While the myth of late night eating being bad for your health and diet has been disapproved, it doesn’t mean all snacks are made equal. Nutritionists claim that when you tend to overeat before going to bed, your body stores the calories more likely as fat, which means that you need to snack right. You would want to pick the best, easy to digest late night foods with good carbs and less fiber, fat or protein- so that you don’t keep awake from being full. But if you find yourself munching buttery grilled cheese, peanut butter gobs and ice cream every now and then long after dinner, here is a list of healthy late night foods. When the mood strikes; keep these low calorie options handy for quick snacking.
These are one of the few foods that come with natural melatonin, which helps to control our body’s internal clock. The sleep promoting hormone tends to lower your body temperature and also helps to induce drowsiness. According to a recent study, adults who drank two glasses of tart cherry juice daily slept almost 40 minutes more on average and had a 6% increase in their sleep efficiency. So the next time you find yourself craving for midnight snacks, try a bowl of fresh cherries or a tart cherry juice glass before sleep to get some good shut eye.
If you are a huge fan of ice cream every night after dinner, we may have found just the right alternative for you. For a cool treat before sleep, take up a small bowl full of cottage cheese and top it with chopped nuts, cinnamon and fresh berries. The slow digesting protein in cottage cheese would keep you from getting hungrier during the middle of night while calcium content eases you to sleep. Also protein before bed is helpful in controlling refluxes for those that frequently wake up during the night with heartburn.
If you want something readily available and yet healthy for your midnight snack without having to do any prep work, go for almonds. Almonds are a rich source of magnesium nutrient; there’s a high quantity of sleep enhancing amino acid tryptophan in it and they act as natural muscle relaxers as well. Plus, the protein content in almonds keep you full for all night. A simple trail mix recipe including almonds, toasted coconut flakes, sunflower seeds and dried tart cherries at hand constitutes a perfect sleep supporting snack.
There’s always the old wives tale about having a glass of milk before going to bed for easy sleeping and it may be a lot more accurate than you think of. Dairy products, such as milk are rich in calcium and tryptophan, the two nutrients which are linked strongly to restful sleep. Recent researches have suggested that deficiency in calcium result in lack of deep sleep, so ensure that you are filling up your body with an adequate amount every day. Also, tryptophan in milk coupled with carbohydrates (honey) play an important role to help you unwind before going to bed. Warm milk has long served as a sleep inducing drink for now. If taken up with some honey, sugar content gets boosted without giving your body a hard time in digestion. So drink up wisely for a deep and restful evening.
These are easy and quick snacks to munch on before sleeping that can help you to get a little more extra shut-eye. The two powerhouse nutrients packed in bananas include magnesium and potassium. Apart from their numerous other health benefits, these nutrients aid in muscle relaxation, so that you have a restful night. Also bananas are rich in carbohydrates that tend to make you more sleepy, by making tryptophan readily available to your brain. A medium sized banana fills you with 3 grams of fiber, satisfying your tummy well. Also its melatonin increasing properties help you to get a sound sleep at night. Pairing your banana with almond butter spread will add a flavorful, protein rich and creamy component to relish for your late night snack.
Although many people think of oats as a healthy breakfast food item, they are the most ideal bedtime snack as well. Being a natural source of melatonin hormone, oats help in regulating sleep and wake cycles. Moreover, the complex carbohydrates in it make tryptophan available to the brain readily. Prepare a bowl of oatmeal with milk and top it with toasted almonds to get a fair share of sleep time before you can get ready for your next big day.
Since eggs are excellent protein sources, they can be taken up in any form for a quick late night healthy snack. For a deep night’s sleep ahead, whip up a scrambled egg and serve with whole wheat toast. Pairing eggs with toast that is rich in carbohydrates make the serotonin releasing process more efficient. Also the carbohydrate in toast makes tryptophan readily available for your brain and protein helps to stave off hunger so that you can have a restful sleep. Sprinkling some cheese to you scrambled eggs will give you a boost of calcium to produce more sleepiness.
Lavender finds its use in a lot of products such as oils, lotions, sprays and candles as a sleep promoter. A simple glass of decaffeinated lavender tea helps you to unwind and feel calm and relaxed. Also you can have a glass of iced or hot decaf tea and mix some lavender syrup in it to create the same calming effect before drifting to sleep.
The coldness and sweetness of frozen blueberries at the end of the day is a lot refreshing. The frozen blueberries come packed with a lot of high powered antioxidants just as their fresh counterparts, since they are frozen just when they are ripe. Blueberries are undoubtedly the best foods that you can consume for your health. Researches have shown that the nutrient content in blueberries help in enhancing hearth health and brain function. Not only are blueberries a healthy late night foods option, the high antioxidant and water content in them hold off signs of ageing and make your skin glow. You can add a little bit of cream for that extra flavor if and only if you can afford some extra calories in your diet.
Chocolate is often considered as a forbidden food for dieters all over, however not all kinds of chocolate are equal. Considering the homemade ones and the packaged variety of rich dark chocolate, there exists great nutritional difference. Unlike the traditional chocolate, dark chocolate lacks high quantities of sugar and thus serves as a great antioxidant known to improve insulin sensitivity, improve your overall mood, lower blood pressure and fight inflammation. So the next time you find yourself craving for chocolates at night, grab a piece of dark chocolate having cacao content of 70% or greater.
Roasted Pumpkin seeds:
A great night time snack is one that not only helps in fulfilling a nagging craving but also gets you to unwind and ready for bed, just like roasted pumpkin seeds. One of its servings contains nearly 50 percent of the recommended magnesium intake. Magnesium, being an essential mineral, is used in nearly 300 reactions in our body and one of the key areas that it addresses is relaxation. Magnesium is a great relaxant and snacks with high magnesium content and just ideal to help you unwind at night. There is slight saltiness in roasted pumpkin seeds that helps to curb your salty snack craving also. So the next time you are watching your favorite sitcom and want to snack on something, reach out for some roasted pumpkin seeds.
One of the best things that you can do for your body is consuming yogurt on a daily basis, so why not have it late at night as well? Instead of stuffing junkies, try having some low fat plain yogurt. Apart from satisfying your midnight craving, yogurt creates a balance between gut bacteria and helps in digestion. However, ensure that you are consuming unsweetened yogurt since flavored yogurt can aid in adding some extra baggage to your body. Also, low fat is a lot better than no fat because of absence of additives in no fat type that is generally not good for your body.
Amongst all the healthy late night foods, you can never miss carrot. Carrots work wonder when it comes to satisfying midnight cravings and they can also be a treat to your taste buds when seasoned with dips like hummus which is another great thing that you can try at midnight. Fluiddense carrots make you feel full faster and the antioxidant and vitamin content of veggies help to bring a glow in your skin, also keeping it healthy all the same. For people who are on a diet, the good news is that not only carrot helps in preventing weight gain, but it also helps to shed a few pounds.