You've heard that eating before bed can undo your whole day, but recent research is showing that rule to be misleading. Eating a healthy snack before bed can help stabilize your blood sugar, curb the release of hunger hormones and help your metabolism burn calories while you're sleeping? But just what should you be reaching for?
- Complex carbohydrates – provide fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also break down slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels steady.
- Healthy fats – help slow the absorption of glucose (released from the complex carbs) into your system, thus keeping you from waking up hungry in the middle of the night.
- Protein (for athletes) – to help your body recover
- Foods rich in tryptophan – essential amino acid used by the body to produce sleep-improving Serotonin.
Here are our five favorite bedtime snacks. Just remember: keep the portions small! After all, you're going to bed, not running a 10K.
- Whole wheat toast with 3 tbsp mashed avocado
- ½ cup cooked whole wheat pasta with crushed fresh tomatoes and Crimini mushrooms
- ½ cup cottage cheese and one small apple
- ¼ cup low fat or fat free Greek yogurt mixed with ¼ cup bran cereal (go for a brand with the least ingredients and sugar)
- For athletes: one slice wholemeal spelt bread with two tbsp almond or peanut butter and a small amount of your favorite preserves (we love fig!)
Sweet (or, in this case, savory) dreams,