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Do You Know Eating The Right Kind Of Food Can Actually Help You Sleep?

Do You Know Eating The Right Kind Of Food Can Actually Help You Sleep?

Have you ever laid in bed, exhausted from the day’s activities, and yet still can’t fall asleep?

Do you wake up in the middle of the night and find it hard, impossible even, to get back to sleep?

Have you tried cutting out caffeine and other stimulants from your diet, and still can’t sleep?

Have you resorted to prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids to get you through the night?

If you have trouble sleeping, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that over 20 million Americans experience some form of sleep problems, and over 40 million suffer from a chronic sleep condition. From trouble falling asleep to the inability to enjoy a full night’s rest, there exist more than 70 different sleep disorders that force many people to seek intervention. But most people don’t consider that, aside from sleep aids, there are many foods to help you sleep.

Why Try Foods Over Other Treatments to Help You Sleep?

Losing a night or two of sleep doesn’t seem like a big deal for most people, but too many sleepless nights can quickly take a toll on many aspects of your body. Lack of sleep can affect your mood, focus, physical appearance, and memory, and can ultimately lead to an increased risk in heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

These are serious consequences, but are ones that can be avoided when you introduce enough of the right foods into your diet.

People who continuously experience sleep troubles often turn to mainstream medicine to get quick relief. Doctors can prescribe medications that can make you sleep, or you can grab an over-the-counter sleep remedy. These seem like viable options to people who are desperate for any amount of sleep, but medications also come with their own sets of risks, like dependency, that might make you worse off than if you had forgone them altogether.

Prescription drugs and supplements often carry some type of dependency risk factor, tricking your body into lowering its own natural production of chemicals that help induce sleep. Sometimes, sleeping pills can help you get such an incredible night’s sleep that you’ll never want to go to bed without them again. But long-term use isn’t usually recommended.

Granted, most people know that foods and drinks like soda, coffee, and chocolate can greatly boost your inability to fall asleep, even when your body feels tired. But just as there exists stimulating edibles to keep you alert and moving, there are also several foods to help you sleep.

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And unlike potentially addicting sleeping pills, these foods are 100% safe, non-addicting, and prescription-free.

Before you make a mad dash to the pharmacy to help you catch your zzz’s, try incorporating some of these foods to help you sleep more soundly:

Walnuts

    Walnuts are a solid source of the amino acid Tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin and melatonin to help you sleep. Each 1-ounce serving of walnuts contains about 170 mg of tryptophan, so about 5-6 servings would equal that of an OTC supplement. In addition, the high quantity of tryptophan in walnuts can also help subside some of the moodiness generated by lack of sleep.

    Researchers from the University of Texas discovered that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, another chemical in the brain responsible for helping you sleep. Melatonin is available as an OTC supplement, but walnuts help you get it naturally.

    This dessert recipe is chock full of walnuts.

    Turkey

      Another food rich in tryptophan, there’s a reason why people want to snooze right after a hearty Thanksgiving meal. Turkey contains between 250-310 mg of tryptophan per 3-ounce serving, which is about the size of a pack of playing cards.

      Granted, most other meats contain about the same amount of tryptophan as turkey. But turkey, being a lean meat rich in protein, iron, zinc, and potassium, can also give you the benefit of better skin and teeth (due to the high amount of phosphorus) and lower cholesterol.

      Make your own mouth-watering turkey with this recipe.

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      Cheese, Milk & Yogurt

        You may have heard that a glass of warm milk can help you sleep, but honestly any dairy products can do the trick. Calcium-rich cheese, milk and yogurt helps the brain use the tryptophan to create sleep-inducing melatonin.

        Here’s a recipe for yogurt you can make in your own kitchen.

        You need calcium in your diet regardless of your sleep habits. Calcium can help prevent bone damage or loss, and helps regulate your muscle movement. It’s recommended that you take in between 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg of calcium daily. Eight ounces of plain, low fat yogurt typically contains around 475 mg of calcium, while an 8-ounce glass of milk yields around 276 mg. Don’t take more than 500 mg of calcium at each meal, and be sure you take it with some Vitamin C to increase absorption.

        Cherries

          It’s been found that all varieties of cherries are high in melatonin, which is crucial in inducing sleep. The best way to get your fill is to drink a glass of tart cherry juice or eat one cup of whole cherries before you turn in for the night.

          In addition, cherries can have a positive effect on joint pain and arthritis. If pain caused by arthritis is the culprit keeping you up at night, cherries could help alleviate both problems.

          Try this recipe for Sparkling Cherry Juice.

          Tuna

            Boasting even more trytophan than turkey, fish such as tuna, cod and halibut can help you sleep. A four-ounce portion of yellowfin tuna packs more than 300 mg of tryptophan. Try this yellowfin tuna recipe.

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            In addition, you can also get the added benefit of essential Omega-3 fatty acids that can help with depression, hypertension, joint pain, and arthritis.

            Honey

              The natural sugars in honey give your insulin levels a slight boost, which helps tryptophan easily enter your brain. Honey helps build a steady supply of glucose to get your body through the night, and contributes to melatonin release.

              Add a spoonful of honey to your chamomile tea, or slurp it straight from the spoon to set yourself on a path to a more restful sleep.

              This recipe combines honey with yogurt and fresh fruit to give you a tripe threat in combating sleeplessness.

              Chia Seeds

                They might be tiny, but chia seeds pack about 202 mg of tryptophan into every two-tablespoon serving. Chia seeds are also rich in calcium, another helpful aid in sleeping.

                Add a sprinkling of chia seeds to any of the above recipes. It doesn’t change the flavor, but will give you all the benefits.

                Pretzels

                  Pretzels produce a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which reduces the time it takes you to fall asleep. Just like with honey, this burst also helps tryptophan enter your brain.

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                  You can buy pretzels at the store, or make your own healthier pretzels at home with this recipe .

                  Rice

                    Rice’s high glycemic index will, just like honey and pretzels, helps shorten the time it takes you to arrive in dreamland.

                    Both brown and red rice are high in tryptophan, with about 101 mg of it in each half-cup. Brown rice is also a good source of calcium and magnesium, two essentials that can promote a better night’s sleep.

                    This recipe combines trytophan-rich turkey and rice into one tasty dinner.

                    Bananas

                      Packed with potassium and magnesium, bananas can provide a quick remedy to help you get your nightly rest. A deficiency in magnesium has been attributed to relestless leg syndrome (RLS) and nighttime muscle cramps, two common occurrences that can hinder your night’s sleep.

                      You can get 32 mg of magnesium in a single banana, but you will need around 310-320 mg of magnesium per day to avoid deficiency.

                      This fun recipe for banana rice pudding combines bananas, rice and calcium-rich rice milk, three foods that can help you sleep.

                      Featured photo credit: parkimedes via youtube.com

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                      Lifestyle Writer and Marketing Consultant

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                      Last Updated on October 24, 2019

                      25 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

                      25 Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

                      Have you ever had those moments where you are running out the door and suddenly you realize you forgot to pack a lunch… again!

                      Let me paint a picture for you, and you can tell me if it sounds familiar or not.

                      8:45: Oops… forgot to make breakfast! You grab a granola bar and head out.

                      10:00 You feel a crash coming on. Time for a coffee!

                      3:00 You lost track of time. You are STARVING! You gorge yourself on the nearest fast food joint you can find. The day begins to trickle by again. You snag a few more coffees, sodas, and a couple candy bars to hold you over as your energy begins to crash and stress takes over.

                      8:00- Feeling ravenous again!! You gorge yourself on Pizza. A well-deserved treat.

                      12:00- The hunger begins to strike again. You try to muster up the willpower to keep you from running to the fridge.

                      Look, if that scenario at all hit home, then you are not in good company. Working as a fitness professional has really taught me quite a few things: one of them being just how bent our modern culture is towards an unhealthy lifestyle. Convenience is key in our society. While that can produce a productive and fullfililng life in some instances, I have also seen some side effects. I see the people who feel like they are dragging through each day, hoping to find the balance between a successful career, thriving relationships, and abundant health!

                      Here is the good news: there is an answer. If you are one of those people struggling to make a change in their life, then it’s time to blend convenience with health!

                      I have found some of the best quick and healthy meals for you to life your busy life and feel amazingly healthy at the same time! Here are my top 25 meals that you can bring to work!

                      1. Hummus Collard Wraps

                        I absolutely love collard wraps! And for good reason. For one, they are so fresh and satisfying that you will feel like the healthiest person alive. Second, they are extremely easy to make and pack. Third, they taste delicious!

                        Trust me, if you really want to get a health kick started strong, a collard wrap is the way to do it!

                        Check out the recipe here.

                        2. Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl

                          Even the word mediterranean peaks my cravings for a healthy meal! This quinoa bowl is nutrient dense and will leave you satiated with it’s high amounts of fiber. You can meal prep these for the week and have a week’s worth of lunches in about 30 minutes.

                          Check out the recipe here.

                          3. Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies Bowl

                            Sheet pan meals are an absolute favorite of mine! It’s as simple as a pop in the oven and you’re all set. These meal prep bowls are going to be a definite favorite for you. You’ll feel like you’re eating a gourmet meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

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                            Check out the recipe here.

                            4. Keto Proscuitto Egg Cups

                              Are you jumping on the keto bandwagon? Then these egg cups are definitely for you! The high protein and satiating fats will keep your cravings at bay. You’ll forget how healthy you are even eating with this keeper of a recipe.

                              Check out the recipe here.

                              5. Low-Carb Pad Thai

                                Have you tried Shiritake noodles yet? If not, you definitely should! These impressive noodles are made primarily of a specific type of yam soaked in water. The end product is a delicious 0-calorie noodle.

                                Pad Thai has long been a favorite of mine, and these noodles make it possible to keep my blood sugar balanced while enjoying an old time favorite. Definitely give it a shot!

                                Check out the recipe here.

                                6. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

                                  These chicken enchilada stuffed peppers pack a good serving of nutrients and protein while making meal prep simple. The great thing is, packing it is simple and reheating the meal is not a problem. Definitely add this amazing meal to your meal prep list.

                                  Check out the recipe here.

                                  7. Poke Bowl

                                    Have you jumped on the Poke Bowl bandwagon? If not, you are about to discover a new favorite! Picture sushi in a bowl. This incredible is perfect for a day of relaxing.

                                    Check out the recipe here.

                                    8. Chicken Hummus Sushirrito

                                      If you are wondering what on earth a sushirrito is, then let me help you out, it’s a blend between a burrito and sushi. Of course, this one takes on a bit of a twist.

                                      To make meal preps super easy, it is loaded with sprouts, chicken, hummus, and veggies. The preparation literally takes minutes, and it’s a fun new twist if you find yourself getting bored of salads.

                                      Check out the recipe here.

                                      9. Skillet Pizza

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                                        Guess what? Pizza isn’t completely off the menu! This Pizza has tortillas used as the base, meaning you cut the carb while still curbing that craving. Not only that, but it is extremely simple to make. Meal prep or cheat meal? I’d say it’s the best of both combined!

                                        Check out the recipe here.

                                        10. Bento Boxes

                                          These lunches were originally invented in Japan and are basically the equivallent of an American lunch bag. Since then, it has become an American favorite and can be filled with just about any filler you crave. From Mediteranean to American, these boxes are sure to be a favorite, especially for meals on the go!

                                          Check out the recipe here.

                                          11. Salad in a Jar

                                            Salad in a Jar is nothing new, but it’s a classic that we all should come back to when we get stuck in a health rut. These salads are extremely easy to prep, and even easier to pack.

                                            Grab a variety of veggies and toppings, stack them in a jar, and create varied editions of veggie-packed meals for every day of the week. You’ll be feeling fresh and ready for a new lifestyle!

                                            Check out the recipe here.

                                            12. Chicken and Avocado Burritos

                                              Who doesn’t love a good burrito? With this delicious lunch, you get all the pros without the cons of feeling heavy and bloated all day. Easy to pack? Yep. Delicious? You betcha! Filling? Definitely! Looks like we found ourselves a winner!

                                              Check out the recipe here.

                                              13. Chia Pudding

                                                This meal has a rap for being a breakfast food, but it happens to make an incredible lunch as well. This meal is perfect for those with a sweet tooth! Another pro? It’s unbelievably easy to throw together. All it takes is 5 minutes the day before, and you’re set for a healthy lunch tomorrow.

                                                Check out the recipe here.

                                                14. Avocado Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                                                  Lettuce Wraps have been a long time favorite of mine. They leave you feeling so fresh, satiated, and balanced.

                                                  With all that protein packed into one meal, you don’t have to worry about getting a carb crash a couple hours after. Plus, it will keep you full throughout the day. Add this one to your lunch list. You will be glad you did!

                                                  Check out the recipe here.

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                                                  15. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

                                                    If you have ever been to a Vietnamese restaurant, then you have likely seen these on the menu.

                                                    While Spring Rolls taste fresh and light, they somehow pack a deliciously satisfying punch. With this peanut sauce paired with fresh rolls, you won’t second guess trying out this “healthy living thing”. You’ll feel more cultured than ever!

                                                    Check out the recipe here.

                                                    16. Egg Roll In a Bowl

                                                      If you love Egg Rolls, you will love these egg rolls in a bowl. Perfect for a meal on the go, this lunch will satisfy you with an ethnic twist!

                                                      Check out the recipe here.

                                                      17. Fajita Burrito Bowl

                                                        If you have ever been to Chipotle, then you probably know what I’m talking about here! Burrito bowls are basically just that… a burrito in a bowl! You’ll get the amazing flavors of a burrito but without the mess. It’s easier to pack. Easier to eat. And all out delicious! I’d say it’s a pretty easy meal with plenty of health benefits! Give it a shot and I think you’ll find you enjoy it!

                                                        Check out the recipe here.

                                                        18. Basil Capri Salad

                                                          This Salad is definitely one to add to your list. The fiber will keep you full while the basil leaves a fresh sensation for you. It’s a meal that is zesty, fresh, and fun!

                                                          Check out the recipe here.

                                                          19. Mediterranean Buddha Bowl

                                                            Something about this zesty blend of food makes my taste buds water. This Buddha bowl combines the flavorful tang of hummus with a hearty blend of roasted vegetables.

                                                            Check out the recipe here.

                                                            20. Chicken Sushi Bowl

                                                              If you’re not one for raw fish, then a chicken sushi bowl might be just the option for you.

                                                              Unlike Poke Bowls, this lunch is made from chicken that still packs a powerful flavor. It could save you an extra trip to the grocery store and give you the same satisfying flavor. Plus, the rice in this meal can be subbed out for cauliflower rice making it an instant Keto and Paleo favorite!

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                                                              Check out the recipe here.

                                                              21. Black Bean Quinoa Burritos

                                                                This meal is amazing for a quick, throw-in-the-fridge type of meal. These are a great option for vegetarians who want a meal on the go. Not only are these burritos easy to make, but they are incredibly easy to store as well. Just toss them in the freezer and grab them before you leave for the day!

                                                                Check out the recipe here.

                                                                22. Garlic Butter Shrimp Zuchinni Noodles

                                                                  If you haven’t heard about veggie noodles yet, then it’s time you learn! Veggie noodles are an incredibly fun and delicious way to transform regular vegetables into your favorite pasta dish. These garlic butter shrimp pasta might just have you drooling before you even take your first bite.

                                                                  Check out the recipe here.

                                                                  23. Zucchini Lasagna

                                                                    I know, first turning zucchini into pasta and now lasagna? Where does it all end? I know it sounds crazy, but this dish is definitely one to try. In fact, I tried making one a while back and my husband loved it, even better than the original one I made for him. As it turns out, you don’t need high starch noodles to create incredible Italian dishes! These substitutes will do the job just fine.

                                                                    Check out the recipe here.

                                                                    24. Vegan Curry- Spiced Sweet Potato Burgers

                                                                      If you are planning on going more plant based, then I applaud you! Adding extra plant-based foods to your diet is an excellent way to feel amazing and boost your nutrients!

                                                                      Of course, there’s no need to stick to a salad-only diet. If you get a little creative, you will find all sorts of amazing recipes to try. These Sweet Potato Burgers will help you along your journey by keeping lunch fun and delicious!

                                                                      Check out the recipe here.

                                                                      25. Vegetarian Fajitas

                                                                        Here’s another great recipe for those transitioning to plant-based. Fajitas are easy to make, easy to pack, and delicious to eat. All you need to do is bring your lunch, heat it in the microwave, and enjoy a delicious meal!

                                                                        Check out the recipe here.

                                                                        Bonus Tips to Make Lunches Easier

                                                                        1. Find one day to meal prep. It makes life so much easier if you can have all of your food ready in one day. Occasionally, when I’m feeling more spontaneous, I’ll meal prep just the ingredients to make easy meals the day of![1]
                                                                        2. Find a few good staples that fit your lifestyle in the best way possible.
                                                                        3. Try some of the below meals for a quick and easy lunch:
                                                                          • One pan recipes
                                                                          • Wraps
                                                                          • Sandwiches
                                                                          • Soups
                                                                          • Casseroles
                                                                          • Pastas
                                                                          • Salads
                                                                          • Rice bowls
                                                                          • Lettuce wraps

                                                                        More Healthy Recipes

                                                                        Featured photo credit: Louis Hansel via unsplash.com

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