It's midnight, your stomach starts to "complain" and you wander around your fridge and cupboards to find what to eat. You need to give in to your urge to eat right now; The answer is, depends on the snack you choose.
Late night snacks are not usually the best idea, but sometimes you need something to keep you going until breakfast. And that's okay if you make a healthy choice, says Robin Foroutan, RDN, a dietitian from the Morrison Center in New York and a representative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
"If you know you are not going to sleep because you are hungry, then eating a snack can be a good idea. It can also be a good idea for those whose blood sugar drops too low at night. ", says.
But if the night snack becomes the rule and not the exception, Take a closer look at your eating habits and eating choices throughout the day, says Robin Foroutan.
If you crave eating snacks at midnight, you are not alone. All you have to do is not burden your body, is to choose the right food. From sweet to savory, experts suggest 11 healthy snacks that you can eat late at night.
A glass of low-fat milk
This may sound boring, but that is the meaning, says Eshani Ewing, RD, dietitian at Orlando Health, in Orlando, Florida. "Milk is rich in an amino acid called tryptophan that helps produce melatonin and serotonin., which ultimately helps you fall asleep ", explains.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that tells your body that it is time to go to bed. Chemical mood serotonin relieves stress that can interfere with a good night's sleep. Milk is also high in protein which keeps you feeling fuller more, says Ewing.
A glass of milk
A glass of milk is a good choice
Wholemeal cracker cheese
This is a satisfying midnight snack, says Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, Assistant Professor of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "Cheese is high in protein and whole grain crackers are high in fiber., they both keep you full longer ".
A cheese bar has about 80 calories and five crackers, have about 110. Snacks late at night should be 200 calories or less, says Sandon. Keeping calories low and choosing healthy foods can help prevent weight gain..
Another option for this type of midnight snack, is a slice of wholemeal toast, which you will spread with creamy ricotta and a little honey, or two rice wafers with a slice of cheese or avocado puree, as dietitian Joy Bauer from New York suggests, author of the book “Joy Bauer’s Superfood! 150 Recipes for Eternal Youth». Avocados are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can make you feel full.
A handful of nuts
Eating approx 10 to 12 almonds, peanuts, Cashews or walnuts are a great way to avoid hunger before bed, says Ania M. Jastreboff, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Director of Weight Management and Obesity Prevention, at Yale University School of Medicine. Nuts are rich in fat, proteins and fiber, which promote feelings of satiety.
An apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
This can be a great midnight snack, according to Bauer. Peanut butter is high in protein and healthy fats to keep you bloated. "The key is to make sure the late night snack is balanced", adds Ewing. "A carbohydrate like an apple or a banana should always be combined with a protein like nuts or butter.". Apples and peanut butter are also a great snack for work.
DIY pumpkin pudding
This snack is delicious, satisfactory and easy to make, says Bauer. “Stir 85 gr, vanilla yogurt, with 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree and a pinch of cinnamon », says. Yogurt contains protein and pumpkin puree is rich in a wide range of vitamins and minerals. You will definitely feel full after that.
Three cups of popcorn that are made in the air and do not contain oil, are a wonderful midnight snack, says Sandon. "Eat a lot of popcorn for very few calories, as well as a lot of fiber ", says. Just make sure they are not full of butter, like what we get in the cinema. Instead, add oil and sprinkle with one or two tablespoons of parmesan cheese, suggests Bauer.
In addition to being a good source of healthy fats, protein and fiber, Peanuts are full of melatonin which promotes sleep, says Ewing. "She has a handful 6,5 mg melatonin and most melatonin supplements contain 0,5 to 5 grams, so this is a much better way to get melatonin naturally ". Peanuts are not just a snack before bed, but it is an ideal snack, for a classic road trip.
The hummus, which is made with protein-rich chickpeas, is another great example of a balanced and healthy midnight snack, says Ewing. "This will keep your blood sugar levels steady and leave you feeling full and satisfied". However, you have to watch out for the portion you will eat, to keep calories low and avoid possible weight gain.
A cup of herbal tea
Herbal tea, decaffeinated come in various flavors - honey, vanilla, mint, cinnamon and hazelnut – and can calm sweets, says Dr Jastreboff. "Adding a little milk will make it more enjoyable", he adds. In addition, a steaming cup of banana tea is one of the strangest (but effective) insomnia treatments out there.
Which snacks to avoid late at night
There are some snacks to avoid before bed. "Eating slowly, can affect the quality of sleep, especially if we eat things that cause reflux or heartburn ", says Dr Jastreboff. And excessive consumption can lead to bloating or swelling, which also prevent a good night's sleep.
Avoid chocolate, says. Chocolate has caffeine that can make it difficult for you to sleep. Potatoes and cookies can also cause blood sugar to rise. This can affect your sleep. Avoid alcohol at least two hours before bedtime, advises Ewing.