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Dietitian recommends healthy late-night snacks before bed

Dietitian recommends healthy late-night snacks before bed Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Very often before bedtime, you want to have a snack, but without fear of gaining weight.

What exactly you can eat is told by dietitian Oleg Shvets.

What you need to know about late-night snacks

For people with digestive issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux, or for those trying to manage their weight, it's best to choose light snack options.

Avoid metabolism boosters like sugar and caffeine. Instead, include foods with nutrients such as tryptophan, magnesium, and B vitamins, which promote physiological sleep and body restoration.

Yogurt with berries

In the evening, we often crave sugar, but sugar releases energy that can prevent falling asleep quickly. A smart choice could be natural yogurt with frozen berries. The combination of fiber from the berries and protein in the yogurt helps slow down sugar release, preventing energy spikes. Yogurt also contains calcium, which research has shown to improve sleep, as it's necessary for the body's production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

Homemade banana ice cream

This tasty and nutritious dish is very easy to make. Cut a banana into slices, freeze it (for at least an hour), then blend it with milk until creamy. You can sprinkle some almonds on top. Bananas and milk provide tryptophan to support the body's production of the sleep hormone, and without additional sugar and fat, it's a much healthier ice cream option.

Almond butter

Almonds are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, and magnesium. If you can't sleep, eat foods rich in magnesium. This mineral not only helps convert the amino acid tryptophan into the sleep hormone melatonin but also releases GABA - a neurotransmitter that promotes nervous system relaxation. Try a bit of almond butter spread on a piece of whole-grain toast or an apple slice.

Blueberry and banana smoothie

After workouts, it's especially beneficial to eat protein-rich foods to aid muscle recovery. For an original and nutritious smoothie, you can blend bananas, fresh or frozen blueberries, soft tofu, and water. Tofu and banana provide tryptophan necessary for serotonin and melatonin production, the sleep hormone.

Seeds with spices

Seeds are a healthy snack anytime, but before bed, they have additional benefits. Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan and magnesium. Sunflower seeds contain calcium, which supports sleep hormone production. For a spicy flavor, you can add spices like Chinese five-spice blend (star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds) to the seed mix.

Edamame sauce

Edamame soybeans are an excellent low-calorie source of protein, providing enough tryptophan. You can make a nutritious and tasty sauce from them. To do this, cook the beans, let them cool, then mix them with yogurt, lime juice, chopped chili pepper, and garlic until smooth. The sauce goes well with vegetables: sliced ​​radishes, carrot sticks, celery, and bell pepper. This fiber-rich snack will satisfy you without feeling heavy.

Egg with spinach

Thanks to protein, the body receives a dose of tryptophan, which supports sleep. Spinach contains calcium, zinc, and fiber. Another light option is boiled eggs with steamed asparagus.

Also, read about what to eat to be healthy.