- Having a small healthy snack before bedtime may improve your sleep and metabolism.
- A healthy bedtime snack can also prevent extreme hunger upon waking up.
- The optimal bedtime snack should include a mix of fiber-rich carbs and protein and should fall between 150 to 250 calories.
Want to improve your metabolism?
Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H. advises increasing your muscle mass by loading up on protein and slow-burning complex carbohydrates.
One study discovered that consuming 30 grams of protein before bedtime may jump start your metabolism.
Erin Thole-Summers, R.D., says that the optimal bedtime snack should include a mix of fiber-rich carbs and protein and should fall between 150 to 250 calories.
Improve your metabolism by snacking on any of these seven dietitian-approved healthy bedtime snacks about two to three hours after dinner and 60 to 90 minutes before bed.
7 Healthy Bedtime Snacks
If You’re Craving a Mini Meal:
1 slice whole-grain toast + 2 tablespoons hummus = 145 calories, 6 g protein
“Hummus is made with chickpeas, which are rich in B vitamins” that help your body metabolize and use stored energy, says Batayneh.
Whole-wheat bread contains a high amount of fiber and magnesium, which can help improve your sleep quality, says Thole-Summers.
If You’re Aiming for a Muscle Boost:
6 ounces (¾ cup) 2% cottage cheese + ½ cup pitted tart cherries = 170 calories, 22 g protein
“Eating 30 grams of protein about 60 minutes before bed appears to have a positive effect on muscle quality, metabolism, and overall health,” says Thole-Summers.
Tart cherries, meanwhile, contain melatonin, which is known to induce sleep, says Batayneh.
If You Need Better Sleep:
1 banana + 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter = 185 calories, 5 g protein
Bananas contain fast-digesting carbs and magnesium, which helps relieve stress and induce sleep, says Batayneh.
The butters contain healthy fats that help keep you full, but make sure to stick to one tablespoon to keep calories in check, advises Batayneh.
If You’re Craving Something Sweet and Salty:
½ cup pomegranate juice + 15 almonds = 180 calories, 4 g protein
Pomegranate juice is filled with antioxidants and contains “no added sugars, fillers, preservatives or caffeine,” says Batayneh.
You can also warm it up and add cinnamon, cloves, and citrus slices to help boost metabolism. This is because your body uses more energy to process spices than for other foods, says Batayneh.
Complement the sweet juice with a handful of almonds, which contain protein, tryptophan, and magnesium.
If You Want a Netflix Snack:
¼ cup crunchy chickpeas = 120 calories, 6 g protein
Craving for chips?
Try roasted chickpeas instead. They’re easy to pop and one serving contains 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. They’re also easily digestible, packed with B vitamins, and can help to fill you up so you don’t wake up starving,” says Batayneh.
If you Usually Wake Up with Overwhelming Breakfast Hunger:
6 ounces (¾ cup) plain Greek yogurt + ½ cup blueberries = 130 calories, 19 g protein
A healthy, low-calorie snack like yogurt can help regulate blood sugar levels through the night so you don’t wake up hungry, says Thole-Summers.
Yogurt also contains calcium, which helps produce melatonin, and antioxidants, which relieve stress and help provide more restful sleep.
If You Struggle with Muscle Cramps:
¾ cup whole-grain bran cereal + ½ cup milk or nondairy substitute = 135 calories, 7 g protein
If you suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome, cramps, or other issues that keep you from relaxing during bedtime, you may need to load up on calcium, magnesium, and potassium, says Batayneh.
You can get these nutrients from whole-grain bran cereals and milk (even the non-dairy kind).
Source: Eating Well