Nine healthy snacks in case you have to have dinner very late (or have done it very early)
Dinner always brings us headlong, one way or another. That "breakfast like a king and dinner like a beggar" is a food myth that has been overcome, but we do know that advancing your schedule can have many benefits. Dining too late can affect our rest and our diet, but if we do it too early it can lead us to wipe out the fridge before going to bed.
Everything is a matter of re-educating habits and creating a healthy eating pattern according to our needs. It is not always easy and, especially at night, anxiety or lack of energy could play tricks on us by resorting to unsavory foods. To help us maintain a balanced diet, whether we want to lose weight or simply enjoy a good night's sleep, we can choose small bites that are healthy.
With the difficult situation that the hospitality industry is experiencing throughout our country -and half the world-, it may be the perfect time to change a bit of customs and daily schedules, as long as work and family obligations allow it. After all, afternoon tea is a well-known practice that can help us get used to having dinner earlier.
But if you are forced to have dinner late in the day, skipping dinner or resorting to anything to get out of trouble is not a good idea. The idea is to be able to go to bed well nourished, with our needs covered and without the feeling of heaviness or bloating so uncomfortable that it can affect the dense night.
Sleeping and resting correctly is essential to have a good general health, it repeats in our daily energy and in our physical and intellectual performance, and also emotional. It even plays a key role when it comes to losing weight or building muscle.
So, whether we have dinner at the last minute, or if we have managed to do it soon, we offer a series of ideas for small meals or snacks especially recommended to quench the appetite before going to bed.
Healthy snacks and foods to eat before bed
In order to choose something for a quick snack at night, the best options will be those foods that leave us satisfied without causing digestive discomfort, that add essential nutrients and that, in addition, promote rest. It is also interesting that they help to stimulate metabolism during nighttime sleep.
Foods that help increase tryptophan, a precursor to both melatonin and serotonin, are especially well suited for these late-night meals, although their effectiveness as sleep allies is in question.
Rich in high-quality proteins, very digestive and satisfying, yogurt is a perfect food if we choose it well, or make it made with whole milk and without added sugars or sweeteners. We can also choose between cow, sheep or goat yogurts, with different flavors, or also of vegetable origin. Due to its more neutral flavor and creamy texture, it is ideal for those who tend to snack on desserts at night.
Skyr and authentic Greek are also good possibilities, always checking the ingredients by reading the label. We can serve ourselves a larger portion than the typical 125 g so standardized in the industry of our country, and combine it with fresh fruits, spices, some seeds or nuts, some chopped dark chocolate, natural whole grains, etc.
Golden milk or a hot milk infusion
Disseminated on the networks a few years ago as fashionable drinks, the golden and moon milks they are nothing more than an update of the typical glass of hot milk that our mothers and grandmothers gave us. Without real scientific support, yes that a drink of this type can help to relax us by the comforting and ritual effect that we establish psychologically.
Yes, warmer or warmer drinks, without excesses, relax the body more than cold ones, which tend to stimulate it. Be it milk or a vegetable drink, it also satisfies more than just an infusion of water, and we can enrich it with spices or natural cocoa powder that help to avoid the feeling of hunger. In addition, it adds proteins, vitamins and minerals. We will avoid, yes, infusions with theine and sugar.
We prefer the salty option in the evening to avoid sugars. Granola is a good option for those who enjoy more spicy and crunchy food, and this recipe also includes chickpeas and peanuts, very filling and rich in quality vegetable proteins. Better to opt for mild spices, leaving the spicy for other times of the day.
It can be taken as is, crunchy, or added to yogurt, a little fruit or it can also be combined with milk and vegetable drinks, to be eaten with a spoon.
Banana is one of the best fruits to choose at night, when it is not very green or overripe. It peels quickly and is easy to eat, also to crush or cut to top a bowl of yogurt or a slice of bread, which we can also enrich with avocado, natural peanut butter or tahini.
Rich in minerals also related to a good rest, muscle repair and metabolism stimulation, it does not have as much fiber or water as other fruits, which makes it more digestive and suitable for a good sleep. Combined with a slice of good whole wheat sourdough bread we increase good quality carbohydrates, which add satiety and help you sleep better.
We could also take it boiled, poached, in cloud format or as a French omelette, but the cooked egg is much easier to prepare and eat anywhere, and it can be prepared in advance, as they last up to about six days in the fridge.
Cooked just right, without letting the yolk turn gray and sandy, it is a delicacy when they are of quality. Seasoned with some spices or simple pepper and salt flakes, it becomes a very nutritious and satisfying snack, which once peeled can be eaten as is without using a plate.
Nuts, natural or roasted with spices
Walnuts and also almonds are the most recommended to benefit from their effects at night, satiating and rich in protein. In raw they can be somewhat indigestible in excess, so we can toast them lightly at home or buy them like that, without salt or other additions, and combine them to our liking.
Walnuts in the shell force us to have to stop to peel them, a good idea if what we are looking for is to calm the anxiety before going to bed. If what we have is an urgent hunger, it is better to already have cans of nuts ready to drink, distributed in moderate portions in the event that we tend to exceed ourselves due to the high palatility they offer. Keep in mind that an excess of fats, even if they are healthy, can impair your rest.
Oatmeal or porridge with milk
A classic breakfast that becomes a dish with a taste of childhood for many cultures - I can attest. Without exceeding too much in the portion due to its high fiber content, some oatmeal porridge cooked with milk or vegetable drink, and a little water to lighten it, feel great after a tiring day, warm in the cold months.
Combined with cinnamon, a touch of ginger or nutmeg, some cooked or roasted fruit, and a touch of yogurt, it is a comforting, satisfying and easy to prepare dish. We can also have them ready and reheat them quickly in the microwave or on the fire, or take them cold if we prefer something cooler.
Chickpeas with chocolate
Many people believe they feel the irremediable urge to have some chocolate before going to sleep. This habit has its scientific explanation, and beyond the placebo or psychological effect it can be a good healthy snack to take in moderation, choosing well.
We must prioritize the best quality chocolate - if possible, of origin bean to bar-, with a high percentage of cocoa and few added sugars. Choosing it without sugar is not always a good option, since sweeteners can cause digestive upset for some people. A percentage of 99% or 100% is perhaps too intense and bitter for many palates, but above 85% it is a good option, no more than an ounce.
A homemade snack that is surprising for its texture and flavor are roasted chickpeas bathed in dark chocolate, which allow us to enjoy that flavor of chocolate, without going overboard, while consuming vegetable proteins. And its pleasant crunch is very pleasant.