Food nourishes our body. We eat to sustain ourselves, tickle our taste buds, and- as research points out- to fall asleep.
Several foods have been proven to contain minerals and amino acids that help our brains naturally fall asleep. Forget counting sheep, set yourself up for a sound sleep at lunch.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite foods that have been proven to help you catch those zzz’s.
We all know that quinoa and brown rice are no-guilt carbohydrates for their high nutrient content, but they’re also a great go-to when trying to fall asleep. Quinoa especially is high in magnesium, a mineral that calms the mind. Quinoa is also touted for its low glycemic index, and has been proven to lower blood sugar and aide in weight loss. (Meaning you can literally sleep off excess pounds, right?) Read more on why we love quinoa, and discover a few of our favorite quinoa recipes here.
Just like quinoa, kale has nutrients that help you fall asleep at night. Along with magnesium, calcium has been a proven mind-calming nutrient- and kale is loaded with it. Per 100 grams, kale has 150 mg of calcium while milk has 125 mg. Eat more kale to sleep like a baby.
This complex carbohydrate is full of potassium, a mineral that works synergistically with magnesium to improve sleep. The magnesium/potassium combination has also been proven to alleviate muscle cramps. Sweet potatoes are versatile and excellent at keeping you full.
Not only are bananas’ potassium content known for relieving muscle cramps, their high Vitamin B6 content is needed to create melatonin, the sleep hormone. So make like Gwen Stefani and eat you B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
Heart healthy and a sleeper’s dream? Nuts such as walnuts are an excellent source or tryptophan, an amino acid required to make melatonin. The health benefits from nuts are best absorbed when not added to cookies. Instead, enjoy them in oatmeal, yogurt, or on their own.