You probably know the feeling. It’s past 10 p.m. and you’re thinking about going to bed. All of a sudden, you feel a bit hungry. Next thing you know, your stomach is growling and you can’t fall asleep, but you really don’t want to eat in the middle of the night. If only there were some snacks you could eat before bed and not have to worry about them turning into fat on your hips while you sleep. Fortunately, there are some snacks that fall under that category, so check them out.
When you feel like you could go through a bag of potato chips faster than the speed of light, you might want to reconsider your choices. The fat and the salt would definitely mess with your diet, especially late at night. A healthier option, but just as crunchy, are carrots. Whether you get baby carrots, or grab a regular-size one and either chop it into pieces, or munch on it while reading a chapter of your favorite book, you won’t make a mistake. Carrots are low on calories, rich in fiber and can make you feel full pretty quickly.
If you want a satisfying late-night snack that’s actually fun to eat and loaded with nutrients, grab some pistachios. They are a great combination of healthy fat, fiber and plant protein, they contain a significant amount of vitamin B6 and various antioxidants, and the best thing is, they’re low in calories. Plus, let’s not forget they take a while to eat, being in a shell, so you’ll get plenty of time to think about how much you’ve had before you stuff yourself senseless as you watch TV before bed. They even come in different flavors, which is another good reason to snack on some tonight.
A casein protein shake
If you’re a fan of protein shakes, this one will make your day, or night in this case. There are many benefits of casein protein, but the ones you should care about are that it’s released into your body very slowly and that it encourages muscle repair by feeding them amino acids throughout the night. It supports your immune function and helps you lose weight. The natural casein protein powder comes in several flavors and it’s low-fat, which is why, when making your shake or mousse, you can add a tablespoon of coconut oil or peanut butter to it without feeling any guilt, no matter what time of day or night it is.
Although bananas contain carbs, most of those carbs are fast-digesting, which is exactly what you want from your snack if you eat it just before bed. Another great thing about bananas is that they are rich in magnesium and potassium. And why is that important? Magnesium and potassium deficiency can cause sleep problems, so having bananas before bed will give you just the perfect boost in these minerals to relax your muscles, lower your stress hormones a bit and help you fall asleep. The key is to stick to just one, and not eat a whole bunch of them, so feel free to have a banana when you get the late-night munchies.
You may wonder what these are. These green beans are whole, immature soybeans, and if you want a snack before bed, you should cook some of them and season them with garlic or some crushed red pepper. Edamame beans are a good nighttime snack choice because they don’t elevate your sugar levels and they’re rich in fiber and protein, as well as in a whole range of vitamins and minerals. So, just boil them for about five minutes, steam them for a while or simply throw them into your microwave oven and let them help you contain your hunger.
Cereals and skim milk
You might only consider them a great breakfast meal, but that’s not all cereals are. You can definitely eat them before bed as well, but you have to be careful with which ones you choose. Get the ones which are loaded with fiber and protein, but with a low sugar content. The ingredients you want in your cereals are whole grains, such as spelt, sprouted wheat or barley, but also nuts like almonds, as well as soybeans and lentils. It’s also important that the milk you eat with your cereals is skim, since you don’t want the extra fat making its deposits on your body while you sleep.
Chia seeds and Greek yogurt
Another amazing source of fiber and protein, Greek yogurt can be your go-to snack around the clock. It’s packed with nutrients and probiotics and it’s a great choice of food after an intense workout session, since it encourages muscle repair. You should get the low-fat version, though. And if the benefits of Greek yogurt aren’t enough for you, top it with a full tablespoon of amazing chia seeds, which are a wonderful source of fiber and iron. They can provide you with a huge amount of nutrients, but with very few calories, and their antioxidant content is through the roof. They may even reduce your blood sugar levels and chronic inflammation, so feel free to add them to your diet any time of day or night.
The conclusion is that you don’t have to go to bed hungry. Just be smart about what you choose for a nighttime meal and you’ll be fine.