So you’ve stayed awake long enough that your stomach has started growling again, huh? Or perhaps you’re just feeling that craving for a snack. Or maybe you did go to sleep, but now you’ve awakened to a hungry stomach that’s ready to eat. In any case, you need a snack that satisfies your hunger in a healthy way.
Do we have some snacks for you! Here are seven healthy snacks for any evening cravings you’re feeling!
1. Crackers and Cheese
Different foods can impact the way you sleep, and that’s something you should take into consideration when choosing your evening snack.
Foods with high carbohydrates and protein, such as crackers, can be filling, but not too filling that it will hinder your sleep. You can also add cheese on top of your crackers, which can help your body relax and get ready for bed.
According to Live Strong, cheeses can be high in tryptophan, which can help release serotonin, and are also high in calcium. Both can encourage relaxation and sleep. Live Strong says, “Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that encourages the body to relax, and is an integral part of managing your sleep cycle … Calcium can even affect the nerve fibers in the brain, so it is not just your body that starts to relax after you eat cheese.”
Both of these combine to create a healthy snack for those evening cravings.
2. Trail Mix
Trail mix can be an easy and healthy snack for when you are feeling evening cravings and that pang of hunger. It can be bought pre-made from the store or made at home with your favorite ingredients.
Nuts, seeds and dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins can be a great place to start when making your own trail mix. You should also take into account that trail mix is high in calories, so it should be portioned when being consumed.
Despite its high calorie count, the contents of trail mix can be high in melatonin, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, which can encourage sleep.
3. Yogurt and Fruit
Another great evening snack for when you’re feeling that simmering hunger is the combination of yogurt and your choice of fruit.
Yogurt, or Greek yogurt, is high in protein and calcium. The calcium can help make melatonin, just like cheese does. This then helps you to relax and get better and longer sleep.
It’s also important to check the nutrition label when purchasing your yogurt because some brands can have extra sugars that could make sleeping difficult. Opt for plain yogurt and consider topping it with unsweetened fruit such as berries or chopped nuts such as almonds.
Not interested in the first options we mentioned? Popcorn might just be the healthy evening snack you’ve been looking for. Who could deny the deliciousness of a warm bag of popcorn?
One great characteristic of popcorn is that it is low in the calorie department. This means you can snack to your heart’s content and not feel weighed down.
Instead of butter, which can lower the nutritional value and take a toll on your waistline, consider using a different recipe that doesn’t include butter. Some of these recipes include caramel apple popcorn, pumpkin popcorn and dark chocolate popcorn with sea salt.
There are also lots of amazing popcorn recipes out there for you to try making yourself.
Eggs are a great source of protein, but they’re also high in tryptophan, which makes you become sleepy.
Eggs are also very versatile snacks. They can be scrambled, sunny side up, over easy/medium/hard, hard-boiled, deviled, made into an omelet or made into egg salad. Eggs provide lots of options that can make your evening snack interesting.
The only question you have to ask yourself is what you’re willing to make at the time!
Looking for something to fill you up a little more than just a snack would? Oatmeal is a great place to start if you’re looking for something closer to a quick meal.
Oatmeal is an amazing way to wind down during the evening. Though it’s typically thought of as a morning meal, oatmeal can be warm and cozy and it may help you get ready to turn in for the night.
Full of fiber and carbs, this instant meal can help your brain release serotonin, which works to relax your body and mind. Thus, oatmeal is a great evening snack that can help you get the z’s you’ve been wanting.
7. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Filling, yummy and promotes sleep? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an evening snack that delivers the full package.
According to the Sleep Foundation, peanut butter is a food that’s high in tryptophan, which, as mentioned, is an amino acid that causes you to feel sleepy.
Tryptophan is more readily available to the brain when it is combined with carbohydrates. This is why a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, full of protein, carbohydrates and tryptophan, is the perfect combination for an evening snack.
All of these snacks are great ways to satisfy your evening cravings and promote sleep. Now all that’s left for you to do is choose, prepare and enjoy!