Saturday, November 8, 2008

Late Night Snacks

There is an interesting article on Yahoo Food called Late Night Snacks to Cure Every Distress. In the article they basically list certain foods to eat to deal with specific late night issues.

"If you're stressed to the max
Rich, sugary comfort foods actually do short-circuit stress, but they also contribute to belly fat. So try to resist the chocolate chip cookies and grab a handful of unsalted almonds instead. The satisfying crunch will help you work off your anxiety, while the B vitamins and magnesium help your brain make relaxing serotonin. And at only 160 calories for about 22 almonds, you won't add weight worries to your woes.

If you're just tossing and turning
Starchy carbs may help you nod off. Why? Foods that quickly raise your blood sugar also raise blood levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which the brain converts to mind-soothing serotonin. So unless you're a diabetic, microwave a potato, warm up some instant rice, pop an English muffin in the toaster, and wait for the Zs to happen.

If you're burning the midnight oil
You could mainline coffee to get your Powerpoint project done overnight, but that'll just leave you with a world-class case of jitters the next morning when it's time to run it by the boss. A better bet, believe it or not: a salad of dark greens and chopped veggies. Not only will the complex carbs in the veggies give you energy, they're full of folic acid, which new research suggests helps your brain work faster.

If you're on a diet or just plain hungry
Give that rumbling tummy a little bit of protein, like a low-fat cheese stick, some lean turkey, or even an egg-white omelet. Eating about a third of your daily calories in lean protein keeps you feeling full, and a there's new evidence that it may also help you burn a few extra calories while you sleep.

If you're pregnant

Forget the pickles, but have the ice cream. Extra calcium is excellent when you're eating for two.

Baby-and-Me Smoothie
½ cup fat-free vanilla ice cream (or 8 oz nonfat vanilla yogurt)
1 banana
1 cup frozen, unsweetened strawberries
1 Tbs. frozen orange juice concentrate.

Puree everything in a blender until creamy. Then put your feet up and enjoy every sip, knowing that you're getting about 340 mg of bone-building calcium -- more than 20% of your recommended daily value -- plus a bunch of vitamins and minerals, so the 373 calories are anything but empty. Even better: The milk protein and banana contain a bit of sleep-inducing tryptophan."

There are a lot of nights where I toss and turn. If I wake up at all in the middle of the night it is a good hour before I fall asleep again. I think next time I will pop an English muffin or a bagel in the toaster and see if it helps! I also thought that the part about eating a salad when having to stay up late was interesting!


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