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Nightly nibbles

What’s not to love about bingeing on a table full of snacks while we binge watch tv late in the evening with family, or plates of hot toast after a night out, or that late delivery pizza – because it’s been that kind of a day.

Perhaps sometimes our late night snacking comes from the fact we’ve not eaten properly during the day, or from being sociable, or maybe just ‘because’. But there’s plenty of evidence to suggest we shouldn’t make it a nightly habit – but what if it already is?

Raising our blood sugars late at night works against our circadian rhythm. And while research is focussing to better understand this innate rhythm and how it affects us, late night snacking has been linked to poor health outcomes including increased risk of heart disease and obesity. It also affects the quality our sleep.

So, if we really can’t stay away from our nightly nibbles, maybe the next best option is to make some healthy switches to eat foods that help – rather than hinder – our sleep. And for that, whole grain foods and foods rich in tryptophan top are the go-to choice. Fear not, they’re not as boring as they sound – popcorn is a tasty whole grain treat and foods such as chicken, turkey and nuts are rich in tryptophan.

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