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Three cheers for tart cherries

Laurie Budgar

April 24, 2008

2 Min Read
Three cheers for tart cherries

Losing sleep at night worrying about which fruit to stock in produce? Well, maybe you should stop counting sheep and start counting baskets of tart cherries. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Austin found that tart cherries contain high levels of melatonin, the antioxidant hormone that's said to balance natural sleep and wake cycles. Cherries are also juicing up researchers' hopes for a treatment for cancer and aging. Apparently, the popular stone fruits have two important flavonoids, isoqueritrin and queritrin. They also have ellagic acid, a plant phenol that researchers at the University of South Carolina say may inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The cherry on top of all this? Research from Michigan State University shows that anthocyanins found in cherries reduce inflammation, making them useful for people with rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Get Organics Into Kids and Kids Into Organics
The Organic Trade Association sees children as America's "most important harvest." That's why last month—known to most as September but to the organics community as Organic Harvest Month—the group focused its attention on kids. Working with renowned chefs like Nora Pouillon of Washington, D.C., and Tucson, Ariz.-based Canyon Ranch's Executive Chef Scott Uehlein, the OTA published a guide for parents illustrating ways to incorporate organic foods into kid-friendly meals. The OTA also compiled a tool kit that helps parents advocate for organics in their children's schools. For more information, visit, or its companion site for consumers,

'Tis the Season to Eat Healthfully
The chill in the air and the leaves on the earth remind us that this is a transitional time. As the seasons change, so too should our food choices. A classic book by the late Aveline Kushi and macrobiotics educator Wendy Esko has been revised and updated. The Changing Seasons Macrobiotic Cookbook (1989; reissued by Avery Trade Paperback, 2003) presents menus for cooking "in harmony with nature." Its recipes use foods that are available in each of the four seasons. A typical spring dinner menu may consist of nishime vegetables, fried rice with wild vegetables, clear soup, chickpeas with carrots and boiled mustard greens. In contrast, an autumn dinner could include boiled rice, azuki beans and squash, cauliflower clear soup, steamed or boiled kale, and baked apples with kuzu raisin sauce. The book also informs those new to macrobiotics about some basic principles: Consume more plant than animal foods, place a heavy emphasis on whole cereal grains and sea vegetables, and use certain vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds sparingly.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 10/p.

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