Fitness

5 foods for better sleep

And the best part? Adding them to your diet is as easy as one, two, Zzz...

Tiredness, in all its bad-mood-inducing glory, can be enough to turn an average day into a completely unbearable one. If you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, eat your way to Cloud Nine with these delicious sleep-boosting foods, all available from your local supermarket. Permission to doze…

FISH
Fish, specifically varieties like salmon and tuna, are loaded with vitamin B6, which is vital for the production of melatonin – a sleep-provoking hormone that is prompted by the onset of darkness.

This hot smoked salmon and sesame salad is loaded with good-for-sleep nutrients.

Hot smoked salmon and sesame salad.
Hot smoked salmon and sesame salad.

LETTUCE
This leafy green possesses a substance called lactucarium, a natural sedative-like substance, which is said to have similar effects on the brain to that of opium.

So, next time dinner rolls round, be sure to add sweet chilli pork in lettuce cups to the menu – the tasty pork flavours will taste deliciously refreshing in the iceberg lettuce leaves.

Sweet chilli pork in lettuce cups.
Sweet chilli pork in lettuce cups.

CHICKPEAS
Rich in tryptophan, as well as sleep-friendly folate (a vitamin that helps to control our sleeping patterns) and vitamin B6, chickpeas deserve a spot high on your shopping list.

Enjoy them in a moreish spiced pumpkin hummus or Moroccan chickpea stew.

Moroccan chickpea stew.
Moroccan chickpea stew.

BANANAS
This fruit is packed with magnesium and potassium, two minerals that promote muscle relaxation.

If you get muscle cramps at night, try eating a banana before bed, or perhaps if you’re feeling cheeky, try these little cinnamon banana tarte tatins.

Little cinnamon banana tarte tatins.
Little cinnamon banana tarte tatins.

ALMONDS
Armed with calcium, zinc, potassium and magnesium, this is one supernut that packs a healthy punch. These nutrients, in particular, help to regulate activity in the brain, as well as relax muscles and boost the body’s production of melatonin.

Chew on a 30g handful of raw almonds, or be more generous when sprinkling this nut on this lamb with heirloom tomato and almond salad.

Lamb with heirloom tomato and almond salad.
Lamb with heirloom tomato and almond salad.

If you’re going to change your diet in any way, be sure to have a chat with your local GP or dietitian first.

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