Food consumption, exercise, and sleep are among the routine daily activities that affect the quality of our daily lives. The way we do these tasks will define our health and wellbeing.
Among the above three activities, sleep occupies our daily lives the longest. Around a third of our lives is spent in bed. Covering a huge share of how we spend our time means sleep is an essential part of our lives especially concerning our health. Better memory, lower stress, and improved creativity are just a few of the obvious benefits of having a quality sleep. Without enough sleep, our bodies can develop immediate or long-term health and productivity problems.
Diet and sleep
Knowing the importance of sleep, we need to make sure all our activities will contribute to getting it. Our diet is one activity that can do just that.
The Affordable Superfoods that we eat contain substances that can affect our sleep appetite for better or worse. A proper, well-selected combination of food can contribute to an easier and sounder slumber. Here are some foods that can improve your sleep:
Fish – Many fish – salmon, tuna, and halibut in particular – has vitamin B6, a nutrient required to produce the sleep hormone melatonin.
Jasmine rice – This rice type has high-glycemic-index (GI) than other types, according to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The authors of this article believed high-GI meals trigger the increased insulin levels, which in turn heighten the amount of sleep-inducing neurotransmitter tryptophan.
Yogurt and other dairy products – Research suggests calcium-deficiency can make sleeping difficult. Dairy produce like yogurt and milk are known to contain calcium.
Kale – Aside from dairy products, green leafy vegetables such as kale also contain healthy doses of calcium.
Whole grains and other complex carbohydrates – Eaters of magnesium-rich whole grains like barley and bulgur are shown to stay asleep longer than those who consume too little magnesium, a Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine article reported. Whole-grain bread, brown rice, cereals, crackers, and pasta are okay too. Avoid eating simple carbs such as cakes, cookies, and pastries as they cut down serotonin levels that discourage sleep.
Bananas, chickpeas, and fortified cereals – Banana, known for its healthy amounts of potassium, is also rich in Vitamin B6, an article in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences said. Aside from banana, the report also included chickpeas and fortified cereals.
Fresh herbs – Fresh herbs can bring a relaxing effect on the body. Some of them such as basil and sage have chemicals that calm tension and encourage sleep. However, avoid herbs that can stimulate our senses at night such as red pepper or black pepper.
Lean proteins – Low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey and fish and other lean proteins are high in tryptophan that increases serotonin levels. But avoid high-fat cheeses as well as deep-fried chicken and fish. These Affordable Superfoods can make it hard for you to sleep because of difficulty in digestion.
Tart cherry juice – This melatonin-rich drink was proven to help sleep in a small study. Another study showed that drinking a glass of tart cherry juice twice a day can minimize chronic insomnia of adults.
Warm milk or herbal teas – A cup of warm milk or chamomile and peppermint tea can help you fall asleep. Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m.
Image: Marinela Prodan
Ethan Wright is a health enthusiast who believes every great day begins with a good night sleep. He is currently a researcher and writer for Bedding Stock, an online retailer of twin memory foam mattress in the USA. When not wearing his writing hat, you will see him traveling to places with his journal.