It’s late at night, and you are just done with a hectic day, and now your stomach is rumbling. Since we know having meals late at night can put a pack of pounds on you, here comes the tricky part. What one can take to quell that rumbling in his stomach? There are several healthy late night snacks out there that can help to curb the cravings and tame your hunger.
No one can suggest what is an ideal healthy late night snack. However, it is suggestive that consumption of meals of approx 150 calories is not that much harmful. In addition, when the food choice is small, dense in nutrition, low in energy, the negative outcome diminishes up to some extent.
Some healthy late night snacks also provide substances that help to fall asleep earlier and improve its quality. Such substances may include serotonin, melatonin, and tryptophan.
16 Best Healthy Late night Snacks
The sweet and sour fruit is an excellent source of ascorbic acid and serotonin. Thus, it is suggestive that both the serotonin and vitamin c present in kiwi promotes sound sleep.
A study finds the fact that the people who ate kiwi before going to bed experienced better sleep. They fell asleep 42% earlier and experienced a 13% increase in their total sleep time. So, if you’re the one facing difficulty in falling asleep, kiwi can be your best healthy late night snack.
2 – Cereals With Hot Milk
Cereals and oatmeals are not only bounded with breakfasts. They can also be consumed as a snack. The plus point of oatmeals is their low-calorie intake, and when combined with hot milk or water, they serve as a perfectly nutritious meal to curb your appetite.
Lastly, they are a hub of melatonin, a hormone that helps in sound sleep.
Besides the effect of melatonin, they are rich in fiber which gives a fuller effect and can induce drowsiness if taken before bed. Hence, having oatmeals soaked in warm milk can help you fall asleep.
3- Pumpkin Seeds
Want to have something lighter on your stomach that can help you to sleep earlier. Pumpkin seeds can help you in this regard. They are low on calories and are a great source of minerals and chemicals that promote good sleep.
Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, an amino acid that aids sleep. Alongside the tryptophan, they are rich in magnesium, iron, and zinc, thus providing a lot of minerals with very low-calorie consumption.
To our utter surprise, this soy-based protein contains several nutritious factors. Tofu consists of high-quality proteins and calcium, which helps us meet our daily requirements to some extent. In addition, it is rich in isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen that resembles estrogen.
Since estrogen is linked to better sleep quality, it is considered that tofu helps to promote better sleep quality. A study also finds that consuming soy-based meals such as natto, tofu, and fried tofu aid in better and sound sleep.
5- Trail Mix
Another member of our healthy late night snacks is a trail mix. The regimen is full of healthy and nutritious nuts, dried fruits, and seeds. However, one needs to be cautious while selecting trail mix ingredients as sometimes they are dense in calories.
So it’s essential to maintain a portion size. It is suggestive that one-fourth cup of trail mix provides 173 calories on average.
6- Rice Cake
Are you in the mood for snacking but not having much appetite? Want to have something with phenomenal texture and flavor to satisfy your cravings?
Rice cakes can be one of the healthy midnight snacks that can curb your cravings without burdening your pocket nor your stomach. Moreover, you can add extra flavor to it by adding more butter, cheese, or any fruit of your choice.
Moving ahead, it feels super lazy to cook anything late at night, and most of us usually look for options that are easy to cook and can satisfy our cravings. In this regard, eggs can be your savior. This versatile food has a lot of nutrients embedded in it that can make you ready for the upcoming day.
Another perk of having eggs as a snack is that they can be easily adjusted with various foods. Because of it, you can get a protein-rich meal in little to no time.
Are you tired of having salted and flavored meals all day? Want to have something healthy and nutritious as your healthy midnight snack? Then almonds can be the best choice.
They are a great source of tryptophan, a sleep-supporting amino acid, and magnesium, a muscle relaxer. In addition, The magnesium content in almonds regulates the blood sugar level as we sleep.
9- Bedtime Smoothie
This rich, creamy savory can be considered as one of the healthy late night snacks. But the question arises here, which one is the best? As we consider the options that promote better sleep, a Delish bedtime smoothie can be your go-to decision. It contains sleep-inducing ingredients such as banana, almond, honey, flax seeds, etc. Almost all of them promote the production of serotonin and aid in sound sleep.
You can also add peanut butter banana smoothie or banana and nutmeg smoothie to the list of your bedtime smoothies.
10- Greek Yogurt With Fruits
Yogurt, a healthy regimen full of probiotics, protein, and calcium, can be taken as a late night snack. The calcium content in yogurt promotes good sleep, whereas probiotics maintain good digestion.
However, it is suggestive of selecting the yogurt carefully. Having sweetened and artificially flavored yogurt would be of no help instead of adding more calories. In this regard, greek yogurt would be the best choice as greek yogurt is plain and low on sugar. If you still want to add some flavor to your yogurt, you can use fruits and berries or honey for some sweetness.
11- Fresh veggies
People want to stuff their stomachs with something natural yet savory and can look for fresh veggies. For instance, a combination of orange carrots, grape potatoes, and some broccoli can give you a fuller tummy before going to bed.
To add some more flavor, one can sprinkle a few pinches of pepper or favorite herbs. In addition, a dip made from Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese, or savory hummus can enhance the flavor.
12- Fruits mixed with nuts
Fruits mixed with nuts are one of the most accessible healthy late night snacks. They do not require any additional effort to cook or serve. Plus, they are a hub of fibers, vitamins, minerals, and whatnot. All these things help to make you ready for the coming day.
13- Turkey Sandwich
Turkey sandwiches can be a good inducer of sleep as the turkey is a source of serotonin. Not only this, a study published in the year 2016 proposes the idea that carbs help in better absorption of tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin. Therefore, it is suggestive that having whole wheat bread with turkey can support better sleep.
Bananas, a rapid source of glucose, can help you tame your hunger in little to no time. Moreover, it increases melatonin production, just like the almond and other sleep-inducing healthy late night snacks.
Plus, you don’t need to worry about calorie intake. According to some of the estimates, a medium banana holds 105 calories on average. Hence, it provides plenty of nutrients, melatonin, and meager calories and that too, in less time.
A chickpea-derived hummus is a favorite midnight snack for many people out there, even some dieticians. It is one of the favorite foods of Rachel Stahl, a registered dietitian based out of New York City.
She recommends two tablespoons of hummus with freshly cut veggies or with whole-grain crackers. It is high in tryptophan and helps to induce better sleep if taken before bed.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants, including melatonin. Together, all of them help to support a better sleep that too with a very low-calorie intake.
According to an estimate, there are only 53 calories in a cup of sliced strawberries in contrast to the one-fourth cup of trail mix that has around 173 calories. In this way, you can have a more significant portion of snacks without worrying about your calorie intake.
All in all, to overcome the cravings at night, some healthy late night snacks can be helpful. First, they are good to satisfy your cravings with a very low-calorie intake. Secondly, they enhance the production of certain chemicals that help fall asleep earlier and improve sleep quality. And lastly but certainly not the least they bring a lot of nutrition to the table.
Although mid-night snacking can lead you to put on some extra pounds, portion control is mandatory. Snacks under 200 calories or approximately 150 are less harmful than snacks with a higher amount of calories. Also, one should avoid spicy, sugary, and caffeinated beverages before going to bed as they make it harder to fall asleep and impair digestion.