MAN spends one-third or eight hours of his day in bed. Sleep is important. According to ResMed, sleep boosts the immune system, repairs damaged cells and recharges the heart. Research also shows lack of sleep increases the link of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Sleep has been the concern of my family lately. My niece Krystalle has a bout with sleeplessness because she has been promoted at work and the new responsibilities keep her awake. Here are some sleep-inducing foods. May this benefit other night owls out there.
WANNA BANANA. Maybe the idea that bananas induce sleep is an urban legend. However, eating a banana or two really does make Krystalle yawn a bit. The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reported that bananas have high potassium content and B-6. The body needs B-6 to produce melatonin, a kind of hormone that crops up in darkness (e.g. the bedroom).
To make bananas more interesting, Krystalle makes banana shake as a bedtime drink. Or make an all-banana salad with cream or fruity yogurt.
GRAIN, GRAIN, DON’T GO AWAY. Whole grains induce sleep, according to a report in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. Wheat, red rice, brown rice and oats are good sources of whole grains. They have a good magnesium content, which help you sleep.
Warm whole grain oatmeal may taste good, but according to Krystalle, you should try ice cold oatmeal with milk or fruity yogurt, a teaspoon of raisins and sliced walnuts.
YOU GOT IT, YOGURT. Dairy products are popular sleep-inducers. Calcium-rich cheese, milk and yogurt help kickstart the sleep machine. One research discovered that calcium-deficiency can make falling asleep harder.
Krystalle recently made fruit salad made with bananas, avocado, chopped prunes and walnuts. For dressing she used flavored yogurt. “These ingredients help people sleep, according to a study,” Krystalle said.
SOY AHOY. Soya beans are rich in isoflavones, according to Nutrition Journal. One soy product is tofu. According to the study, the isoflavones in soy foods increase serotonin production. It is the chemical that triggers the sleep cycle in the brain.
Krystalle fries tofu and adds it to sauteed sliced radish with oyster sauce. Sometimes she barbecues tofu to go with a semi-ripe mango salad. Other foods that may help you sleep are fish (particularly tuna), chicken and green leafy vegetables.