Food and Appetizer fix: Quality sleep

Quality sleep is a significant aspect of our overall health. Our health gets affected up to a great extent due to improper sleep, which further creates hindrances in our day to day activities and regular functioning. This blog talks about several foods & drinks that can be helpful in improving our sleep quality as they contain certain sleep-promoting and sleep-enhancing hormones, brain chemicals, antioxidants, and nutrients. Intake of sleep-promoting foods & drinks should be done 2-3 hours before going to bed, in order to avoid any digestive issues and sleep better. 

So, here are some best foods & drinks that can help you in enhancing your sleep quality due to their sleep-promoting properties.

1. Tree Nuts  

    We are aware about the effectiveness of nuts on our physical health.   Including tree nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and pistachios in our diet are beneficial for our physical and mental well-being. Consuming these tree nuts are often considered to be a good food for a better sleep. Almonds, along with several other types of tree nuts are excellent source of melatonin, magnesium, and many nutrients. Based on little & sparse research, it has been found and claimed that almonds, walnuts and other types of nuts promote quality sleep due to the presence of melatonin, and magnesium. Both melatonin and magnesium play vital role in improving sleep quality. Consuming adequate amounts of almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios on daily basis is essential for a good physical health. 

2. Chamomile tea

    Health-conscious people prefer herbal teas over regular tea. One such popular herbal tea is chamomile tea that has certain health benefits. Chamomile tea is famous for flavones, a class of antioxidants that help in reducing the inflammation. Chronic diseases, such as cancer and heart disease are often caused by inflammation. Few evidences indicate that drinking chamomile tea:-

  • May boost your immune system
  • Help in reducing anxiety and depression
  • Promote healthy skin
  • May promote digestive health, and heart health

Based on few studies, it has been found that chamomile tea has some unique properties that help in improving sleep quality. It was also found that those who consumed chamomile tea showed fewer symptoms of depression, which is commonly associated & linked with sleep issues. 

Specifically speaking, the presence of apigenin in chamomile tea helps in promoting sleepiness and reducing insomnia. Apigenin is a sort of antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in our brain. 

3. Kiwifruit

    Kiwis are an extremely nutritious fruit, and an excellent source of Vitamin C. They are enriched with significant amounts of nutrients, and various vitamins & minerals such as:-

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Folate (a nutrient in vitamin B complex)
  • Potassium (a mineral, a type of electrolyte)

             Consuming kiwis have certain benefits such as:-

  • They may help in improving your digestive health.
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Lower down your cholesterol levels.

             These benefits are the result of the high amounts of fiber, and    carotenoid antioxidants that kiwis provide to human body. 

           A 4-week study was conducted in order to examine the potential that kiwis possess to improve sleep quality. Based on the study & research, it has been found that consuming two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night promotes better sleep quality. The researchers believe that the sleep-promoting effects of kiwis can be attributed to the presence of high concentrations of serotonin (a brain chemical that helps in regulating your sleep cycle), and anti-inflammatory antioxidants such as vitamin C and carotenoids. Intake of 1-2 medium sized kiwis before going to bed can help you in improving your sleep. 

4. Tart cherry juice 

    Tart cherry juice tastes somewhat like sweet cherries, and sometimes it is also called as sour cherry juice. It contains few significant nutrients in it such as magnesium and zinc, and it is a god source of potassium as well. The presence of anthocyanins and flavonols in tart cherry juice makes it a lot beneficial for our health, as tart cherry juice is a rich source of these two antioxidants. 

Based on a small study & research, it has been found that drinking tart cherry juice helps in improving sleep and preventing insomnia. It contains high concentrations of melatonin, which is a sleep-promoting hormone. The sleep-promoting effects of tart cherry juice can be attributed to high amounts of melatonin in it. 

5. Fatty Fish

    Salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are few types of fatty fish that can do wonders on our health. The exceptional amounts of vitamin D and healthy omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish make them an incredibly healthy and “one of its own kind” type of food. The combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D increases the production of serotonin in human body, which further enhances sleep quality. Serotonin is a compound present in blood platelets and serum, which constricts the blood vessels and acts as a monoamine neurotransmitter. Serotonin is also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine. 

According to a study, consuming a few ounces of fatty fish before going to bed helps you in falling asleep faster. This sleep-promoting effect can be attributed to the presence of vitamin D in fatty fish. 

6. Passionflower tea 

    Herbal teas have the potential to do wonders when it comes to treating & curing various health ailments. One such herbal tea is Passionflower tea, which is an excellent source of flavonoid antioxidants. Flavonoid antioxidants have certain benefits such as:-

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Boosting immune health
  • Reducing the risk of heart diseases.

Passionflower tea is also known for its effectiveness and potential when it comes to reducing anxiety. The anxiety-reducing effects of passionflower tea may be attributed to the antioxidant “Apigenin”, as apigenin produces a soothing & calming effect by binding to certain receptors in our brain. 

      According to some evidences, passionflower has the potential to   boost GABA levels in our brain. GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) is a brain chemical which promotes relaxation and helps in reducing stress. According to a study, consumption of passionflower tea before going to bed helped in improving the sleep quality. The sleep-promoting effects of passionflower tea may be attributed to its calming properties. 

7. Milk 

    Consuming milk few hours before going to bed can also benefit in improving sleep quality, as milk is melatonin-enriched. Melatonin is a sleep-producing hormone.