Imagine tossing and turning in your bed past midnight. Your stomach is crying out for some food. So you rush to the refrigerator and start munching on the leftover slice of pizza, maybe the casserole or some fried snacks. Sounds tasty but unhealthy, right? Don’t worry. We have got you covered.
This blog will list the 30 best healthy late-night snacks to satisfy your midnight cravings and help you sleep without hunger pangs pestering you. Also, guess what? You will not have to worry about gaining those extra pounds. So, what are you waiting for? Read ahead for more.
Before we walk you through the healthy late-night snack tips, let’s first understand the reason behind midnight cravings.
Maybe you are consuming big meals every day, but it may not be helpful if you are not taking the required amounts of nutrients. This is one of the reasons why you end up feeling hungry.
Hormonal fluctuations lead to midnight hunger pangs. When there is an imbalance in the body, your body starts craving sugar. Some other reasons can be stress, depression, anxiety, and menstruation.
People suffering from Night Eating Syndrome experience low levels of hunger in the morning, and at night they feel like consuming more. People suffering from this disorder may also have insomnia. If midnight hunger pangs bother you almost every day, you must speak with your doctor.
When you don’t eat your meals on time, it can affect your metabolism and body. So, it is essential to cultivate healthy eating habits where you consume food rich in nutrients.
It’s time to look at some of the late-night food options so you can munch on them guilt-free. We have divided them into sweet and savory snacks to make them easier for you. Read on.
If you are hungry before bed, go and grab a banana. There can be no better option to keep you full throughout the night. Moreover, bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium. While the former relaxes your muscles, the latter helps you sleep better. You can add a tablespoon of peanut butter to it and make a smoothie out of it. Sounds tempting? Try it out tonight. Bananas are good snacks.
Don’t run to the fridge to gobble up those sweetened chocolates if you have a sweet tooth. They will mess up your blood sugar levels and hamper your sleep. So, dark chocolate is a good midnight snack. It is rich in antioxidants and will keep diseases at bay.
Pineapple is an excellent source of melatonin. Studies show that they can increase your body’s melatonin levels by 266%. This delicious tropical fruit can be one of the best foods to have at night. The high melatonin levels will give you sound sleep. It is one of the best midnight snack ideas.
An average adult should drink about 3 liters of water daily. If you do not drink adequate water, your body will get dehydrated, making you feel hungry. Watermelons are a good source of water and can replenish your lost energy. This is also the best late-night snack for weight loss.
Do you feel like grabbing an ice cream late at night? Here’s a simple hack. Freeze some watermelon and enjoy it to quench your midnight cravings. You don’t need to add any sweeteners because watermelon is sweet. This is an easy late-night snack.
If you are looking for the best snacks before bed for weight loss, try having an apple before bed. Apples not only keep doctors away. They can also keep your cravings at bay. Apples contain antioxidants that can prevent chronic diseases. Moreover, an apple is low in calories but can keep you full at the same time.
Kiwis are delicious fruits that can satisfy both your taste buds and stomach. And, guess what is the bonus tip? They can also help you sleep better. A 2011 study found that people who ate 2 kiwis before bed went to sleep 45% faster and also got better sleep than those who didn’t. Isn’t that enough reason to stock them up in your house today? They are perfect quick midnight snacks.
What if you are hungry at midnight and craving something sweet? Grapes can satisfy your cravings without disrupting your sleep. That's because they are a rich source of melatonin. So, having a small bunch of grapes can give you a sound sleep at night.
Hungry late at night? If you are a fruit fan, you can’t miss tart cherries. Go and grab them from your nearest fruit seller. They will leave your taste buds satisfied before sleep. Moreover, research shows that tart cherries are beneficial for insomnia.
Running out of savory snack ideas? Help yourself to a serving of strawberries. These fresh and juicy fruits can satisfy your taste buds. Moreover, they are excellent sources of vitamin C and melatonin. So, you can have a healthy snack and enjoy undisturbed sleep at the same time.
If you are lazy and want to grab a quick late-night snack, smoothies are the best option. Just get your blender and put in your favorite fruits and vegetables. You can also add some yogurt to enhance the taste. Smoothies are easy to make, packed with nutrients, and can keep you full throughout the night. They are great for late-night hunger.
No, we are not talking of your usual caffeinated tea with loads of sugar and milk. That can mess up your night’s sleep. You can have a cup of green tea instead to relax.
Chamomile tea is also a good thing to have before bed. It is caffeine-free and contains apigenin which can help you sleep better. You can’t afford to miss out on these lip-smacking healthiest late-night snacks recipes if you are looking for foods to get a good night’s sleep.
Oatmeal might remind you of breakfast. But it’s a healthy snack at night too. It contains complex carbohydrates that will break down slowly, preventing a sudden increase in your blood sugar levels. A 2016 study suggests that these complex carbohydrates signal your brain to release the neurotransmitter serotonin, which tranquilizes your body. Thus, you can get better and undisturbed sleep.
Pistachios can be delightful late-night snacks. They are rich in protein and will keep you full. Moreover, pistachios contain high amounts of melatonin, which can help you sleep better. Though most nuts contain melatonin, pistachios contain a higher amount. So, they are a better option when it comes to healthy midnight snacks.
How many times have you munched on a packet of popcorn at a movie theater? Well, they can satisfy your midnight cravings. You don’t have to worry about calorie intake. A single serving of 3 cups can contain only 100 calories. Corns are whole grains. So, you will get a lot of complex carbohydrates that will keep you full till morning.
Whole-grain crackers and cheese are one of the best late-night snacks. You will get a perfect balance of carbohydrates and proteins to keep you full throughout the night. Cheese is also a source of Tryptophan, which is an amino acid helping in the synthesis of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Remember to take reduced-fat cheddar cheese to stay healthy.
If you are too lazy to cook and want some easy midnight snacks, this one is ideal for you. Moreover, toast with cheese and tomatoes also tastes yummy. Tomatoes contain melatonin which will give you undisturbed sleep. And the toast and cheese will keep you full till breakfast, making it one of the best foods to eat at night.
Don't get surprised. Pumpkin seeds are fashionable these days and a great late-night snack. Moreover, they have numerous health benefits including promoting better sleep. They contain tryptophan which helps your body to produce melatonin, helping you sleep better and longer. You can roast the pumpkin seeds and top them up with salt and cinnamon. After all, you must listen to your taste buds too.
Yogurt is another healthy late-night snack and is delicious too. It is rich in calcium which promotes better sleep and makes your bones strong. In addition, calcium helps your body produce melatonin from the amino acid tryptophan.
Sweetened yogurts might be tempting. But if you want to avoid those extra calories, go for the unflavored one. You can top it with some berries and peaches to spoil your taste buds.
If you are running out of late-night snack ideas, run to your kitchen. You are sure to find some eggs. They are versatile, and you can have them in any form, boiled or poached. Eggs can be considered one of the healthy bedtime snacks. They are rich in healthy protein and will keep you full.
One large egg contains about 6 grams of protein. Much of the protein is tryptophan which helps you get a good night’s sleep.
Do you crave french fries late at night? But fried snacks can mess up with your weight loss goals. Don’t worry. You can have baked ones. Moreover, sweet potatoes are a healthier option than your usual potatoes.
They are rich in fiber and also contain a bit of protein. Fiber keeps you full so that you don’t wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.
Grab a handful of almonds if you are looking for healthy bedtime snacks. They are rich in protein, fiber, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. So, you will feel full, and at the same time magnesium will lead to better sleep. You can roast the almonds if you crave healthy savory snacks. However, do not add salt as that will reduce its beneficial effects. These are great no-cook late-night snacks.
Nuts can make midnight snacking fun. Just like almonds and pistachios, walnuts are rich in melatonin to boost your circadian rhythms. Moreover, they contain chemicals that lead to the production of serotonin (responsible for promoting better sleep). They are good late-night snacks.
How many times did it happen that you were hungry before bed and you devoured a packet of potato chips? And then you ended up feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Zucchini chips are one of the best late-night snacks to fried and greasy potato chips that will leave no room for guilt.
Crunchy foods are always a delight, and what can be better than chickpeas for an easy late-night snack? You will get them in grocery stores. However, it is better to roast them at home and add your seasonings. Since chickpeas are rich in protein, these late night snack ideas will satisfy your stomach, keeping you full.
A whole-grain wrap is the best healthy night snack. A small whole-grain tortilla contains just about 94 calories. You can top it up with some yummy greens and veggies to make it tastier and healthier.
Tofu has recently become popular among vegans and vegetarians. It is a soy-based protein and contains isoflavone which supposedly leads to better sleep.
Though, more research needs to be done on the relationship between tofu and improved sleep. You can saute or light fry some vegetables with tofu in the evening. Munch on a small quantity if you get midnight cravings. So, this is what to eat at night.
Bell Peppers have a distinct flavor that makes your food tangy and delicious. But did you ever imagine them as good bedtime snacks? You can dip them in hummus or stuff them with grains and cheese. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are one of the healthiest late-night snacks.
Tired of fruits already? Have some cottage cheese before hitting the bed. You might avoid it for its bland taste. But, it can increase the serotonin levels in your body and induce sleep.
Studies show that it can help you reach your weight loss goals pretty fast. So, the next time you are hungry at midnight, try to have some cottage cheese with a seasoning of your choice. This is what to eat at night when hungry.
Avocados are delicious fruits and are a healthier option to put on your toast than butter. It is buttery but low in fat. Moreover, it is rich in fiber to keep you full till morning. You can top your toast with some fresh coriander or other veggies to enhance the taste and get more benefits. This is one of the easy late-night snacks.
Who doesn’t love sandwiches? But we are not talking about those filled with tons of unhealthy carbs and calories. Make your sandwich out of brown whole wheat bread. Add veggies of your choice to make it filling healthy snacks.
You can add some yogurt inside instead of mayonnaise. It will taste creamy and awesome and is also a healthier alternative. You can also put peanut butter inside your sandwiches.
Now that you know how to satisfy your late-night hunger let’s look at the pros and cons.
Following are the foods to avoid at night.
High amounts of salt can lead to increased blood pressure. As a result, you will be unable to sleep comfortably since your heart rate will increase, making you feel restless. It’s not only about raw salt. But all processed and packed food have high amounts of salt. So, it’s best to avoid them at night.
Meat, processed cheese, and fried snacks are not the best late-night snacks for weight loss. Moreover, your stomach will have a hard time digesting them. Thus, you will not be able to sleep peacefully.
High amounts of sugar can raise your blood sugar levels. But your body will release insulin to absorb the sugar in the cells so that they can run. This can lead to disturbed sleep as you will get overstimulated.
If you are looking for an easy late-night snack but are concerned about your health, please remember a few things.
If you consume heavy and high-fat foods at night, you might get an upset stomach. Dietician Chrissy Arsenasult recommends having foods rich in fiber and protein. These are filling healthy snacks that will keep your unhealthy cravings at bay.
Salt and sugar are equally harmful and you should stay away from them at night. Sodium salts will increase your blood pressure, making you restless. And sugary foods will make your blood sugar levels fluctuate, stimulating you.
After all, your stomach needs time to digest the food. If you gulp down snacks straight to bed, you will have trouble falling asleep. So, it’s better to get into the habit of eating at least a couple of hours before going to bed.
Keeping a healthy sleeping schedule and going to bed early is the best to avoid late-night snacking.
Foods are meant to act as fuel to keep your body going. But your body needs to calm down and rest at night. So, make sure you do not stuff that overstimulates you and messes up your sleep.
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Antioxidants in food: mere myth or magic medicine? -
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