Listed below are some foods that can promote sleep. This list was compiled by Rick Hay, a nutritional therapist and lecturer in weight management at the College of Naturopathic Medicine(CNM) in London.
Green, black, and white tea -- Some foods contain certain amino acids that can help individuals sleep because they nourish the nervous system. One such amino acid is L-theanine, also known as "the relaxation amino acid". It is found in green tea, black tea, white, and matcha green teas.
Chamomile -- A versatile tea, chamomile has various benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help wounds heal, prevent diabetes, cure colds, and it can even improve cardiovascular health. Chamomile also contains a flavonoid called apigenin which has anti-anxiety properties.
Cinnamon -- Cinnamon nourishes the nervous system as it calms the blood sugar levels.
Ginger - Ginger calms the stomach through a chemical ingredient called gingerol, which helps with stomach contractions. Ginger is also a great overall tonic for the nervous system.
Licorice -- Naturopaths use licorice as an herbal medicine for depression and anxiety. It is also an adrenal gland tonic. Adrenal tonic herbs or plants help nourish the adrenals and calm a frazzled system.
Passionfruit -- Along with the passion flower, passionfruit has been traditionally used to calm the nervous system. Passionfruit and passionflower contain a compound called harman, which has a hypnotic and sedative effect. Harman has also been shown to decrease anxiety and the quality and depth of sleep.
Lucuma -- A South American sub-tropical fruit, lucuma is full of nutrients. Lucuma balances blood sugar because it has a low glycemic index (GI). Having a low GI helps balance your blood sugar before you go to sleep at night.
Baobab -- Baobab is a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, and B complex vitamins. B vitamins are necessary for the healthy functioning of the nervous system, and a lack of them can cause problems including insomnia and depression. Meanwhile, potassium can help you stay asleep. (Related: 5 Plant-Based Foods to Help You Sleep)
Lemon, lime, and blood orange - Lemon, lime, and blood orange are rich in vitamin C. Aside from being an immune system booster, vitamin C also nourishes the adrenal glands. By maintaining the adrenal glands, the system calms down. This can help ease the anxiety and stress that can cause insomnia. Some studies also prove that a lack of vitamin C could contribute to sleep loss.
Tart cherry juice -- Tart cherry juice has several health benefits. It is high in vitamin A and C, and it also contains manganese. Tart cherry juice also promotes sleepiness, and it can help relieve insomnia.
Turkey -- Eat some turkey before bed because it is high in protein and tryptophan, which can both induce tiredness.
Kiwi -- Kiwis are full of serotonin and antioxidants, which can both improve sleep quality when consumed before bed.
Almonds - -Almonds contain melatonin and the sleep-promoting mineral magnesium. These two properties make them a great food to eat before bed.
Fatty fish -- Fatty fish are full of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which both have properties that may improve the quality of your sleep.
Walnuts -- Walnuts contain melatonin and healthy fats, which can promote better sleep.
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