Healthy Night Time Snacks

We finish dinner, and relax our bodies to get into our night time routine. The clock hits 9 PM and your stomach starts to growl. Your first instinct, after dinner eating, "I'm not supposed to do that."

BUT, actually you can! Certain foods can actually help you fall asleep and count those sheep. Not all foods, but there are some exceptions with the right amount can actually aid in digestion, relax your mind and body and put an end to the hungry tummy monster. Remember to keep the serving sizes small at a 100 to 200 calorie snack.

Walnuts

  • You may know tryptophan as the compound in turkey responsible for making you want to take a nap after your second plate at Thanksgiving dinner, but walnuts are also high in melatonin. Try a small handful before bed to help you fall asleep peacefully.

Coconut

  • The healthy fats in just a small spoonful of coconut butter or coconut oil can take the edge off of your nighttime hunger without spiking your blood sugar, which could cause you to wake up hungry in the middle of the night when your blood sugar comes crashing back down.

Ginger Tea

  • A powerful digestive aid, known for naturally relieving an upset stomach and easing nausea. The best way to enjoy ginger before bed is by making this zingy root into a stomach-settling tea.

Turkey

  • Turkey is a good source of this sleep-inducing amino acid. The high protein content in a few slices of deli turkey will help you feel fuller for longer, too.

Bananas

  • Rich in both potassium and magnesium. Because they work together, both of these minerals are known for helping the body relax; a key ingredient for a good night's sleep. Grab a banana before bed.

Avocado

  • Avocados not only provide a couple of the sleep-promoting compounds, they are also a filling source of healthy fats. About 1/2 of an avocado sprinkled with pumpkin seeds or smeared on a slice of whole grain bread will have your head hitting the pillow in no time.

Pumpkin Seeds

  • A small handful of pumpkin seeds delivers a big hit of this precursor to serotonin, which can then be converted into melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Spinach

  • Spinach is another food that is jam-packed with the natural sleep aids potassium and magnesium. Pop a few baked spinach chips before hitting the hay or add spinach to a before-bed smoothie.

Cherries

  • Sipping tart cherry juice can increase both the duration and quality of sleep thanks to its high levels of melatonin and tryptophan.

Pickles

  • The probiotics in naturally-fermented pickles can help to increase your levels of good gut bugs, thus improving your digestion.

Yogurt

  • Yogurt, like other dairy foods, is another good source of tryptophan. Pair it with a handful of berries and walnuts for a sleepy-time parfait.

Whole Grain Crackers

  • A great source of magnesium and vitamin B6. Just be sure the crackers you choose are made with 100 percent whole grains or you'll miss out on these benefits.

Olives

  • The healthy, mono-unsaturated fats in olives will help you feel full so you can fall asleep fast.

Kiwi

  • A study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that adults with sleep problems saw a 13.4 percent increase in sleep duration and a 5.41 percent increase in sleep efficiency by consuming two kiwifruits one hour before bedtime every night for four weeks.

Dark Chocolate

  • Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, so indulging in a small square before bed may help you to relax. Keep the portion size small, though, because too much of the naturally-occurring caffeine in chocolate might make it difficult to fall asleep.

Hummus

  • A dollop of hummus with some veggies for dipping would make a stellar nighttime snack because chickpeas are a protein-packed source of both vitamin B6 and tryptophan.

Article: 25 Foods to Eat at Night

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Atlanta, GA | Ashley Deka | thinkhealthbyashyd@gmail.com 

Think Health by AshyD encourages you to consult with a physician before participating in any new exercise or diet program. Think Health disclaims any and all liability that may result from following a program by Think Health. 

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