Inadequate sleep has been linked to various serious health issues, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Research indicates that incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and heart-healthy fats, such as nuts, can positively impact sleep quality. This is attributed to these foods’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which are associated with promoting healthier sleep patterns. Including a serving of fruits or vegetables in each meal can make a significant difference in transitioning from a restless night to a more refreshing and rejuvenating sleep experience.
Here are four foods commonly associated with promoting better sleep:
- Farro: Farro, a nutritious whole grain, is rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which can contribute to the production of serotonin and melatonin – hormones that regulate sleep. Add farro to soups, salads, and casseroles.
- Bananas: Bananas are a good source of magnesium and potassium, which are known to relax muscles. Magnesium may help promote a sense of calm. Bananas are the perfect fruit to add to yogurt, smoothies, swirled into oatmeal, or slathered with nut butter.
- Pistachios: Pistachios are rich in melatonin and also provide heart-healthy fats. Melatonin is a hormone that can help you sleep better. Pistachios will stay fresh (shelled or in shell) for up to a year in a refrigerator or for up to 3 years in the freezer.
- Cherries: Cherries, especially tart cherries, contain melatonin. Consuming cherries or tart cherry juice may help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Bake dried tart cherries in muffins or add them to your batter for tasty pancakes and waffles.
Remember, incorporating these foods into a balanced diet, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and adopting good sleep hygiene practices can collectively contribute to better sleep. It’s always a good idea to consult with a registered dietitian for a personalized dietary plan.