Food to Help you Sleep
What sort of sleep do you get? Do you sleep right through the night without waking up, or do you have broken sleep, or do you suffer from insomnia? If you struggle with sleep (like I do) you may be happy to know that what we eat in the evening meal can have an impact on our sleep. There has been extensive research done on food for sleep. So this week I share with you some of the things I have been finding out.
One of the most important things is to try to eat and drink 2 to 3 hours before going to bed and make the evening meal your smallest meal of the day. If your body is used to having a big meal in the evening you may want to reduce the size slowly so your metabolism gets used to having a smaller meal. The following foods are all foods that can aid in sleep, however it is important to add them to your evening meal on a regular basis. Since researching this I have been making the salad I share with you this week on a very regular basis.
This list is not exclusive and there may be more foods that aid sleep but this is a great list to start with.
There are foods that can aid sleep due to their magnesium content that helps relax muscles which ends up relaxing the whole body. Those foods include bananas, sweet potatoes and almonds. Bananas and sweet potatoes also include potassium, as does kale. Kale also has a good amount of calcium that is used by the brain to turn tryptophan into melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep. Bananas and sweet potato contain niacin (B6), which also helps produce melatonin. Chickpeas and hummus are also fabulous to include into an evening meal, as they are high in tryptophan, as are figs.
Tart cherries are high in melatonin, offering a lovely after dinner sweet treat. An extensive randomized controlled study showed significant results for improving sleep if 1 to 2 are eaten before sleeping, this is due to their high content of serotonin which converts to melatonin in the evening.1
Another beauty (because I always feel like eating it at night) is lettuce, especially cos (romain) lettuce. It contains the chemical lactacaium, which relaxes the body and enhances sleep quality. The seed and leaf extract are more potent.2
The one that many of you know is chamomile tea. The antioxidant apidenin in chamomile binds to receptors in the brain that are thought to improve sleep quality. Effects though of chamomile tea have only been seen when consumed daily as a tea for more than 2 weeks.3
Another random food is white rice. While white rice is low in nutritional value due to the bran and germ being removed from the grain it is low GI and studies show that it aids sleep if eaten as part of the evening meal.4
Quite a lot of recent research is showing that eating 2 kiwi fruits 1 hour before bed can potentially improve sleep. When kiwi fruit are in season I will give this a go.
Sleepy Time Salad with Fetta Sauce
Enough for 2 main meals
6 cos lettuce leaves
and a few extra shredded
120 g cooked chickpeas (to make it more lush a ¼ portion of these epic chickpeas
1 sweet potato cubed
Splash olive oil
¼ tsp turmeric
1 cob corn- kernels removed from cob. (Or other veg you like)
4 kale leaves
8 cherry tomatoes chopped in half
For the Fetta
¾ cup soaked almonds over night
¼ cup Brazil nuts soaked over night
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves cooked garlic (I boil them for 10 minutes)
½ cup water
1 tsp salt
Smoked paprika as a garnish
- To make the fetta, peel the almonds and Brazil nuts by placing them in boiling water for 2 minutes then straining and putting them in cool water. The skin will come off easily.
Place the almonds, Brazil nuts, lemon juice, water and salt in a blender and blend until everything is relatively smooth. You won’t get a completely smooth sauce.
Roast the sweet potato in the splash of olive oil and sprinkle on the turmeric. Steam the corn and kale. Slice the figs.
To assemble salad place 3 cos lettuce leaves on each plate and fill with the shredded lettuce. Then mix the chickpeas, sweet potato, corn and kale in a bowl and mix, then spoon into the lettuce cups. Garnish with the figs and tomatoes and serve with the fetta sauce.
# If you make this recipe please share on facebook or instagram to #veetsvegancookingschool
3 Day Vegan Foundation Cooking Course
For those who didn’t read the last newsletter, dates for the Three Day Vegan Foundation Cooking Course are out for 2022.
Would you like to be inspired to cook healthy and delicious meals on a daily basis knowing that you are receiving all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to live a healthy life? Come along and gain the confidence in cooking regularly, discovering easy ways to make this a reality in a busy life.
Investment $1086 or early bird price $1006.50 before 31st December
25th to 27th January (course includes a trip to the market) (full)
3rd to 5th February (3 places left)
10th to 12th March (3 places left)
24th to 26th march (2 places left)
7th to 9th April (3 places left)
26th to 28th April (course includes a trip to the market) (3 places left)
2nd to 4th June (4 places left)
Vegan Chef Training
Dates for the Vegan Chef Training are also up on the website with a great discount if booked before the 31st December. Please email me to arrange a chat if you wish to find out more and check out the info here.
Have a wonderful week everyone. Veet
Have a wonderful week everyone.
Vegan Chef Training
Gain professional chef skills, get hands on training experience, and work with organic and locally sourced plant-based produce in the biggest growth market in food today: Vegan Cuisine.
3 Day Foundation Course
Duration 3 Days
In this 3 day course, we will cover the fundamentals in vegan cooking and nutrition. The class is hands on and you will immerse yourself in three full days of vegan organic cuisine.
Duration Food Analysis Plus 30mins online
This includes a consultation to see what macro and micro nutrients you are consuming with your daily food intake and what foods you need to include in your diet to ensure you are meeting the recommended daily intake.
1. Howatson, G., Bell, P.G., Tallent, J. et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr 51, 909–916 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7
2. Kim HD, Hong KB, Noh DO, Suh HJ. Sleep-inducing effect of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) varieties on pentobarbital-induced sleep. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2017 May 29;26(3):807-814. doi: 10.1007/s10068-017-0107-1. PMID: 30263607; PMCID: PMC6049580.
3. McKay DL, Blumberg JB. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.). Phytother Res. 2006 Jul;20(7):519-30. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1900. PMID: 16628544.
4. Halson SL. Sleep in elite athletes and nutritional interventions to enhance sleep. Sports Med. 2014;44 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S13-S23. doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0147-0
5. Lin HH, Tsai PS, Fang SC, Liu JF. Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011;20(2):169-74. PMID: 21669584.
Tags:lettuce sweet potato almonds Figs chickpeas