We’ve all experienced it…
Its close to midnight and your stomach starts rumbling.
You try to ignore it but you can’t.
So you hop out the bed, head to the kitchen, and grab your favorite pint of ice cream.
You finish it off and head back to bed.
And while that ice cream was surely delicious, you now feel guilty and wish you could take it back.
Fortunately for you having a night time snack is not necessarily a bad thing.
What you snack on however is very important.
Top 5 Healthy Foods For Late Night Snackers
The fuzzy skin on kiwis usually turns people off.
But these sweet tart fruits are nutritional powerhouses and are great for your waistline.
One peeled kiwi has less than 50 calories, provides you with 2.5 grams of fiber, and is close to 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Kiwis may also be able to help if you are having trouble getting to sleep.
To put this theory to the test there was a study done on 24 adults who had sleep difficulties.
One hour before bed each participant would eat two kiwis. To track sleep each participant used a sleep watch and a sleep diary.
After just one month those who participated in the study reported it took them on average 35% less time to fall asleep.
They were also able to get better quality sleep and sleep for longer periods of time.
This is due to the amount of serotonin found in kiwis.
Not only does serotonin help you relax, but it can also curb cravings for carbs.
While most of us think of eggs as a breakfast food, the reality is you can eat them anytime of day.
The great thing about eggs is how versatile they are.
You can prepare them and enjoy them in a variety of different ways.
For easy snacking try keeping a few boiled eggs in your refrigerator at all times.
You can either eat the boiled egg as is, or chop it up and turn it into an egg salad.
One large egg has a little over 80 mg of tryptophan, an amino acid that is known to make you sleepy.
And with only 72 calories per large egg, this quick snack is great for your waistline too.
Having a protein smoothie right before bed can do much more than just help you get a good nights sleep.
If you exercise on a regular basis a protein snack before bed can help with muscle repair and slow down any muscle loss that is due to aging.
The great thing about smoothies is they provide you with a quick and easy way to get in protein right before bed.
Here is a delicious protein smoothie you can make in 5 minutes.
Blend 8 ounces of low fat milk with pineapple, or any other tropical fruit you like.
The low fat milk will provide you with both protein and tryptophan, which is known to aid with sleep.
A few small studies have shown that tart cherries such as Montmorency can help you sleep better.
One particular study was done on a group of older women who all suffered from insomnia.
Each morning at breakfast, and every night 1-2 hours before bed, the women would drink either 8 ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo drink.
After two weeks each woman was given an on site sleep test.
The test found that the women who drank the tart cherry juice were able to get close to one and a half hours more sleep at night.
Tart cherries contain a small amount of melatonin, which is a sleep promoting hormone.
Tart cherries also contain procyanidin B-2, a phytochemical that protects tryptophan in your blood.
Tryptophan is used to make melatonin. So when it is protected you will sleep better at night.
Yogurt is another quick and easy snack you can eat at anytime, day or night.
Yogurt is a great source of calcium. And as you know, calcium is known for its ability to keep our bones strong and healthy.
But that’s not all calcium can do.
Studies now show that calcium can help you sleep better at night.
Without calcium your body will not be able to make melatonin using tryptophan.
Greek yogurt in particular is rich in casein.
Some studies show that consuming casein at night may reduce morning hunger.
If you choose to snack on yogurt make sure its plain.
If you need to add a little flavor use unsweetened fruit such as peaches.
Before snacking at night stop and ask yourself are you truly hungry or are you just bored?
If you are truly hungry then by all means have a snack.
Just make sure whatever snack you choose is under 200 calories.
Make sure you always have healthy snacks in your fridge.
This way you will be less likely to run and get something unhealthy.