You may have been told that if you want to lose weight, you shouldn't eat before bed. Dieters and people who are afraid of gaining weight have believed this myth for years, which is why they go to bed hungry. In fact, though, a small snack every night won't make you fatter and might even help you sleep better.
Some foods help you fall asleep by increasing the production of serotonin, which makes you feel calm and relaxed. Also, it's a known fact that going to bed hungry makes it more likely that you'll eat too much later in the day. The key is to eat a mix of natural carbs (which help your body make more serotonin) and protein (which helps your stomach stay full all night).
Try one of these five healthy evening snacks the next time your stomach starts to growl before you go to sleep.
Banana with Nut Butter
Bananas have a lot of magnesium, which helps relax muscles naturally. For extra protein, add a little of your favorite organic nut butter. This will make a healthy snack that will satisfy your sweet taste.
Cottage Cheese with Fruit
Cottage cheese has a good balance of protein and amino acids that help build muscle. It will also keep you full and fueled all night. Add some fruit pieces on top to make it healthier, and add some carbs. If you can, choose organic fruit that is fresh. However, frozen fruit is often just as healthy. Avoid canned fruit because it usually has extra sugar added to it.
Organic Cucumber Rounds with Greek Yogurt
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in Greek yogurt, is what causes the food crash we all experience every year after Thanksgiving. Plus, the high protein content will help your muscles grow and fix themselves while keeping you full. The low-calorie cucumber slices add a crunchy texture that won't throw off your diet.
Organic Popcorn with Parmesan Cheese
You wouldn't believe it, but popcorn doesn't have to be bad for your health. Choose organic popcorn that isn't made with GMOs. To avoid the harmful chemical ingredients in microwaveable popcorn, pop it yourself on the stove with coconut oil. You can add a little Parmesan cheese on top, or you can use nutritional yeast, which tastes like cheese and has B vitamins and protein added to it.
Baked or Roasted Sweet Potato
Pick up a small sweet potato if all you want is something cooked. Sweet potatoes are full of healthy complex carbs that help you sleep and a lot of potassium, which relaxes your muscles. Choose organic so you can eat the skin and add herbs for a snack that will fill you up without making you feel heavy.