Blend Your Way to a Good Night’s Rest
Guest post by Adriana Nikolova
When you live a busy life, you often face constant stress, which can easily lead to not getting enough sleep. One way to avoid this common problem is by increasing your fruit and veggie intake.
Much has already been said about the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables in your diet. The Huffington Post reports that both types of food are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which can protect the body against a variety of illnesses, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular diseases and even different types of cancer. Furthermore, increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables that you eat can do wonders for your digestion, given their high fiber content.
However, even the biggest fans of fruits and vegetables might find it difficult to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables – the recommended daily intake – on a regular basis. The easiest way to fulfill this requirement is by making smoothies.
While fruits and vegetables in general are good for you, there are specific varieties that promote healthy sleeping habits. In an article by Leesa titled ‘Better Sleep Guide,’ they explained that many sleep-helping minerals are derived from specific food groups. For instance, fruits such as bananas, avocados, melons and berries —which are rich in magnesium— help nerves and muscles relax. This then enables you to go to sleep easier and feel more refreshed when you wake up. Berries, meanwhile, are natural sources of melatonin – the sleep-inducing hormone— particularly, cherries. And for a sleep-friendly evening snack, eat or drink dairy or other products rich in calcium which help your body produce higher levels of the hormone.
There are a variety of recipes online that you can follow if you want a bit of help in terms of which fruits and vegetables can be combined together to create a yummy, healthy smoothie. Coach has one such formula, which the article says was developed by sports nutrition specialist Scott Baptie. The recipe calls for banana, kale, kiwi fruit, avocado, milk, and honey. Blend this smoothie and drink it about a couple of hours before bedtime so that the drink can help you get better sleep.
Woman’s Day also has a recipe for a sleep-inducing smoothie. It calls for cherry juice concentrate, banana, kiwi, and coconut or almond milk to boost your body’s melatonin level to enable you to sleep faster. As mentioned earlier, cherries contain a lot of melatonin. However, it might not be the best-tasting substance if you drink the concentrate, so this combination of fruits helps make this more palatable.
Step to Health also gave a recipe for a lemon and banana smoothie to help curb stress and anxiety, thereby giving a relaxing effect to the body that aids in preventing sleeping disorders. The ingredients include 4 chamomile flowers, 90 grams of romaine lettuce, 1 small banana, and juice from 1/2 lemon.
If you want to make a richer smoothie, we wrote in a previous article here on Pulp Pantry that almond pulp can be used to thicken smoothies.