Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Open discussion: Munching at Midnight

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to your stomach growling? Or maybe you are a night owl and sometimes need a little something to keep you going. I know they say you shouldn’t eat anything past 7:00 pm, but sometimes you just need a snack. I know I can’t be alone in this. So what healthy foods will satisfy those night time cravings? If you wake up in the middle of the night and just can’t get back to sleep, you may want to try some starchy foods (unless you are on a low carb diet). According to Dr. Oz, “Foods that quickly raise your blood sugar also raise blood levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which the brain converts to mind-soothing serotonin.” So try something simple like microwave popcorn or an English muffin to help you get back to sleep. If your diet doesn’t allow you to eat many carbs, try a snack packed full of protein. Low fat cheese, turkey, or egg whites are some excellent choices.

If you need to stay up late to study or finish up a work project, your first instinct may be to reach for the caffeine. Although the caffeine may do the job, it could also prevent you from falling asleep later (not to mention leave you wired the next day). A healthier option would be to make a small salad of dark greens or chopped veggies. Veggies contain a great amount of complex carbs and folate. Complex carbs provided the body with energy while folate is proven to help the brain function faster. Unsalted almonds would also be a good choice. “The satisfying crunch will help you work off your anxiety, while the B vitamins and magnesium help your brain make relaxing serotonin. And at only 160 calories for about 22 almonds, you won't add weight worries to your woes.” (Dr. Oz)  What do you do to satisfy those nightly cravings?  Do you manage to eat healthy, or do your sweet craving usually win?  Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!


blueviolet said...

If I've brushed my teeth for the night, I'll never eat no matter how hungry I am!

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!