What you eat at dinner can affect your quality of sleep later that night. This, in turn, can affect your physical, mental and emotional condition the next day. If you want to sleep better and improve your overall health, it’s important to watch what you eat at night. If you want a little push in the right direction, here what you need to know about sleep-inducing foods. I have three healthy recipes for foods to help you sleep better.
GET A RESTFUL NIGHT WITH THESE FOODS TO HELP YOU SLEEP
HOW CAN FOOD HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER?
Eating heavy dinner meals with high-fat ingredients negatively affects your sleep quality. This is because your body will spend more time and energy digesting the food you have consumed. As digestion takes place, your body raises its temperature.
If you’re bloated or constipated, your physical discomfort increases even further. Sugar, caffeine, spicy food and fatty food also boost your heart rate. With all of these combined, you’ll definitely have a hard time falling into deep slumber.
Instead, choose meals that provide you with a healthy dose of nutrients. If you’re not lacking in vitamins and minerals, your body won’t have to work so hard when it comes to restoring and repairing cells. As you become more comfortable, it’ll be easier to get a good night’s sleep.
Foods that help you sleep better are rich in selenium, vitamin C, vitamin D, potassium, lycopene and phosphorus. As such, you eat dinner meals with lean poultry, such as chicken and turkey, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna and halibut. You should also incorporate leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, citrus fruits, bananas, tomatoes and bell peppers into your meals.
As you consume these sleep-inducing foods, you’ll sleep better and wake up refreshed. You won’t be moody, sluggish or have difficulty concentrating through the day, too. So, now that you know the different kinds of foods to help you sleep better, read on to learn three healthy recipes that incorporate these sleep-inducing ingredients.
1. BROCCOLI AND KALE SALAD
If you want a light and healthy salad that can help you sleep better, try this recipe for broccoli and kale salad. It’s quick, easy and delicious, too. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 cups cabbage and carrots, shredded
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- 3 slices centre-cut bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- salt and pepper, as needed
- Combine broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, bacon, onion and cherries in a large bowl.
- Put vinegar, yoghurt, agave, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine ingredients.
- Pour yoghurt mixture over broccoli and kale. Toss until all the vegetables are evenly coated. Serve.
2. ROASTED SALMON WITH VEGGIES
For a hearty and healthy meal, try this recipe for roasted salmon with veggies. The salmon is rich in vitamin D and selenium while the vegetables have a high vitamin and mineral content. Thus, this meal can improve your sleep quality. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 454g salmon fillet
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1/2 red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 230 degrees Celsius.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss to combine broccoli, squash, onion, tomatoes and 2 tbsp oil. Add garlic and red pepper. Toss once more.
- Brush salmon fillet with 1 tbsp oil
- Arrange vegetables and salmon on a pan. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
- Place lemon slices on top of salmon.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until salmon easily flakes and vegetables have slightly browned.
3. LEAN TURKEY BURGER WITH SWEET POTATO WEDGES
Instead of a traditional burger with fries, opt for a healthier version at dinner. This lean turkey burger with sweet potato wedges is just as tasty and delicious. It’s easier to digest, too, so your body won’t have to work overtime at night. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
- 454g ground turkey breast
- 4 whole-grain sandwich thins, toasted
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine sweet potato wedges with olive oil, 1 tsp chilli powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast sweet potatoes in the oven at 230 degrees Celsius for 20 to 25 minutes or until wedges are crisp.
- Mix ground turkey, garlic, cilantro, 1 tsp chilli powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Shape into four patties. Grill on medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked through. Flip over once to cook the other side.
- Combine avocado mash with lime juice.
- Place the cooked burgers on sandwich thins and top with avocado mixture. You can also add tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce on top if desired.
Avoiding high-fat, heavy dinner meals doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy tasty meals at night. Rather, it’s being smart about the ingredients you consume. This can spell the difference between a good night’s sleep and tossing and turning all night long. Opt for lean meats, vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamins and minerals.
As a start, you can try out these three healthy recipes that use sleep-inducing foods to help you sleep better. Apart from a healthy diet, make sure to eat dinner at least four hours before bedtime so your body will have ample time for digestion.