It’s late at night, dinner was hours ago, and you find yourself very hungry. Should you go and have a late night snack? Yes, you should, as long as you pick the right one.
Nutritionists and other experts agree that when you do it right, a healthy late night snack can be beneficial to your daily diet. If you eat the right snacks, and you don’t overdo it, it can help you regulate your eating patterns and help you burn more calories.
This doesn’t mean you can go “hog-wild.” You need to be careful with your nighttime snacking. If you constantly graze then you may find yourself gaining unwanted weight. You just want to have one snack at night that contains around 150 to 250 calories.
You want to eat natural nighttime snacks also. Stay away from prepackaged junk foods, and stick to options that are minimally processed or whole, which will both satisfy your cravings and your hunger (and also provide you with some very surprising health benefits).
5 Healthy Nighttime Snack Ideas
These 5 snacks are a great, healthy way to curb your cravings and appetite at night…
Popcorn is a great idea of nighttime snacks because it’s both low in calories and also high in fiber. It’s also a heart-healthy food. In a study done by The American Chemical Society in 2009 they found that popcorn contains the highest amount of polyphenols of any “snack food.” Polyphenols are beneficial antioxidants that help defend your body from tissue and cell damage linked to everything from heart disease to cancer.
Taking care of family, your job, bills, etc. can be highly stressful and that stress can raise your risk of illnesses such as heart-disease. A study in 2009 found that dark chocolate reduces stress hormones and helps keep your blood pressure low which are keys to reducing risks like heart disease. Just be careful to consume it in moderation.
A study in Food Chemistry found that peanuts that are roasted longer contain higher levels of antioxidants. If they are roasted longer they also will have a higher level of both vitamin E which helps with red blood cells and manganese which helps your bones. You also get a much fuller feeling eating roasted peanuts because they contains fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats. You can even make your own little bag of trail mix containing the peanuts, some fruit that’s been dried, some low sugar, high fiber cereal, and some low-salt pretzels.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is delicious and have been found to help your heart and reduce soreness. In one study conducted by the JON (Journal Of Nutrition), researches found that tart cherry juice reduced the levels of damage caused by oxidation (which leads to illnesses like heart disease). The power of the juice comes from it’s very high levels of antioxidants and high level of carbohydrates.
Cereal And Milk
In 2009 there was a study that was published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2009 found that cereal and milk actually replenished energy and nutrients as effectively as, or even better than, sports drinks. You also get lots of great protein and calcium from milk.
Your Shopping List For Low Calorie Nighttime Snacks
Use the following list to find the appropriate types of snacks at your local grocery store.
Make sure you pop your own popcorn. Buy plain kernels because they taste fresher and have no additional calories. Try adding herbs, spices, or nuts to the popcorn to give it a lot of flavor. If you have to have butter try adding just a pinch of real, melted butter, and just a hint of salt.
Buy dark chocolate that’s very high in Cacao. The greater the percentage of Cacao that the chocolate contains the higher the amount of antioxidants. Try going for chocolate bars that contain 70% or more cacao.
Buy only dry roasted and look for peanuts that still have their skins. The skins of peanuts have a LOT of antioxidants. Also skip the salted peanuts as they have added calories and usually have oils that have been added.
Oftentimes, cherry juice is blended with other, sweeter juices. This adds calories and takes away from some of the healthful benefits of the cherry juice. When you buy Tart Cherry Juice stick to those that don’t contain other juices.
You don’t want to purchase cereal that contains a lot of sugar. What you want to look for are cereals that contain 2 to 6 grams per serving of fiber and that are whole grain or whole wheat Any cereal you buy should have less than 7 to 9 grams of sugar for every 100 calories.