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The sleep struggle during pregnancy is real! Thankfully, a magical little fruit has some powerful properties to help you drift off to dreamin’ a whole lot easier, sis. Tart cherries, also known as Montmorency cherries, are a powerhouse of so many good things, so let’s dive in with some easy ways to use them to improve your sleep during pregnancy (and how you can give them to your kids to help them sleep better too!)
*I’m not a medical professional (yet) and this is not medical advice. I’m a passionately curious mama when it comes to natural living, wellness, and nutrition. Please speak with your doctor for your individual health concerns.
Why Tart Cherries?
1. They help you sleep better.
Tart cherries are naturally packed with melatonin, the hormone that our brains produce in response to darkness to help us sleep. A lot of things contribute to lack of melatonin, like blue light from screens throughout the day, but adding in a natural source of melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer (according to this study).
2. They boost your immune system.
These little fruit gems are a great source of Vitamin C. They also have something called flavonoids that make them a perfect defender against infections. Flavonoids is the fancy term for a type of antioxidant to protect your immune system. Since your immune system is naturally compromised during pregnancy, tart cherries work to guard you and your precious growing baby.
3. They help you go.
Considering all your organs are getting squished into a super tiny space, it’s not really surprising that your digestive tract is thrown off during pregnancy. Tart cherries are a great source of fiber and can help you get, uh, regular again.
4. They’re a great anti-inflammatory.
If you have all the common pregnancy aches going on, you’re in luck. Tart cherries are a tasty way to help reduce inflammation according to this study.
5. Children can have them too.
Everyone is getting better sleep around here! If you’re a pregnant mama with a little one at home, you know it can be super exhausting if they’re having trouble sleeping too. The good news is your sleepless kiddo gets all the same benefits you do from these cherries. Just dilute a little in a cup about an hour before bedtime as a special treat. They’ll never know it’s helping them rest better (and longer!).
[If you’re looking for more sleep tips, check out this post from my sleep consultant friend answering some questions from real mamas about kids and sleep]
Tart Cherry Recipes
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite ways to start adding tart cherries into your diet. Bonus: all of these are kid friendly!
I don’t know about you, but I know I’d never have trouble convincing my kids to eat a popsicle at anytime of day. If the tartness of the cherry juice is too much, this recipe adds a little creaminess from yogurt, banana, and almond milk. You could also substitute oat milk if you’re nut-free.
My mother-in-love just got these silicone popsicle molds and they were a huge hit with our crew!
This is my personal favorite recipe that helped get me through two summer pregnancies:
Tart Cherry Mocktail
1 can of La Croix sparkling water (my go-to flavor is key lime)
1 ounce organic tart cherry juice concentrate
Splash of orange juice
Pour over ice in a big ol’ mason jar and you’re set!
Who doesn’t love a good gummy? You can make these with a glass pyrex dish or some cute silicone molds for a fun treat!
This tart cherry smoothie from Well and Good is perfect for mamas-to-be and little ones! She added mangoes to her recipe, but subbing in any of your favorite fruits to mix up the flavor is a great idea too.
Have you give tart cherries a try yet? Let me know which recipe you’re trying first! If we aren’t connected on Instagram yet, be sure to follow along there and say hi!