Imagine tossing and turning in your bed trying to catch a good night’s sleep, but getting distracted by the thoughts of chocolates and ice cream lying in the fridge. The struggle is real-the fight between going to sleep and making that trip to the fridge. If you feel hungry at bedtime, the best thing you can do is munch on some healthy snacks rather than raiding your fridge for leftovers.
Bedtime snacking is not the healthiest thing to do when you are trying to lose weight. In fact, studies have shown that people who eat before going to bed tend to have more body fat. So, the only way you can satisfy your hunger without piling on pounds is by eating some nutritious snacks that don’t just fill your tummy, but also promote sleep. Here are some healthy bedtime snacks that you can make at home with easily available ingredients:
1. Fruit and nut butter
You can slice up an apple and dip it in some peanut or almond butter. Peanut butter has healthy fats and apple is rich in fibre. Banana and almond butter is also a great combination. Banana and almonds are known to boost melatonin levels, which promote sleep. These snacks will help you sleep better, keep you satiated till morning and you will wake up feeling fresh and energetic.
2. Whole grain crackers and cheese
It is a great combo for late night cravings. Whole grain crackers are high on fibre content, so these carbs are digested more slowly. Cheese is a rich source of protein and fat, which help us feel satiated. Those who cannot have cheese for any reasons can go for hummus or any other dairy free dip.
3. Granola bar
You don’t need a huge snack to settle your bedtime hunger pangs. A small piece of protein bar is enough to keep you satisfy your cravings. A small piece of a homemade protein bar is an easy and quick bedtime snack. You can make protein bars using simple ingredients such as whole rolled oats, whey protein powder, chunky peanut butter, honey and milk.
Take 2 cups of oats, a cup of protein powder, a cup of chunky peanut butter, 2-3 tbsp of honey and some milk. Combine the wet ingredients in a heavy bottom pan on low heat till well combined and then add oats and whey protein powder. Mix everything and put in a baking dish, press everything nicely and cut into pieces once the mixture cools. It stays good in the fridge for up to a week.
4. Oats with dried fruits and nuts
If you are looking for a guilt-free and comforting bedtime snack, you can use your leftover oats, throw in some nuts and dried fruits, put a dash of honey and enjoy. You can have it cold or warm. It is a wholesome snack that keeps you full and gives you the right nutrition.
5. Cottage cheese and fruit
Cottage cheese is a great source of protein. You can add a fruit of your choice such as peach or pineapple to cottage cheese and have it as a healthy bedtime snack. You may add a few nuts or seeds as well for added nutrition and crunch.
6. Wholegrain cereal and milk
A small bowl of wholegrain cereal with some skimmed milk and topped with fresh fruit is the easiest way to beat your bedtime cravings.
What is better than a scoop of icecream or a choco-chip cookie? A cup of popcorn- this whole grain snack will give you about 30 calories per a cup of serving. All you need to ensure is to go easy on the butter, oil, salt and other additives.
8. Greek yoghurt and fruit
Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium. It helps your brain use melatonin and tryptophan, which means, you get better sleep. Add fruits and some seeds to it for some added flavour and crunch. Use low-fat yogurt to keep the calories in check.
9. Handful of nuts
If you want a totally effortless way to get rid of your bedtime hunger pangs, just raid your pantry, get a handful of nuts and munch on them. Nuts are high on protein and healthy fats. They keep you feeling full for longer. The best nuts to have at bedtime are almonds, pistachios and macadamias.
Again, one of the healthiest and easiest bedtime snacks is eggs. They are rich in protein and tryptophan. So, they help you sleep better. It is better to have boiled or poached eggs than fried eggs. You may even make a small salad bowl and top it with an egg.
11. Avocado toast
Avocados are rich in protein, healthy fats, potassium and fibre. Make an avocado toast using multi-grain bread and relish this crunchy-creamy and super healthy bedtime snack.
12. Cherry tomatoes on toast
Saute and season some cherry tomatoes and have them a multi-grain or whole-grain toast. These juicy fruits contain lycopene and melatonin. Lycopene is a plant nutrient with antioxidant properties. It's the pigment that gives red and pink fruits, such as tomatoes, watermelons and pink grapefruit, their characteristic color. Lycopene has been linked to health benefits ranging from heart health to protection against sunburns and certain types of cancers. Melatonin helps you sleep better and lycopene is a powerful antioxidant-a great combination.
13. Protein-rich smoothie
Having a protein-rich snack at bedtime can help slowdown age related muscle loss. You can make a smoothie just by blending together low fat milk with a tropical fruit like pineapple. Milk is rich in tryptophan that helps your body make melatonin and serotonin, which help you sleep better.
14. Hummus and veggies
Chickpeas are protein packed and hummus is a great way to enjoy their goodness. When chickpeas and tahini are combined, their nutritional value goes a notch higher. You can use hummus as a dip for your veggies or a wholegrain toast.
15. Zucchini chips
It is a great replacement for the oily, high-calorie potato chips that we eat out of a packet. Thinly slice the zucchini, place them on a baking tray, sprinkle some olive oil and bake till crisp. Your healthy and low-calorie bedtime snack is ready to be relished.
To summarize, if you are hungry at night, make sure you eat something light and healthy. A heavy snack will make it harder to fall asleep and you will wake up groggy, not to mention the fat you will accumulate over time.
Inflammation is one of the body’s natural ways of protecting itself. It involves many chemical reactions that help to fight off infections, increase blood flow to places that need healing, and generate pain as a signal that something is wrong with the body. Unfortunately, as with any process in the body, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
An anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods: tomatoes. olive oil. green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards. nuts like almonds and walnuts. fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.
Foods that contribute to inflammation include; Saturated fats, Trans fats, Sugar, Processed foods, Refined grains!
Especially with no or low fiber or Vitamin B, it’s hard to fight.
How to Know If You Have Too Much Inflammation
Anyone can benefit from eating and living in an anti-inflammatory way, but you can work with your doctor to understand if you have too much inflammation.
How to Prevent or Reduce Unnecessary Inflammation
Below chart weekly chart would help ensuring you and your family can maintain balance and avoid inflammation while also increasing intake of healthy and nutritious food in your daily routine. Some foods like Fruits, Vegetables, Fish for the Omega 3’s, Seeds, Nuts, Herbs and Spices, Beans, help heal and fight inflammation.