Eating For Sleep
Are you thinking about what to eat in the evening to aid sleep? Foods to help you sleep are easy to find. We’ve got three recipes here for you but you can easily create your own meals that can help you with sleeping. The ingredients you should be turning to for a great night of sleep should include tryptophan, melatonin, and carbohydrate. Many people who are trying to lose weight are often told to avoid carbohydrates, particularly in the evening. However, a modicum of carbs will help to sustain you through the long hours of the night, and provide the energy your brain needs for all that healthy dreaming. You really can use foods to help you sleep.
Going Beyond The Milk
L-tryptophan is found in many meats and dairy foods. The body needs this amino acid to produce a B vitamin called niacin. You can usually find niacin in enriched breakfast cereals but you might not know what it is for. It supports the production of serotonin which is essential in helping your brain to sleep. Melatonin are the hormones that need to be regulated by the serotonin to ensure healthy sleep-wake cycles. Without the added carbohydrates in your evening meal, the tryptophan may never make it to the brain, though. Other amino acids tend to bully poor tryptophan out of the way, but carbs generate insulin that clears the path for it to be effective. Include some carbohydrates in your foods to help you sleep tonight.
As a hormone, melatonin is produced naturally and secreted from the pineal gland. It controls the circadian (sleep-wake) cycles and can even play a role in the female hormone cycles too. Rather than turning to synthetic lab produced or cow urine (!) supplements, simply try a banana, or pineapple slice. Oats can be good here too, and as they provide carbohydrates and tryptophan, perhaps a good bowl of porridge could be your ideal evening meal or snack? Vegans could turn to nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, for a tasty alternative.
Foods To Help You Sleep
Here are three recipes that you can try for a better night of sleep tonight:
CHICKPEA BURGER FOR ONE
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 teaspoon of nut oil
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
¼ cup spinach leaves
1 clove crushed garlic
1 spring onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon of natural unsweetened yogurt
¼ can of chickpeas mashed
¼ cup of cooked brown rice
Warmed wholemeal pita bread
- Pan fry the sesame seeds to toast them – about three minutes. Then add the cumin, coriander, ginger, salt and pepper. In just a minute or two, it will be seasoned enough to remove. For a smooth or pasty texture, use a rolling pin to grind down everything into soft powder.
- Combine the spring onion and garlic in a hot pan to heat through and melt.
- Add the crushed seed mixture to the onion and garlic. Now add the rice, chickpeas to the mix and mold into a pattie. You can use some of the oil to moisten the mix and help it stick or combine to the texture you like. A little oil should be brushed to the outer of the pattie before grilling. You can add a little of the lemon juice here, or use it to dress the burger and spinach at the end.
- Grill the pattie until browned a little and heated through.
- Slip the burger into the pita, adding the tomato and spinach and a lovely dollop of yogurt. Enjoy.
SLOW COOK TURKEY SLEEPER (IN UNDER AN HOUR) FOR FAMILY
You can use a slow cooker on a higher heat to cook this dish if you prefer not to use a gas hob. Use the slow cooker for an hour or the hob on simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Check dish is piping hot and cooked throughout.
500g Turkey (chopped or cubed)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of red kidney beans (drained)
1 tin of chickpeas (drained)
1 leek (chopped)
2 medium carrots (chopped)
1 fist-sized sweet potato per person
A little parsley and bay leaf for extra flavor
A little salt and pepper to taste
Some turkey gravy powder (if required)
- Seal the turkey on a high heat before putting in the slow cooker or pot
- Add all the other ingredients
- Add boiling water and a small amount of the gravy powder to thicken if required
- Boil then mash the sweet potato with some of the water or add butter and a splash of milk for a creamier consistency.
- Remove bay leaf before serving
2 medium bananas (mashed)
½ cup of light brown sugar
1 cup of bran (in fine form)
2 ½ tablespoons of finely chopped walnuts
1 cup of whole milk or thick milk like almond milk
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 eggs (try to remove one of the yolks for a lighter texture)
1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla essence or extract
Pinch of ground ginger
2 pinches of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup of nut oil
- Whisk the eggs, vanilla liquid, and sugar together until smooth and creamy. If you prefer a lighter blend remove one of the yolks before beginning. Add the milk, then the oil, bran and banana. Keep whisking until smooth and creamy again.
- Mix everything else thoroughly in a separate bowl. Create a little well at the bottom.
- Pour in the wet (creamy) ingredients into the well you’ve created. Stir but don’t add too much air to the mix.
- Spoon the mix equally into muffin cups (you may want to add a little spray oil to the cups first).
- Use a spray oil to moisten the tops of the muffins before cooking at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. They should be a little springy on the top when they’re done. Leave them to cool.