It's late at night, and your stomach is growling. The trick is to figure out how much you can consume that is quick, tasty, and won't make you gain weight. After all, there's mounting evidence that eating late at night makes weight loss more difficult. Fortunately, if you're really hungry, a tiny, nutrient-dense snack around 200 calories will usually suffice. Some snacks may contain substances that may aid in better sleep.
Healthy late night snacks
Here are some healthy snacks you can eat at night if you get hungry:
- Tart cherries
They may help you sleep better, according to a few tiny studies. Furthermore, they contain anti-inflammatory properties and may protect against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and heart disease. Melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone found in tart cherries, is present in minute amounts. They do, however, contain the phytochemical procyanidin B-2, which is thought to protect the amino acid tryptophan, which is used to generate melatonin, in your blood. Around 140 calories are included in an 8-ounce or 240-ml glass of 100 percent tart cherry juice or one-third cup (40 grams) of dried tart cherries.
2. Banana with almond butter
A delightful, 165-calorie combo of one small banana dipped in a spoonful or 16 grams of unsweetened almond butter may even aid sleep. Within two hours of eating two bananas, one study observed a more than 4-fold increase in melatonin blood levels in healthy men. Bananas are among the few fruits known to be high in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that your body converts to melatonin. Melatonin is also found in almonds and almond butter. They're also high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and magnesium. Magnesium has been linked to better sleep because it helps your body produce melatonin.
This fuzzy-skinned, sweet-tart fruit is healthy and slimming. Only 93 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 190 percent of the daily recommended intake (RDI) of vitamin C are found in two peeled kiwis. In addition, kiwis may aid in better sleep. Kiwis are one of the few fruits that contain a significant quantity of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has a calming impact and can help you fall asleep faster. Serotonin also aids in the reduction of glucose cravings. While further research is needed to validate the kiwi's sleep advantages, there are plenty of reasons to eat this fruit in the interim.
Pistachios are unique among nuts in that they contain a significant amount of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Though this chemical is found naturally in all plant foods, few have as much as pistachios. One ounce or 28 grams, or approximately a handful, of shelled pistachios has 160 calories and 6.5 milligrams of melatonin. In comparison, 0.5–5 mg of melatonin is commonly prescribed to assist sleep.
5. Protein smoothie
Before bed, eat a protein-rich snack to assist muscle repair and slow down age-related muscle loss, especially if you exercise regularly. Smoothies are a delicious and convenient way to get some protein-rich milk prior to bed. For a tropical delight with only roughly 160 calories, combine 8 ounces or 240 ml low-fat milk with 2/3 cup or 110 g frozen pineapple. Milk also contains a lot of tryptophan. This amino acid is used by your body to generate the sleep-inducing hormones serotonin and melatonin. Pineapple has been observed to raise melatonin levels as well.
6. Crackers and cheese
Snacks with a combination of carbs and protein, such as whole-grain crackers and cheese, help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Combining a carb-rich item like crackers with a good tryptophan supply like cheese will help make tryptophan more available to your brain, which can help you sleep better. This suggests that the molecule can be utilized to create sleep-inducing serotonin and melatonin. Around 150 calories are in a serving of four whole-wheat crackers (16 grams) and one stick of reduced-fat cheddar cheese (28 grams).
Yogurt is a fantastic calcium source. This mineral has lately been connected to better sleep as well as keeping your bones strong. To generate melatonin from the amino acid tryptophan, your body needs calcium. Greek yogurt, in particular, is high in protein, notably casein. According to preliminary research, eating casein protein at night time may help you feel less hungry the next day. If you like eating yogurt as a snack, go for plain yogurt and flavor it with unsweetened fruit like berries or peaches. The calories in a 6-ounce or 170-gram container of plain nonfat yogurt are 94. A half cup or 74 grams of blueberries adds 42 calories to the recipe.
8. Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds include 146 calories per 1-ounce or 28-gram meal and provide 37 percent of the RDI for magnesium, which was linked to better sleep. Tryptophan is also abundant in pumpkin seeds. Eating carbs with pumpkin seeds, such as half an apple or raisins, promotes your body to transport the tryptophan in the seeds to your brain, where it is converted to melatonin. These findings will need to be confirmed in larger investigations. Still, the fact that tryptophan from foods like pumpkin seeds has a similar impact to pure, supplementary tryptophan is encouraging.
A healthy snack under 200 calories won't tip the scales if you're actually hungry late at night, rather than bored or stressed. Late-night snacks made with whole, barely processed foods like berries, kiwis, goji berries, edamame, pistachios, oatmeal, plain yogurt, and eggs are simple, tasty, and healthful. Tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin, magnesium, and calcium are all found in many of these foods, and they all help you sleep better. The most essential thing is to keep nutritious snacks available that you enjoy. Before bed, you'll be less forced to throw yourself to the convenience store or the nearest fast-food drive-through for a high-calorie, unhealthy snack.