You are constantly being told that eating late at night is bad for health. While this is generally the case, it needs to be understood that some people just cannot avoid late night cravings. The midnight snack is something that all of us will have to deal with one evening or another. But just because you are eating late at night does not mean what you’re eating has to be unhealthy for you. There are a lot of safe and healthy late-night snack options to choose from:
There is nothing more refreshing than a wonderful bowl of cherries on a hot summer night. Cherries can be a little bit tart or a little bit sweet, but the tart ones are probably the healthiest. They have anti-inflammatory properties that protect your body from developing arthritis and heart disease. They also contain melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep which makes them a great midnight snack option. Make sure you have a bowl of these, so you can reach out and snack healthy when that sudden midnight craving hits you hard!
Kiwis are another fruit that can fluctuate between being sweet and tart. They are a low-calorie fruit (two peeled kiwis contain only 93 total calories) that contains lots of dietary fiber. Kiwis also contain serotonin, a hormone that can promote sleep by helping you to relax and fall asleep faster. Serotonin also has added benefit of being a natural appetite suppressant, so it will help prevent overindulging on too many midnight snacks.
Eating protein-rich snacks are great if you feel the need to snack late at night. A protein smoothie is pretty simple to prepare; you can put it together in a matter of minutes. Although, you may want to be careful running a blender late at night. Protein snacks support muscle repair and help to reduce the rate of muscle loss, especially if you are physically active. You can also liven them up and make them even healthier by adding other great midnight snack ingredients such as milk and pineapple.
Yogurt is a great midnight snack option. Not only is it an excellent source of protein, but it also contains calcium. Once again, the protein helps with building muscles and cellular repair. It also contains calcium, a much-needed nutrient to build strong bones. Calcium has also recently been linked to improved sleep because it makes melatonin from the amino acid, tryptophan.
If you are eating a store-bought cup of yogurt and really want to make your late-night yogurt snack healthy, try eating Greek yogurt. It is even more rich in protein than some other versions of yogurt, and even contains casein. Eating the casein protein late at night can help to reduce the amount of hunger you will experience the next day.
Seeds are always a good low-calorie, nutrient-dense choice, which normally makes them great late-night snacking material. The problem is seeds are often really small, so it can be difficult to get your fill of them. Pumpkin seeds are big enough to chew down on and fill your stomach up to the point where you feel full. They also contain a lot of tryptophan, which is a necessary ingredient to create melatonin.
Eggs are some of the best protein choices around. They are also incredibly versatile and work well in a wide variety of different snacks. Eating eggs also will not raise your cholesterol, even though they do contain cholesterol, so you don’t have to worry that you’re doing yourself a disservice by enjoying them. When it comes to late night snacks, the last thing you want to do most nights is actually cook something. Fortunately, eggs can be made ahead of time by hard boiling them and keeping them in the fridge. Then all you have to do when you’re hungry after the sun goes down is peel the shell and have at it.
You can easily acquire some trail mix to have it on hand when you get some late-night munchies. Quality trail mix can be purchased at the store or you can even make it yourself. Typically, trail mix is an assortment of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and sometimes a little bit of chocolate. Unlike the majority of these snack options, trail mix tends to be calorie dense, so you want to make sure you don’t overindulge in it late at night.
If you are really truly hungry late at night, don’t fight it. Your body is most likely telling you it needs to eat. Just make sure you are eating the right foods. Some of the best late night snack foods even contain sleep inducing compounds and can even be beneficial for eating at night.