When consumers shop for “superfoods,” they know to pick brightly colored fruits and vegetables. The anthocyanins responsible for the dark reds and blues are widely recognized as beneficial phytonutrients with antioxidant properties. Now they’re being found to give sleep benefits, too.

“Instead of shopping for solutions in the pharmaceutical aisle, consumers should consider switching up what they eat and drink,” said Carol Ash, M.D., director of sleep medicine for Meridian Health, Neptune, N.J. “Simple steps, such as adding tart cherries to the diet, may help people be better — more efficient — sleepers.”

According to the Cherry Marketing Institute, Lansing, Mich., research has shown that anthocyanins found in tart cherries, which give them their sweet-tart flavor and bright red color, are a natural source of melatonin that can aid sleep. These phytonutrients may help reset the body’s internal clock to establish regular sleep patterns.