats, including cholesterol, in the blood. Besides a vitamin K2-poor diet, certain drugs may affect your vitamin K2 status. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests statin drugs may increase calcification in the arteries, and other research shows that statins deplete vitamin K2.
You may be aware that statin users need to take CoQ10 (or ubiquinol) as the drug depletes this nutrient, but they may also need vitamin K2 in order to avoid the cardiovascular risks associated with statins.
Why Vitamin K Is Critical for Cardiovascular Health
In the 1980s, it was discovered that vitamin K is needed to activate the protein osteocalcin, which is found in your bone. A decade or so later, another vitamin K-dependent protein was discovered: matrix Gla protein (MGP), found in your vascular (heart) system.
Without vitamin K, these and other vitamin K-dependent proteins remain inactivated, and cannot perform their biological functions. Another important finding was that MGP strongly inhibits calcification. When MGP remains inactivated, you end up with serious arterial calcifications, and this is why vitamin K is so crucial for cardiovascular health. Evidence suggests vitamin K can even reverse arterial calcification induced by vitamin K deficiency.
Vitamin K2 also helps prevent arterial calcification by shuttling calcium away from areas where it shouldn’t be (in the lining of your blood vessels) to where it’s really needed (such as in your bone). In the Rotterdam Study,which ran for 10 years, those who consumed the greatest amounts of K2 had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular calcification, and the lowest chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.
People who consumed 45 mcg of K2 daily lived seven years longer than people getting 12 mcg per day. This was a profound discovery, because such a correlation did not exist for K1 intake. In a subsequent trial called the Prospect Study, 16,000 people were followed for 10 years. Here, they found that each additional 10 mcg of K2 in the diet resulted in nine percent fewer cardiac events.
More recently, a study published in a medical journal on circulation, found that MK-7 supplementation improved arterial stiffness in otherwise healthy postmenopausal women. This study has been lauded as significant because while previous studies have only been able to show an association, this is the first to confirm that long-term use of vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 does result in improved cardiovascular health.
Vitamin K2 Is Crucial for Osteoporosis Prevention
As mentioned, vitamin K2 also plays a crucial role in bone health,and may be critical for the prevention of osteoporosis. Osteocalcin is a protein produced by your osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation), and is utilized within the bone as an integral part of the bone-forming process. However, osteocalcin must be “carboxylated” (take part in a salt-like reaction) before it can be effective. Vitamin K functions as a cofactor for the enzyme that catalyzes (allows) the carboxylation of osteocalcin.
A number of Japanese trials have shown that vitamin K2 completely reverses bone loss and in some cases even increases bone mass in people with osteoporosis. The pooled evidence of seven Japanese trials also show that vitamin K2 supplementation produces a 60 percent reduction in vertebral fractures and an 80 percent reduction in hip and other non-vertebral fractures.
A recent Chinese meta-analysisof 19 randomized controlled trials found that vitamin K2 supplementation significantly improved vertebral bone density in postmenopausal women, and reduced the risk of bone fractures.
Another three-year long placebo-controlled study done in the Netherlands found that postmenopausal women taking 180 mcg of MK-7 per day increased their bone strength and saw a decrease in the rate of age-related bone mineral decline and reduced loss of bone density, compared to those taking a placebo.
Vitamin K2 Is Also Important for Healthy Pregnancy, Cancer Prevention, and More
Vitamin K2 also plays an important role throughout pregnancy and during breastfeeding for the healthy growth of the child. Not only does it affect the development of both primary and adult teeth; it also helps develop proper facial form and strong bones. (During childhood, vitamin K2 helps prevent cavities.) It may be particularly important during the third trimester, as most women’s levels tend to drop at that time, indicating there’s an additional drain on the system toward the end of the pregnancy.
Since there are no reported cases of overdose of vitamin K2, and appears to have no toxicity issues, it may be prudent to double or even triple your intake while pregnant. Cancer prevention is another health benefit of vitamin K2. The 2010 European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study found that high intake of vitamin K2 — not K1 — leads to reduced cancer risk, as well as a 30 percent lower risk of dying from cancer.
The evidence also suggests vitamin K2 may reduce the risk for a type of lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Mayo Clinic researchers discovered that people with the highest intake of vitamin K2 had a 45 percent lower risk for this type of cancer, compared to those with the lowest vitamin K2 intake. They attribute this effect to vitamin K2’s ability to inhibit inflammatory cytokines, which are related to this type of lymphoma, and its role the life cycle of your cells. Researchers are also looking into other health benefits.
Vitamin K2 has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity; people who get the most vitamin K2 from their foods are about 20 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes
One 2012 study found vitamin K2 has the potential to improve disease activity in those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
Another study, found that vitamin K2 serves as an electron carrier for the energy producing portion of our cells, thereby helping maintain normal ATP production (ATP is the energy factory in our cells) and preventing dysfunction, such as that found in Parkinson’s disease
According to Dr. Holick’s paper, vitamin K2 has anti-inflammatory,
anti-oxidative, and anticarcinogenic properties, and in addition to cancer and diabetes, MK-7 in particular may also offer benefits for age-related macular degeneration in the eyes.
Are You Getting Enough Vitamin K?
Clearly, you want both vitamin K1 and K2, but you’re virtually guaranteed to not get enough K2 from your diet unless you eat the proper fermented foods. Dietary sources of vitamin K1 include:
Kale Spinach Collard Greens Broccoli Brussels Sprouts
As for a clinically useful dosage of vitamin K2, some studies — including the Rotterdam study — have shown as little as 45 micrograms (mcg) per day is sufficient. As a general guideline, I recommend getting around 150 mcg of vitamin K2 per day. Others recommend slightly higher amounts; upwards of 180 to 200 mcg. You can obtain healthy amounts (about 200 mcg) of K2 by eating 15 grams (half an ounce) of natto each day, or fermented vegetables. If you fermented them using a starter culture designed with vitamin K2-producing bacteria, one ounce will give you about 200 to 250 mcgs.
If you opt for a vitamin K2 supplement, make sure it’s MK-7. Also remember to take it with fat since it’s fat-soluble and won’t be absorbed otherwise. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about overdosing on K2, as it appears to be completely non-toxic. People have been given a thousand-fold “overdose” over the course of three years, showing no adverse reactions (i.e., no increased clotting tendencies).
That said, people who are taking vitamin K antagonists, i.e. drugs that reduce blood clotting by reducing the action of vitamin K, are advised to avoid MK-7 supplements. As a last tip, keep in mind that vitamin K2 may not necessarily make you “feel better” per se. Its internal workings are such that you’re not likely to feel the difference physically. Compliance can therefore be a problem, as people are more likely to take something that has a noticeable effect. This may not happen with vitamin K2, but that certainly does not mean it’s not doing anything.
This article is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, and Joints and More, the natural remedy for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.
Millions of people worldwide would like to have stronger, longer, more brilliant looking hair and nails. There are very few nutritional supplements supported by research studies showing they help hair growth and nail strength, but MSM for hair growth is one of them.
According to the book “The Miracle of MSM” by doctors Jacob and Lawrence, “MSM is one-third sulfur and sulfur has the reputation for being nature’s ‘beauty mineral’ for keeping the hair healthy and the complexion youthful.”
MSM sulfur (methyl-sulphonyl-methane) is a white, odorless, water-soluble element found in nature and in foods such as milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. It is especially high in eggs, onions, garlic, asparagus and broccoli. Sulfur has a long tradition of healing and throughout history, doctors have prescribed mineral hot springs rich in sulfur to their ill patients. Food processing methods such as heating, washing and freezing, all deplete MSM in foods, making daily replenishment beneficial.
While MSM is best known for its arthritis and pain relieving benefits, it also helps to form keratin, which is the main protein found in hair, nails and skin. The ‘beauty mineral’ study was published in Total Health Magazine and is called “MSM – Increased Hair Growth, Nail Length and Nail Thickness”, by Ronald M. Lawrence, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence says: “We completed a placebo-controlled trial over the course of six weeks showing that 100 percent of the subjects on MSM had increased hair growth, compared to the group on placebo. 30 percent of the subjects on MSM showed improvement in hair brilliance, while none of the subjects on placebo showed such an improvement.”
The hair trial involved a total of 21 patients; 16 women and 5 men. Data was collected by certified cosmetologists under the doctor’s direction. The trial measurements included hair length, brilliance, and diameter of the individual hair shafts using industry standard measurement scales. All subjects supplemented with MSM were impressed with the changes in the health and appearance of their hair. The cosmetologists could literally differentiate which participants had taken MSM for hair growth by the appearance of their hair alone, after six weeks of use.
A second placebo-controlled trial, conducted simultaneously, showed that 50 percent of the subjects on MSM showed increased nail length, nail strength, and nail thickness compared to the group on placebo. Dr. Lawrence says: ”Based on the results of the two trials, we concluded that oral supplementation with MSM is a valuable addition to hair and nail growth. Hair and nail health was significantly improved in a short term of six weeks.”
One example of a natural remedy that contains all the benefits of MSM is Joints and More from Nutrition Breakthroughs. Joints and More is made from “organic” sulfur (meaning coming from living things) and is a 99% pure, simple molecule, indistinguishable from a molecule of MSM found in nature.
Stanley Jacob, M.D. the co-discoverer and ‘Father of MSM’ says: “MSM is a surprising supplement. When you start taking it, you may notice a number of good things happening in your life in addition to natural pain relief, natural joint relief, and allergy relief – such as more energy, cosmetic benefits such as softer skin, thicker hair and stronger nails; as well as decreased scar tissue and relief of constipation.”
There is a very helpful chart below that contains hand exercises for easing and relieving arthritis pain. These movements can also be of assistance with wrist soreness and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some other good tips for managing arthritis and reducing pain would be to do some regular gentle physical exercise such as taking light walks or swimming, getting a good night’s sleep each night, and taking fish oil supplements and MSM to reduce inflammation and soreness.
Ginger for Arthritis
Arthritis causes pain, swelling, and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects the hands, knees, hips or spine.
A recent study published in the journal “Arthritis” found that a standardized ginger extract is as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone for all types of arthritis, but without the many side effects the drug is known for (fluid accumulation, nausea, adrenal gland suppression, insomnia and depression).
Studies on MSM for Arthritis
Sulfur-containing compounds such as MSM hold great promise for people with joint-cartilage problems. It has been shown in studies to remedy arthritis and provide relief. Sulfur is particularly concentrated in the joints, nails, skin, hair and connective tissues.
MSM sulfur is a white, water-soluble element found in nature and in foods such as milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. Food processing methods such as heating, washing and freezing all deplete MSM in foods, making regular replenishment beneficial.
In one study of MSM, University of California School of Medicine professor Ronald Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., followed 16 patients with degenerative arthritis – a form of joint disease. The patients who took MSM daily for six weeks reported an 80 percent reduction in pain. Dr. Lawrence has also conducted studies showing that MSM increases hair growth and brilliance, as well as nail thickness and length.
This health information is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II, and the natural solution for arthritis, joint relief, pain relief and increased energy that contains natural MSM, Joints and More.
Enjoy the chart below and put it to good use!
In the quest for a good, restful night’s sleep with less tossing and turning, people are reaching out to learn more about natural sleep aids and sleep-inducing foods.
At the top of many sleep food lists are almonds – a healthy food that’s high in two of the best-known sleep substances – magnesium and melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced by a gland located in the center of the brain. At night or in the dark, this gland naturally releases melatonin to regulate the sleep cycle. A recent study appeared in the journal Nutrients called Dietary Sources of Melatonin.
The researchers in this study say that in the realm of plant foods, nuts contain the highest amount of melatonin. Almonds, walnuts and pistachios have good amounts of it. The study goes on to say it’s a proven fact that melatonin concentration in human blood can significantly increase after a person eats some melatonin-containing food.
Almonds are a special nut as they contain the highest magnesium levels. One ounce of almonds, which is about a handful or 23 nuts, contains 80 milligrams of magnesium. This is 20% of the suggested daily value of 400 milligrams.
Magnesium has the ability to promote sleep and this is thought to be linked to its actions in lessening inflammation in the body. In a study from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran, research was done with 46 adults who were experiencing insomnia. Taking two magnesium tablets twice a day resulted in significant increases in sleep duration and reduced cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone made by the adrenal glands that can keep people awake.
A study on almonds for sleep in animals was reported in the Journal of Natural Medicine. A water-based extract of almonds was used in the study. With the almond extract, the scientists observed a significant prolongation of total sleeping time as well as significant increases in the deepest levels of sleep. The results suggest that a water-based extract of almond has significant sedative effects, which may support its therapeutic use for insomnia.
To increase magnesium in one’s diet, almonds can be eaten as a snack before bedtime and may also be used in any recipe that calls for walnuts, pecans or other nuts. Some ideas are to include them in granola mixtures, baked goods, fruit salads, vegetables and yogurt. Soaking raw almonds in a bowl of water overnight and drying them in the oven at low heat is known to increase their nutritional value and help with digestion, however this isn’t necessary in order to enjoy their benefits.
Besides magnesium, almonds are also bursting with many other nutrients. Jenny Heap, a registered dietitian with the Almond Board of California, says that “Almonds have been studied extensively for their benefits on heart health, diabetes and weight management. The unique nutrient combination of almonds consists of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats, plus key nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium. This makes them a heart-healthy snack.”
Jenny Heap continues, saying: “Ounce for ounce, almonds are higher in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin (vitamin B-2) and niacin than any other tree nut. Every one-ounce serving of about 23 almonds provides 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, plus 35% of the daily value of vitamin E, 20% of magnesium, 20% of vitamin B-2, 8% of calcium and 6% of potassium. In addition, almonds are a low-glycemic index food that helps stabilize blood sugar levels.” (Quotes are courtesy of the Live Science website).
One magnesium-based supplement shown to be effective for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This formula contains highly absorbable forms of magnesium and calcium, which are the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for menopause insomnia, teenage insomnia, heart health, restless legs syndrome and bone strength.
Sleep Minerals II also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals II – I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them. I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.”
A healthy plan for good sleep is to make good use of magnesium-rich foods such as almonds and also include an effective magnesium and calcium supplement for natural relief of sleeplessness.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Not only are cherries one of the most satisfying and delicious foods around, they are rated by the American Journal of Nutrition in the “Top 50 List” of foods with the most powerful nutritional content and health benefits.
It’s the deep red, blue and purple colors of the top berries that contain the plant chemicals delivering a potent punch against disease. Recent research studies have discovered the health benefits of cherries include muscle pain relief, reducing inflammation, remedying insomnia, protection of brain cells, and relief for knee arthritis.
Many of the scientific studies on cherries are done with tart cherries or Montmorency cherries — usually sold as juice, dried, frozen, and in powdered supplement capsules. For those seeking a food-based remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, the tart Montmorency cherry is known to contain high levels of melatonin, the hormone made in the brain that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
The European Journal of Nutrition presented a placebo-controlled study that proved drinking tart cherry juice increases melatonin and improves sleep quality. Drinking the juice resulted in longer sleep times, less daytime napping and greater overall sleep efficiency (the ratio of the time spent in bed to the time actually spent sleeping).
Cherries also give proven relief for people who would like to reduce muscle pain or soreness after exercise or a lot of physical activity. A study from a sports nutrition journal discovered that runners who drank tart cherry juice prior to and during a race, experienced much less pain afterwards. The high levels of anti-inflammatory properties in cherries provided a protective effect against muscle damage.
In the battle against belly fat, cherries can be a good weapon. In one animal study from the University of Michigan, scientists mixed whole tart cherry powder in with a high fat diet. The animals that ate the cherries had a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and significantly lower levels of the kind of inflammation that’s linked to heart disease and diabetes in humans.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It causes chronic joint pain, swelling, and reduced motion in joints. It can occur in any joint, but usually it affects hands, knees, hips or spine. In a recent study at the Baylor Research Institute, scientists gave tart cherry powder in capsules to people with knee osteoarthritis. At the end of the eight week study, over 50% of the people benefited with good increases in movement and significant reduction of pain.
Gout is a kind of arthritis that can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually in a big toe or in other bones of the foot. A study from the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.
For better brain health as one ages, a study from the journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry has proven that tart cherries protect brain cells from cell-damaging stress in a dose-dependent manner. In other words, when more cherries are eaten, there are more neuro-protective benefits for the brain. This shows a potential defense against conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Cherries are certainly a delicious way to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as to help with a stronger heart and brain and ease insomnia and sleeplessness. Calcium and magnesium are also proven remedies for insomnia. Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs is a popular supplement that contains highly absorbable forms of these minerals and is effective for an inability to sleep, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia.
Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals II — I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them. I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs, makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
A study from the journal “Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity” (see definition for “oxidative” below), has demonstrated that vitamin E can prevent and treat the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs as people age. Vitamin E was also shown in recent research from “Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation” to be a natural alternative to estrogen therapy and an effective remedy for hot flashes and night sweats.
Regarding the word “oxidative”, this refers to the process in our bodies where we process the oxygen we breathe in and our cells produce energy from it. This process can become imbalanced and create a state of “oxidative stress” if we don’t consume enough “anti” oxidants such as vitamins E, C and A. Besides the body’s own natural digestion and metabolism functions, other sources of oxidative stress can include pollution, medications or drugs, smoking, infection, stress, toxins or a poor diet.
The researchers from the journal of “Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity” explain that a reduced level of vitamin E or a deficiency in the body is associated with an increased risk of muscle atrophy (shrinkage). The vitamin can prevent muscle damage and encourage muscle regeneration. Muscles in the body are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage as these are the site of the highest consumption of oxygen. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that greatly boosts cellular antioxidant capacity. Because of this, vitamin E can be beneficial for preventing the effects of aging and for also treating infections, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and neurological disorders.
While vitamin E is famous for the health benefits it provides to glands, organs and the heart, it may not be generally known that vitamin E is a proven remedy for menopausal hot flashes and night sweats.
A hot flash, also called a hot flush, is a sudden unexpected feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweat in the upper half of the body. These flashes occur with up to 80% of women around the time of menopause, and men can also have them due to a lessening of testosterone at middle age. A night sweat is a “hot flash” that occurs in the night, often while one is sleeping, and can cause frequent awakenings.
Vitamin E was shown in a recent study from Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation to be a natural alternative to estrogen therapy and an effective remedy for hot flashes. The researchers found there were significant statistical differences in the hot flash severity score after women took a 400 IU vitamin E (softgel cap) daily for 4 weeks. They concluded that based on the trial, vitamin E brings relief and is a recommended hot flash treatment.
Adelle Davis, the first nutritionist to base her recommendations on science-based studies, says: “During the menopause the need for vitamin E soars ten to fifty times over that previously required. Hot flashes and night sweats often disappear when 50 to 500 units of vitamin E are taken daily, but they quickly recur should the vitamin be stopped.”
Calcium is also directly related to night sweats and our cycles of sleep. In one study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.
Regarding the need for calcium need at the time of menopause Davis says: “During the menopause, the lack of the ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) causes severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur. At these times, high amounts of calcium should be obtained and every step be taken to insure its absorption into the blood. When these precautions are taken and the diet is adequate in other respects, the woman at menopause usually loses her irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, insomnia, and mental depression.”
One supplement that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It is a proven remedy for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia, hot flashes, night sweats, and teenage insomnia. Sleep Minerals also contains vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
MSM is a natural mineral made of sulfur that has been shown in studies to relieve arthritis, headaches, back pain, and also contribute to stronger hair and nails. MSM is known as “Factor N”, for returning cells to normal.
A recent study from the Genesis Center for Integrative Medicine in Graham, Washington has found yet another benefit of MSM — it’s effectiveness for seasonal allergies and hay fever.
MSM sulfur is a white, odorless, water-soluble element found in nature and in foods such as milk, fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. It is especially high in eggs, onions, garlic, asparagus and broccoli. When food is heated, washed, frozen or processed, it becomes depleted of its natural MSM stores — making supplementation beneficial.
Seasonal allergies affect more than 23 million Americans each year. Symptoms can include sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, coughing, itchy throat and fatigue. Side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, and decongestants may result in insomnia or irritability. The goal of the MSM study was to evaluate whether a natural mineral can reduce allergy symptoms and to determine if it has any possible side effects.
The study was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Fifty-five patients with seasonal allergies were given MSM at 2,600 milligrams per day. The MSM use resulted in significantly reducing upper and total respiratory symptoms within 7 days. Lower respiratory symptoms were substantially improved by the third week. Few side effects were associated with the use of MSM and no patients dropped out of the study from any adverse reactions. In addition, by day 14 the energy levels of participants had increased considerably.
The researchers concluded that MSM supplementation of 2,600 mg/day for 30 days is an effective and “side-effect free” remedy in the reduction of seasonal allergy symptoms. An unforeseen and valuable benefit of MSM was a significant increase in energy. For this reason, it’s best to take MSM early in the day rather than in the afternoon or evening too close to bedtime.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs. Since 2001 Nutrition Breakthroughs has provided natural health articles and effective natural remedies. Their mission is to provide nutritional supplements that get results and help people to avoid drugs and their side effects.
Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Joints and More, which contains pure organic MSM for allergy and asthma relief, arthritis and headache relief, increased energy, and stronger hair and nails. For more information, visit the Joints and More page.
Nutrition Breakthroughs also makes Sleep Minerals II, the original calcium and magnesium based sleep remedy. It’s been shown effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
The National Sleep Foundation defines insomnia as difficulty with falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, especially when someone has the opportunity to do so. The effects of insomnia include fatigue, low energy, decreased productivity at work and school, depression, and an increased chance of accidents.
Sleeping drugs are resorted to by up to 25% of the U.S. population, yet because of their strong side effects and next-day grogginess, many people are actively seeking natural remedies to calm insomnia and provide them with restful sleep. The well-known sleep minerals calcium and magnesium are good examples of relaxing nutritional therapies for insomnia.
James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” And Doctor William Sears writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.”
Two interesting studies from the Journal of Advanced Nursing have emerged which show that listening to soothing music before bedtime is another effective way to reduce sleeping problems. In the first study, 94 students between 19 and 28 years old with sleeping difficulties were divided into three groups. Group one listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes at bedtime. Group two listened to an audio book, and group three made no changes to their bedtime routine.
The results showed that after the 3-week study period, classical music was proven to significantly improve sleep quality. Symptoms of depression were reduced markedly. There were no improvements in sleep in the other two groups.
The second study took place in Taiwan with 60 adults between the ages of 60 and 83. They were divided into two groups. Half of the participants were allowed to listen to their choice of music from among several different sedative music tapes at bedtime. At the end of the study, the group listening to the music experienced longer sleep duration, less night time awakenings, better perceived sleep quality and fewer daytime symptoms of insomnia.
The researchers noted that music can decrease anxiety and blood pressure and can cause its positive effects on sleep due to muscle relaxation and providing a distraction from repeated thoughts.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.
Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium and is effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia. It is delivered in a softgel form mixed with natural rice bran oil, making it better assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals — I*m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them. I*m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”
Music and minerals may just be the very best combination for combating insomnia and increasing energy and well-being.