One of the five pillars of wellness is physical health, which in turn covers nutrition. If you are eating healthier, then you feel healthier. There are many things you can eat and drink for wellness, but a couple of quick changes to your eating habits can also help. Her are some that we have accumulated over the years, include;
- Adopting the rule of thirds, splitting this between protein, carbohydrates and fruit or veg – This also works for breakfast, trust us.
- Change white carbohydrates to wholegrain or even non-processed.
- Drink at least 2 litres of water a day – This includes fruit juice and tea, not coffee though and try to stay away from fizzy drinks.
- Try to eat at least 5 pieces of fruit or veg – 400g for adults exactly, non-sweetened fruit juice also counts.
- Don’t skip breakfast, or any other meals for that matter.
- Eat manageable portions – Over eating is worse than under eating. Leave it half an hour and if you are still hungry you can grab a snack.
- If you’re still hungry, try having a drink. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger pangs.
- Snacks are allowed, but aim for something high in protein like nuts and start with just a handful.
- Don’t eat a large meal at least three hours before you sleep.
As you can see, nothing that involves brain surgery, but may require some changes.
If you are specifically looking for things to eat and drink to promote sleep though, here’s the low down.
What to eat…
- Almonds – Super-nuts which contain magnesium, promoting sleep, muscle relaxation, and protein which maintains a good blood sugar balance.
- Bananas – Rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6. Not only good for curbing hunger pangs and exercise recovery, but encourage the production of melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone triggered by darkness). Chickpeas are also good.
- Calcium – Milk, kale and yogurt are all high in calcium and research suggests that being calcium deficient can hinder sleep.
What to drink…
- Tart Cherry Juice – High in melatonin (see bananas).
- Herbal Tea – We can’t recommend it enough! Try chamomile, lemon balm, peppermint, green tea, passion flower or specially blended de-stress tea.
Definite no before bed and sleep…
- Caffeine – We recommend drinking your last cup at least 6 hours before you want to go to sleep.
- Alcohol – Although you will fall asleep faster, this reduces the REM period where you are most restful.
- Fast-food – The high sugar/salt, fat content and other hidden ingredients take longer to digest, which in turn can keep you awake longer.
- Sugar – This increases your blood sugar levels and the possibility of these levels crashing whilst you sleep, potentially waking you up due to hunger.
- Spicy Foods – Spices include a variety of chemicals which affect the body in many ways including increased bodily temperature and mood, they have also been known to encourage dreams and potentially nightmares.
We want to hear your tips though, let us know what your tried and tested tips and tricks are below.