9 healthy bedtime snacks that will help you sleep better, get fitter
Very often we snack on unhealthy foods like chips and chocolate late at night which only adds to our waistline. Instead, if you eat sensibly and are prepared with what to eat when you suddenly feel hungry a night, then not only will you feel healthier, lose weight with the right diet but also start sleeping better.
We’ve laid out a list of bedtime snacks you can keep handy, so that even late at night, you manage to eat well and follow a good diet.
Bananas contain tryptophan and are rich sources of magnesium. “Both of these are essential for the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. About 90% of the calories in this fruit come from carbohydrates, due to which they can help you feel full and reduce cravings,” says Delhi-based Sujata Sharma, a nutritionist and a diabetes educator on BeatO app.
Almonds are said to boost sleep quality as they help in producing sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. As bananas, they too are a rich in magnesium that has the ability to reduce inflammation and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
“A glass of warm milk has always been known to induce good night time sleep. Milk is a source of Tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid not produced by the human body. Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin, a neurotransmitter converted to melatonin. Both of these improve sleep and induce relaxation,” says Sharma.
A tablespoon of honey right before bedtime is said to bring on good sleep. Honey contains sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan which is converted to serotonin and later melatonin, in darkness.
Cherries not only satisfy your post-dinner sweet tooth, they can help you get better sleep too. Cherries are a natural source of melatonin. Additional benefit is they are full of antioxidants, which can also help fight inflammation.
“Yogurt contains tryptophan, but also have a surprising sleep-inducing nutrient calcium. Calcium is effective in stress reduction and stabilization of nerve fibers, including those in the brain. You can add berries to make it healthier,” advises Sharma.
Walnuts are rich in fibres and help in promoting a feeling of fullness when you are experiencing late-night cravings. They are good sources of ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid which is converted to DHA in the body. DHA helps increase the production of serotonin, a sleep-enhancing brain chemical.
“Just like white rice, oats are also high in carbohydrates and rich in fibre. Due to this, they tend to induce drowsiness when consumed before bed. Apart from this, they are also a good source of melatonin, the sleep hormone,” says Delhi-based Shivani Jotwani, who is a nutritionist on the medical app Lybrate.
Figs are rich in magnesium, a mineral directly linked to improving the quality and duration of sleep. “They are rich in fibre and therefore, help you in avoiding those night time cravings. Figs also help in regulating metabolism and thereby reduce sleep disorders such as insomnia,” says Jotwani.
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