Let’s be real… everyone at one point gets those cravings for something sweet, but why is it always stronger at night? Perhaps even though we think we have eaten healthy during the day, we might not have gotten all the nutrients throughout the day or just having that time to relax and switch off mentally for the day allows us to realise how our body is feeling. So should we eat before bed or not? Well, nutrition is complicated but dietician Wendy Lopez believes, as do we at RYL, that life is about balance and each approach to nutrition should be individualised to accommodate for people’s busy lives. However, it is difficult to curb the cravings so here are some night-time healthy snacks for when those pesky cravings creep up!
“Well, like many things in the nutrition world, it’s complicated. My approach to nutrition has always been individualized, so I steer away from blanket recommendations, like never eat close to bedtime. That’s because they fail to address someone’s unique circumstances when it comes to food.”
HEALTHY SNACK ALTERNATIVES
Now this might seem a bit controversial because isn’t popcorn always unhealthy? Well no. It depends on the way it is made, most commercial popcorn uses high inflammatory oils as well as huge amounts of sugar. The great thing about popcorn as a snack is that it is low in calories so you can have that little bit more!
Popcorn kernels also contain polyphenols which are fundamental to fighting oxidative stress and protecting your skin from external damage.
Buying popcorn kernels and making your own popcorn at home may take a little more time but it is so worth it! Customise your toppings (our go to is just a little sprinkle of salt!) and enjoy!
That’s right, you heard it here first…cheese is okay! The thing about cheese is that fats by itself are absolutely fine and keeps you in a fat burning mode. However, when fats are combined with carbs e.g., crackers, it is creates a bit of a problem as you move from fat burning to fat storing mode. Cheese also contains vitamin B which is essential for achieving that glowing skin look. So, a couple slices of cheese before bed gets a thumbs up from us! However, some people can find that dairy increases inflammation in their skin so be mindful when you’re eating cheese and look out for any redness, breakouts or puffiness after eating it.
If you’re looking for a sweeter alternative, try Lily’s chocolate (US) or Hip Plant Based Chocolate (UK) these two chocolates you can enjoy guilt free due to using raw ingredients! Raw cacao helps to protect your body from oxidation and ageing as well as improving circulation and hydration in your skin.
FRUITY SMOOTHIES/FRESH FRUIT
If you are after something fruity for an evening snack, blend together a mix of frozen fruits (350g), add 60ml milk/milk alternative with a dash of vanilla extract.
If you don’t fancy loud noises late at night, grab some fresh fruit from the fridge and create a small fruit salad bowl- the perfect way to intake natural sugars. The hidden antioxidants in berries, especially blueberries, are great for promoting cell turnover as well as controlling free radicals in your body, reducing the signs of ageing.
UNSALTED GRAIN FREE CRISPS
There is nothing better than a ‘chips and dip’ combo but salt late at night can increase bloating. A healthier alternative would be to either purchase ready made almond flour tortilla chips or make your own using Deli Kitchen Carb Lite Wraps!
Let us know your go to healthy snacks in the RYL community or share your thoughts in the comments below!