A healthy, balanced diet is important. Nutrition has much more to say about how your body functions than the number of crunches you can grunt through at the gym. However, within the world of nutrition, there is a lot of conflicting information not only around what to eat but when to eat it. If you dial down for the day with a well-earned snack, you may wonder what to eat before bed without hurting your eating habits. Does it make a difference if you reach for fruit or a bag of barbecue chips? The good news is, there are lots of foods that are perfectly fine to consume after sundown, and we’re going to look at some of the best ones.
Not only does this satisfying snack take zero preparation, but almonds come plain, salted, or seasoned in many different ways! Grab a handful, and enjoy that satisfying crunch you’ve been craving with some extra benefits. Almonds are a fantastic source of protein, which helps you stay full until breakfast the next day. Foods rich in protein carry amino acids, and almonds feature one called tryptophan. Tryptophan is a sleep-supporting agent. To top things off, almonds carry traces of magnesium, which is a muscle relaxer. This savory snack is truly a nighttime nut.
Crack an egg or two over a frying pan before bed, because you’ll be surprised at the perks. Eggs, like almonds, are a great source of protein, chock-full of amino acids. Eggs carry tryptophan, as well as 11 vitamins and minerals for a dense nutritional profile. Eggs carry melatonin, an ingredient used in many sleep-inducing products. Not to mention, eggs are delicious served fried, scrambled, poached, or boiled. Add in some chopped onions and bell peppers for an omelet. The versatility of this food is absolutely an added bonus.
Dairy products in general are often recommended as sleep-inducing consumables. The calcium content in foods like cottage cheese and yogurt actually charges up the effects of tryptophan, boosting the benefit it carries. Now you understand why a warm glass of milk before bed is so comforting. Yogurt minimizes gastrointestinal agitation because it is so easy to digest. Add a little granola, raisins, or berries for a more indulgent bedtime dessert.
If you’ve ever strolled down the cereal aisle, you know that there are dozens of options to choose from. Does the variety matter when it comes to a bedtime snack? It actually can. Cereals high in sugar can negatively impact your blood sugar levels while you sleep. Whole grain options are a safer bet and are much easier to digest. Even a small bowl of cereal can help you feel full overnight and packs in a great dose of protein. Granola is a wonderful choice, not to mention delicious with a splash of milk.
Unsure if fruit before bed is a good idea? You can rest easy, because some food options encourage better sleep – and certain fruits belong to this group. One in particular is the banana. These yellow powerhouses are filled with several vitamins and minerals that will greatly improve the quality of your rest. Bananas are known to reduce stress, anxiety, muscle pain and fatigue, and regulate your sleep patterns. Bananas release both melatonin and serotonin, which are both commonly used sleep agents. If you cut a banana into slices and add a little peanut butter on top, you can satisfy sweet and salty cravings all at once.
You can officially do away with the myth that a bedtime snack is bad news. There are plenty of foods that are not just OK but healthy to consume before sleeping. Foods rich in protein, dairy, and whole grains deliver amino acids that aid in the quantity and quality of your slumber. Fruits such as bananas carry complex vitamin profiles to keep your body full until breakfast.
As with any part of your diet, just remember that excessive eating in any food group can have negative results. If you are experiencing intense regular cravings and inconsistent eating patterns, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor for professional advice. Otherwise, if the fridge is calling before you turn in, turn over and grab a bite.
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