It has happened to all of us to feel hungry and in need of some snacks late at night. Maybe we missed the last meal or it was smaller and did not satisfy our appetite.
For whatever reason, this kind of hunger at night is quite normal and common.
Many people try to avoid such late snacks, but we should not always do that.
Feeling hungry means that our body needs food and energy and if it lasts longer, it can increase the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Therefore, in the following, we will single out some of the best, healthiest foods that can serve as a delicious and nutritious snack at night.
Healthy snacks for late at night
Regardless of the period of the night, sometimes we really need food, so in the following, we will single out the healthiest foods if you have to eat late at night.
One study found that bananas may increase melatonin levels in the blood.
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted in the body and is responsible for the feeling of drowsiness that we have late at night.
Bananas also contain potassium, a mineral that contributes to muscle relaxation and relaxation.
It is also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and is quite low in calories, and can suppress the feeling of hunger we have.
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that is crucial for bone health.
In addition, some studies have linked calcium to better sleep.
Yogurt is also a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, which can also cause drowsiness and better sleep.
The proteins contained in yogurt can give us a feeling of satiety and neutralize the feeling of hunger.
One study found that cherry juice improved sleep in respondents over the age of 50 suffering from insomnia.
Cherries contain procyanidins, melatonin, and tryptophan – compounds that have a positive effect on sleep.
They are low in calories (97 calories / 100g), contain a range of vitamins and minerals, and are an excellent source of antioxidants.
In addition, cherries have a moderate glycemic index, which means that they will not raise blood sugar sharply.
Two peeled kiwis contain only 90 calories and even 5 grams of fiber and 190% of the daily requirement for vitamin C.
One study confirmed the positive effect of kiwi on the sleep quality of respondents.
They ate two kiwis an hour before bedtime.
After a month the results showed that the time needed to fall asleep was reduced by 35% and they slept about 13% longer.
The kiwi glycemic index is also low (50) and that is an additional reason why kiwi is a good snack for late at night.
5. Integral crackers and some cheese or hummus
This snack provides a good mix of carbohydrates and proteins, which can help maintain blood sugar.
Cheese also contains tryptophan, which can contribute to better sleep.
Hummus is an excellent source of protein, fiber and gives a long feeling of satiety.
It goes great with crackers and can be a delicious and healthy snack.
This mixture of whole crackers and cheese or hummus is high in calories, so pay attention to the amount, but it will still saturate you quickly.
6. Mix seeds, dried fruits, and nuts
These mixes are sold ready-made, and you can make them yourself with the groceries you have at home.
Dried fruits, seeds, and nuts are healthy and tasty foods, and a mix of them can be a great source of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
They are also a solid source of minerals as well as fiber.
Because dried fruit can contain more carbohydrates and nuts and seeds fatter, watch out for calories from this mix.
Examples of combinations: pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, and almonds; walnuts, raisins, and sunflower seeds; hazelnuts, dried cranberries, and sesame seeds.
read more: Why Are Dried Fruit Healthy For Nutrition
Popcorn is a delicious, healthy snack that is quick to prepare.
They will satisfy you, but will not give you a feeling of bloating and difficulty. They are low in calories and are a great source of fiber and minerals.
Popcorn contains complex carbohydrates and thus easily satiate and eliminate hunger.
Try to prepare them yourself, with very little oil and without adding a lot of salt.
Why the need to “snack” late at night?
The need for food in the evening may sometimes not be related to hunger at all, ie to the previous food intake.
We just need some snacks.
A 2013 study shows that this need may be related to our internal biological clock.
There are an increased need for food at night, especially starchy foods, which can be sweet or salty.
This phenomenon was common for our ancestors because in this way they could make better reserves for when food would be less available.
But today, food is constantly available to us and is much more caloric than in the past, so such night snacks can significantly contribute to weight gain.
Research studies also show that circadian rhythms (the rhythm that controls sleep) play a major role in today’s increase in overweight in humans.
Of course, the need for food can be really justified and be due to real hunger, ie the need for energy.
Most often due to skipping lunch or eating in smaller quantities, people feel hungry and need some snack later in the night.
read more: Greek Yogurt Benefits for Better Health
Why eating the wrong foods late at night can be unhealthy?
The period from the day we eat food plays a huge role in how that food will be used by our body.
Some studies show that energy from food consumed late at night is more likely to be stored by the body as fat tissue, and thus lead to weight gain.
A study involving 420 overweight people found that eating earlier in the day led to better weight management.
Respondents whose meals were later in the day, although eating less, lost less weight.
This indicates that the body processes and uses food differently at different times of the day.
If it is consumed earlier in the day, the body uses it more as a source of energy, while later in the day it uses it in order to make reserves.