By Stacey Hatfield @naturalspoonfuls
Vegetables that promote sleep!
Unfortunately, it is super common to experience issues with sleep, and many of us are becoming frequent night owls. We can all relate to a restless night, feeling the need to nap, hitting the snooze button, or nodding off during the day!
Beleive it or not, what we eat and drink has a direct response on our energy levels. Everyone knows the common tale of giving kids red cordial and having them bouncing off walls. If you have issues sleeping, it is of the utmost importance to consider what you are eating and how you are fueling your body. We want to avoid processed, high caffeine, and high sugar foods that cause overstimulation within our systems and instead build our plates with real food.
There are many foods that promote sleep, but today we are going to focus specifically on vegetables. These are just some of the many veggies that promote a good night’s sleep!
• Dark Leafy Greens: We are talking about greens like spinach, rocket, and kale. Dark leafy greens are high in potassium, which is important for nerve signaling and regulating muscle contractions. Muscle spasms can often disrupt sleep without you even realising it. They are also high in magnesium, which is a nutrient that is heavily associated with better sleep. Nuts, seeds, and avocados are also a great source of magnesium. Try adding dark leafy greens raw to a salad!
• Broccoli: Like dark leafy greens, is also quite high in potassium. Being a much-loved veggie, this is an easy addition to your dinner plate. Try roasting them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and eat the stalks too!
• Carrots: Ever heard that eating carrots helps you see at night? That’s true! But they also help you sleep at night. Carrots contain alpha-carotene, which is an antioxidant and a precursor for creating Vitamin A within the body. Research has demonstrated a link between consumption and sleep duration. Mix up your methods for eating and cooking carrots; try them raw or julienned in a stir-fry or even roasted whole. Hide them in meals like spaghetti Bolognese by simply grating them in. Or spiralize them and have them instead of spaghetti! YUM.
• Mushrooms: Mushies are absolutely incredible. Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D, which is a nutrient that has been associated with sleep disorders if deficient. Have them raw or cooked; try baking them with some cheese and herbs sprinkled on top…delicious!
• Sweet Potato Sweet Potatoes also have potassium, alongside Vitamin B6 to assist in the production of serotonin and melatonin, which are our sleep hormones. They also contain magnesium, which promotes GABA, a neurotransmitter to calm the nervous system.