What we eat and drink throughout the day (and night), can have a huge impact on our ability to sleep, and sleep well. This is because certain foods contain nutrients that help to boost hormones and chemical messengers, otherwise known as neurotransmitters, that contribute to better sleep. These include things like GABA, tryptophan, melatonin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamins B6 and B12 – to name a few.
This is why my Cherry, Carob and Coconut Latte acts as a great sleep aid, because there’s absolutely no caffeine in it (sorry coffee lovers!) to keep you awake, and the melatonin content of the tart cherry assists in the regulation of sleep.
What’s great about it?
- Tart cherries are a very high source of melatonin, a sleep-regulating compound that is instrumental in the biochemical process for sleep.
- Carob is an excellent sweet, and tasty alternative to chocolate because it tastes very similar, but doesn’t have the same stimulatory effects of caffeine containing chocolate.
- Coconut milk has a lovely thick and creamy texture and is a great lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk. It’s high in medium-chain triglycerides or MCT’s, which is a type of healthy saturated fat that is easily digestible and known to help improve cognition.
- Cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels, which can help to reduce broken sleep.
Ingredients (serves 1)
• 1 cup of coconut milk
• 1⁄2 tablespoon carob powder
• 1⁄4 cup tart cherry juice
• Sprinkle of cinnamon
• 1⁄2 teaspoon coconut sugar, raw sugar or pure maple syrup (to serve)
How to make it!
Pour the coconut milk and tart cherry juice into a saucepan. Gently stir in the carob powder over medium heat until warmed through. Be careful not to let it boil.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, then pour into a mug to serve.
Sweeten to taste using either coconut sugar, raw sugar or pure maple syrup.
Take a seat on your comfy couch, and enjoy whilst reading a good book … until you feel sleepy enough to head for bed!
Howatson, G, Bell, P, Tallent, J, Middleton, B, McHugh, M & Ellis, J 2012′, Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality’, European Journal of Nutrition, vol. 51, no. 8, pp. 909-916.
Papaefstathiou, E, Agapiou, A, Giannopoulos, S & Kokkinofta R 2018, ‘Nutritional characterization of carobs and traditional carob products’, Food Science & Nutrition, vol. 6, no. 8, pp. 2151-2161.