How a cherry a day can keep the jet lag away

  I treated myself to some cherries at Baku's Philarmonic Garden.

I treated myself to some cherries at Baku's Philarmonic Garden.

Almost every seasoned traveller will have experienced the sensation of jet lag at some point – that is the feeling of extreme fatigue when taking a long flight, or flights, across multiple time zones.

So whether you’re travelling halfway around the world, or you’re taking a journey via multiple airports on a cheap ticket, it is likely you’ll have come across some of the symptoms of jet lag which include disturbed sleep, difficulty functioning at your usual level and maybe even stomach problems.

The proof is in the research

According to a recent poll of 2,000 adults who have experienced jet lag, more than eight out of 10 had struggles with severe tiredness after a long-haul flight, while 44% of respondents found themselves unable to sleep the night after, in both the destination itself and after returning home.

The study, which was conducted by Love Fresh Cherries, the industry body which supplies cherries to supermarkets across the United Kingdom, in association with Northwest Cherries, also found that, on average, it takes Brits more than three days to get back to equilibrium after visiting a long-haul destination, while 30% have struggled to concentrate when returning to work and a tenth have even suffered anxiety brought on by shifting time zones after travel.

How do you cure jet lag?

  Getting sleep in the business class cabin. Image credit:  Austrian Airlines / Creative Commons

Getting sleep in the business class cabin. Image credit: Austrian Airlines/Creative Commons

Well, simply put, you can’t. There is no cure for jet lag, but there are plenty of remedies which can help minimise the symptoms. One of the best, and certainly the quirkiest, is eating cherries.

Cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate our sleep patterns. Drinking tart cherry juice twice a day raises the body’s level of sleep-inducing melatonin and can increase sleep time by more than 80 minutes a night and The extra melatonin may also help your body fight jet lag and regulate your body’s natural clock.

If you’re travelling, you can also grab some Northwest/Washington Cherries, pop them in a sealable bag and put them in your rucksack so that you can snack on them throughout the day. There are also some other handy tips to help get over the fatigue, which you can find in the video below:

Why cherries are awesome

  Cherries are a versatile fruit and, in addition to helping jet lag, can be used to make a variety of tasty treats including cherry cake.

Cherries are a versatile fruit and, in addition to helping jet lag, can be used to make a variety of tasty treats including cherry cake.

I’ve always loved cherries, even as a kid. Black cherry yoghurt is incredible (I’ve even just asked my Dad to get some from the supermarket), whole cherries are wonderfully sweet and, Americans don’t kill me when I say this, but cherry pie is much better than apple.

What’s great about cherries is that they can be eaten at any time of day, whether you’re incorporating them into your breakfast, having them for dessert after dinner or you just want to snack on a few whilst you’re on-the-go exploring the place you’re visiting.

And while you can buy Northwest/Washington cherries at all good stores in the UK, you don’t have to use them as they are, but you can incorporate them into some incredible recipes, including baked French toast with cherry, cherry-berry smoothie and cherry pork wrap.