The 17 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Your Diet

The 17 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Your Diet

The 17 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Your Diet

After a long day at work, taking care of the kids, and washing dishes, you need to reward yourself with a midnight snack to boost your energy levels as you go to sleep. Ideally, this snacking experience comes after dinner when you have nothing to do. 

However, most people make snacking mistakes by taking unhealthy bites that will deny them sleep. Unhealthy snacks may also lead to stomach upsets and other health complications you might not want to deal with late at night.

And while you might create a new habit of taking healthy snacks before bedtime, you need to implement a balance so you don’t snack too much. It doesn’t have to be a full-packed meal, just something light to boost your energy levels and keep you going through the night. 

Fortunately, this piece aims to uncover all the relevant information you need to learn about healthy midnight snacking. You’ll also learn about some of the best snacks you should implement in your bedtime snacking routine. So keep reading to learn more. 

17 Healthy Late-Night Snacks

Sometimes all you need is a late-night snack to keep your going through the night. You also need it to have health benefits and sleep-promoting components. If this is you, here are a couple of healthy late-night snacks you can try:

1. Tart Cherry Walnut Trail Mix

Tart cherry walnut is an incredible homemade snack with sleep promotion components. This snack features pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dried coconut, and banana chips, making it a healthy meal.  

The blend of good melatonin and fats rich in omega three from the banana chips and dried cherries should keep you full and sleepy till morning. So get the tart cherry walnut trail mix for a healthy late-night snack.  

2. Greek Yogurt with Almonds and Honey

Warm milk alongside honey was a common bedtime ritual for many people growing up, but this version of the recipe for adults adds slivered almonds to elevate it to the next level. 

With enough honey, plain Greek yogurt may sate your sweet desire without raising your blood sugar level. Tryptophan, Protein, magnesium, calcium, and good fats all work together to promote restful sleep.

3. Cinnamon Chickpea Blondies

The cinnamon chickpea blondies are another midnight snack — it tastes like brownies. However, it doesn’t have a chocolate flavour, with no caffeine that will deny sleep.  

Ideally, it comes loaded with cashew butter, protein-rich chickpeas, and other tasty components. Besides being delicious, they are nutritious and have significant health benefits for your body.  

4. Green Smoothie Illustration

You can’t say no to a late-night smoothie packed with a lot of nutrients. The green smoothie illustration is probably one of the most nutritious smoothies with rolled oats, spinach, tart cherry juice, chamomile tea,  almond butter, and bananas, all made to stop the stomach rumbling after consumption.  

Thanks to its protein fibre and silky-smooth finish, this relaxing smoothie should put you to sleep immediately after consumption.

5. Spinach and Turkey Pinwheels

If you often experience a hangover, spinach and turkey pinwheels are all you need to clear your system.  Turkey has all the essential elements, like amino acids, which work well as a calming component. It has many healthy ingredients that help you have a good night’s sleep. 

6. Oil-Free Baked Veggie Chips

Another incredible late-night snack is the oil-free baked veggie chips. It’s made with sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, turnips, and beets. It features minerals, fibre, and vitamins to satisfy you all night.  

7. Pistacio Ice Cream Illustration

Some nights just need pistachio ice cream illustration to make it better. This amazing ice cream is loaded with magnesium, vitamin B6, and protein, significantly ensuring a great and satisfying sleep.  

You just need a blender to make this vegan dish, so you don’t require fancy tools. Even though it contains avocado and dates as a sweetener, don’t be fooled by the seemingly healthy components; this ice cream is packed with flavour.

8. Tart Cherry Bedtime Bites

These quick, no-bake nighttime snacks are tasty and take just a few minutes to prepare. These bite-sized snacks include almond butter, dark chocolate, dried cherries, oats, and other nourishing components that help you unwind and rest while fulfilling your sweet craving.

9. Kale Pesto Pizza

Nothing beats a kale pesto pizza for a healthy late-night snack. While that’s the case, most tomato-made pizzas have irritating heartburn that can throw you off from trying this late at night. Fortunately, this kale pesto pizza has kale design pesto which is good for a good night’s sleep.

10. Smoked Salmon, Avocado, And Cucumber Bites

These cucumber nibbles with avocado and smoked salmon may be your new favourite savoury snack. The mixture orchestrates a mouthful of buttery avocado, crisp cucumber, salty salmon, and other flavours. This is a fantastic snack before bed since it is high in protein and healthy fats.

11. Beet Hummus With Tart Cherry Topping

The vivid colour of this beet hummus with sour cherry topping is stunning, but it also tastes delicious and is packed with nutrients that will put you to sleep quickly. 

The protein-rich chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and roasted beets in this dish form the foundation of hummus. The crunchy topping provides texture and contains omega-3 fatty acids for a balanced body and mind.

12. Kiwi Kabobs With Sweet Yogurt Dip

Another well-appreciated late-night snack is the kiwi kabobs with sweet yogurt dip. They contain magnesium, calcium, and melatonin, which offers you a great slip after a small bite. The yogurt dip mainly consists of Greek yogurt, which, while protein efficient, is tasty and satisfying.  

13. Tart cherries

Consider including sour cherries like Montmorency or their juice as an after-dinner treat. Some earlier research indicates that they could improve your sleep. They are anti-inflammatory and may protect against inflammatory-related illnesses, including arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

In recent research, a small sample of older people with insomnia consumed 8 ounces (240 millilitres) of 100% sour cherry fruit juice at a bite and 1-2 hours before night or a placebo. 

An onsite sleep test after two weeks revealed that cherry juice drinkers slept about 1.5 hours longer at bedtime than the placebo group.

The hormone melatonin, which aids sleep promotion, is only moderately present in tart cherries. Procyanidin B-2 is a phytochemical that they also possess. Tryptophan, an amino acid your body may utilise to create melatonin, is protected in your blood (10).

A 1/4 cup (40 g) of dried tart cherries has 133 calories, whereas an 8-oz (240 ml) glass of 100% tart cherry juice has 159 calories.

Since research indicates they may improve sleep, tart cherries are the perfect midnight snack. A 1/4 cup (40 g) of dried tart cherries or eight ounces (240 millilitres)  contain less than 160 calories each.

14. Banana With Almond Butter

A delightful 190-calorie combination of one small banana and one tablespoon (16 grams) of fresh almond butter could help with sleep. Within two hours of consuming two bananas, one research in healthy males discovered a more than 4-fold rise in melatonin levels in the bloodstream.

Bananas are reasonably high in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that the human body transforms into melatonin in some amounts. Melatonin may also be found in almond butter and almonds. Additionally, they are an excellent source of vitamin E, beneficial fats, and magnesium.

Magnesium may help your body produce melatonin, which has been connected to restful sleep. A banana dip into almond butter is a low-calorie snack that can assist your system in producing more melatonin to promote a good night’s rest.

15. Kiwi

This fruit with fuzzy skin and a sweet-tart flavour is calorie- and nutrient-efficient. Approximately 4 g of fibre, 84 calories, and 142% of the suggested daily requirement of vitamin C are included in two kiwi fruits. Kiwis may improve sleep quality for anyone who regularly takes them before bedtime.  

A fruit was tested in research involving 24 persons with sleep issues. Each night, participants had two kiwis before bed. Subjects in the research tracked their sleep using sleep diaries and a wristwatch.

People reported a 35% reduction in their time falling asleep after one month. Additionally, they slept 5% better and 13% longer.

One of the relatively few fruits with a significant level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and may hasten sleep, is the kiwi. Serotonin also reduces appetites for carbohydrates.

There are many more reasons for relishing this fruit in the meantime, even if more extensive research is required to demonstrate the advantages of kiwi for sleep. Kiwis are a healthy, delicious, and high vitamin C food. Only 84 calories are included in two peeled kiwis. 

16. Protein Smoothie

A high protein bite before you sleep may promote muscle regeneration and decrease loss caused by age, especially if you exercise often.

Smoothies are an enjoyable and convenient way to consume filled with protein milk before bed. For a tropical delight with approximately 160 calories, combine, for instance, 8 oz (240 ml) of milk that is low in fat with 2/3 cups (110 g) of fresh pineapple.

Additionally, milk contains a lot of tryptophan. Both melatonin and serotonin, which promote sleep, are produced by your body using this amino acid. Additionally, pineapple raises melatonin levels.

A milk-based smoothie provides tryptophan, a building block for the brain chemicals that promote sleep, and protein for repairing damaged muscles. Only roughly 160 calories are included in an 8 oz (240 ml) drink with milk with little fat and pineapple.

17. Goji Berries

The berries’ red-orange appearance belies their abundance of antioxidants such as carotenoids. In a preliminary trial from 2008, volunteers consumed either a placebo beverage or 4 oz (120 ml) of goji berry juice.

In the goji berry group, over 80 per cent of participants reported better sleep, approximately 70% found it simpler to get up, and over 50% said they felt less weary. No such advantages were observed by participants in the placebo group (28Trusted Source).

Goji berries serve as a straightforward, high-in nutrients snack regardless of whether their sleep benefits can be confirmed by more extensive research.

They may be consumed in cereal or trail mix. An antioxidant-rich food like goji berries may promote restful sleep. These dried berries provide 40 g or 139.6 calories.

18. Crackers And Cheese

Snacks like whole grain crackers and cheese provide a balanced combination of carbs and protein, maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. 

When carb-rich crackers are combined with cheese, a good source of tryptophan, it enhances the availability of tryptophan to the brain, promoting better sleep. Tryptophan is utilised by the body to produce serotonin and melatonin, which are essential for supporting sleep. 

A serving of 4 whole-wheat crackers (16 g) and one stick of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (28 g) contains approximately 150 calories. 

This protein-carb combo supports steady blood sugar levels and produces sleep-supportive brain chemicals. Moreover, this snack option is calorie-conscious, offering just 150 calories per serving.

19. Hot Cereal

Not only is hot cereal good for breakfast, but It’s also a terrific way to unwind at night. Oatmeal and other whole-grain grains are excellent sources of fibre. Furthermore, they often include more nutrients per serving than ready-to-eat morning cereals.

You may also think beyond the box by combining cooked barley (or whole-grain rice) with milk and garnishes such as cinnamon, almonds, or fruits.

Whole grains that need longer cooking may be prepared early and kept in the refrigerator for a few days. Just reheat the oats with water when you want a late-night snack.

On average, 124 calories are included in one three-quarters cup (175 g) of cooked oats produced with water. Add 1/4 cup (61 g) of nonfat Greek yogurt for 37 calories and protein.

Nearly any prepared whole grain may be blended with milk or additional toppings for a nutritious midnight snack. Only 124 calories are included in 3/cup (175 g) of cooked oats prepared with water.

20. Trail Mix

You may buy prepared in-advance trail mixes or build yourself by buying the items you choose separately. Typical healthful options include dried fruits, seeds, and nuts. They should be combined and portioned into snack-sized bags or reusable containers at a rate of approximately 1/4 cup (38 g).

It’s crucial to control your portion size since the components in trail mix are often high in calories. Trail mix typically has 173 calories per one-fourth cup (38 g). Some trail mix additions may even aid sleep and provide good B vitamins, fats, and minerals.

Nutrients that promote sleep may be found in several trail mix components, like dried cranberries and walnuts. Depending on the mixture, a serving size of one-fourth cup (38 g) has an average of 173 calories. To prevent overeating trail mix, check your servings.

21. Yogurt

The calcium found in yogurt is first-rate. This mineral, which has long been renowned for keeping your bones healthy, is now believed to improve sleep. 

Your body converts the amino acid tryptophan to melatonin, which requires calcium. Casein, a kind of protein found in yogurt, particularly Greek yogurt, is abundant. According to preliminary research, eating casein protein at night may help curb morning hunger. 

Choosing plain yogurt and flavouring it with plain fruit, like berries or peaches, is a good option if you want yogurt as a light meal. In plain, nonfat form, Greek yogurt weighs 6 oz (170-g) and contains 104 calories. Eighty-six calories are added when 1 cup (150 g) of blueberries is added.

Protein from yogurt is a fantastic option for preventing hunger. Additionally, calcium, scientifically linked to improved sleep, is abundant. Only 104 calories are included in a 6-oz (170-g) jar of plain, nonfat yogurt.

Whole Grain Wrap

Tortillas may be stuffed in various ways to increase your late-night appetite. You can warm a single whole-grain tortilla may be warmed and filled with hummus, sundried tomato, or nut butter spread for a quick snack. You can then roll up the tortilla and eat it. 

Around 140 calories are included in a medium (45-g) whole wheat tortilla. The quantity of calories rises by 39 by adding a teaspoon (15 g) of hummus. You can add chunks of chicken breast, leafy greens, and dried cranberries to make the dish a bit heartier.

Tryptophan, something your system requires to generate melatonin, is notably present in chicken. Additionally, dried cranberries contain melatonin.

With just 140 calories, a medium-sized whole-grain tortilla is the ideal starting point for a nutritious late-night snack. Simply top with wholesome ingredients like hummus or frozen chicken breast for a tasty snack.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds provide 158 calories per 1-oz (28-g) meal and 40% of the daily value (DV) of magnesium, which is known to help with sleep. Tryptophan may be found in abundance in these seeds (45). 

Pumpkin seeds with carbohydrates, such as half an apple or raisins, help get the tryptophan to the brain, which is converted into melatonin. 

In a preliminary 1-week research, individuals who consumed 250 mg of tryptophan from carbohydrates and pumpkin seeds slept 5% better and woke up less often. 

The group that received both tryptophan powder and carbohydrates slept 7% better than the control group, who received solely carb-based snacks. 

Intriguingly, tryptophan from pumpkin seeds may have a comparable impact as pure tryptophan tablets, while larger trials need confirmation. 

Pumpkin seeds, which have 158 calories per 1-oz (28-g) portion and include magnesium and tryptophan, may promote sleep when combined with carbohydrates like raisins or fresh fruit.

Edamame

You may purchase the unripe, green soybeans, edamame frozen or fresh. You can also combine fresh or frozen edamame with salt and pepper for a quick late-night snack. Half a cup (78 g) of this food has 94 calories. 

Alternatively, you may choose dry-roasted edamame, which has 130 calories per quarter cup (30 g) and tastes like completely mature roasted soybeans (soy nuts). 

Edamame is a source of protein that is particularly high in tryptophan. Combine edamame with carbohydrates to aid in the transportation of tryptophan to generate melatonin. 

For instance, you may use edamame instead of garbanzo beans in hummus, spread over whole-grain toast, or combine with dried fruit when dry-roasted. Edamame, or green soybeans, is a source of tryptophan and protein overall. 

With 94 calories per half cup (78 g) of fresh edamame and 130 calories per quarter cup (30 g) of dry-roasted edamame, they may be bought fresh, frozen, or dry-roasted.

Eggs

Depending on the energy and time you invest, you can utilise eggs in a wide range of snacks. For a fast snack, have some eggs that have been hard-boiled on hand. Additionally, you may make egg salad out of them and put it on crackers.

Online, there are many recipes for scrambled egg muffins without grains. These delectable sweets may often be refrigerated and then warmed in a muffin pan or the microwave at a later time. 

One big egg possesses just 72 calories and 6 g of protein to satisfy your appetite, along with 83 milligrams of tryptophan. 

Even while you may not consider eggs to be a snack, they prepare quickly and are an ideal source of protein, which can help you control your appetite. A big egg only has 72 calories.

Strawberries And Brie

For a satisfying and low-calorie snack, fresh strawberries are an ideal choice. Besides being a rich vitamin C source, one cup (166 g) of sliced strawberries contains only 53 calories. You can even indulge in two cups while staying well below the recommended 200-calorie limit for late-night snacks. 

Another option is to pair one cup (166 g) of sliced strawberries with one ounce (28 grams) of brie cheese, which provides 94 calories and approximately 6 grams of protein to curb your hunger. 

However, it’s important to note that soft cheeses like brie are not advised for pregnant individuals due to the risk of listeria infections, which can lead to miscarriage.

What Not To Eat At Night

It’s essential to be aware of the meals to avoid before bed to have a good night’s sleep. While specific options, like caffeinated products, are well-known, others, like alcohol, may differ. 

While many people think a nightcap helps them fall asleep, alcohol may interfere with REM sleep and cause sleep cycles to be disturbed. According to recent studies, even one drink might harm sleep. 

Avoiding certain foods before bedtime is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Salty foods, in particular, can make you thirsty, leading to multiple awakenings to use the bathroom. It’s best to limit evening beverages, opting for small sips of water or herbal tea when thirsty. 

Specific foods, including spicy items, acidic foods like tomatoes, oranges, and vinegar-based products, can trigger heartburn and indigestion. You should avoid these; bid farewell to salt and vinegar chips. 

Similarly, consuming a large meal before bedtime is not advisable. When you lie down with a full stomach, gravity works against you, hindering digestion and increasing the likelihood of heartburn and acid reflux.

Why We Get Hungry At Night

The midnight munchies are a familiar experience for many. It’s curious how we can spend the day eating salads and apples, only to become ravenous creatures who devour a whole pint of Rocky Road after sunset. 

Why do cravings for sweet and salty snacks surge in the evening? Science suggests our circadian rhythm plays a role. A study published in Obesity revealed that our internal clock heightens hunger and cravings during the evening, particularly for foods rich in salt and starch. 

While our ancestors may have benefited from a substantial nightly feast after extended periods of fasting, this pattern is not suitable for us today.

Twelve healthy people participated in the research and spent 13 days in a darkly lit atmosphere with equally spaced meals and sleep times. Participants generally felt less hungry in the morning and more hungry in the evening, a natural strategy for effective nutrient storage when food is scarce. 

However, food is plentiful, simple to get, and high in calories in our contemporary world. Artificial light allows us to remain up far into the evening, disrupting our sleep cycles. 

Unfortunately, eating the items we should avoid when might cause us to overindulge, often in bigger amounts, while our desires for sweet foods are at their highest. Inadequate calorie intake throughout the day may also contribute to increased evening cravings.

If you consistently skip breakfast, have a small handful of nuts for lunch, and only sit down for a proper meal at dinner, your body will strongly crave calories by around 9:00 p.m. 

To combat this, ensure your body receives regular, nutritious meals throughout the day to minimise the temptation of snacking on chips and chocolate before bedtime. 

Additionally, nighttime cravings can disrupt your digestive system’s functionality. Your body relies on a continuous supply of energy, primarily derived from glucose, to support its various functions. 

Throughout the day, glucose is constantly utilised for nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and regulating body temperature. However, energy expenditure decreases during sleep, causing the digestive system to slow down considerably. 

This explains why it is often advised to avoid late-night eating, as the body’s state of rest inhibits the efficient conversion of food into energy by enzymes and stomach acids.

The smooth functioning of digestion in your body also depends on the assistance of gravity. Indications of poor digestion, commonly known as ‘indigestion,’ include bloating, heartburn, and acid reflux. 

Hence, when you consume unhealthy foods that your body struggles to digest efficiently, you create a perfect environment for indigestion.

Pros and Cons of Late-Night Snacks

Changing your midnight snacking habits might take a while, but one that you’ll appreciate with time. 

Ideally, you want to embrace health-snacking habits suggested by fitness advisors, nutritionists, and doctors. However, to do that, you need to know the pros and cons discussed below: 

Pros

Better sleep:

Research suggests that having a light meal before bed promotes faster and longer sleep. Some foods have sleep-inducing properties and can prevent nighttime hunger disturbances.

Curb cravings:

To prevent late-night cravings for sweet and salty foods, incorporate a small, healthy snack into your routine after dinner. Choosing a snack that combines protein, fibre, and healthy fats can help satisfy you and curb your desire for unhealthy indulgences later. 

Improve body composition:

According to recent studies, eating protein before bed may increase muscle mass and resting metabolism in physically active people. This highlights the potential advantages of including protein-rich meals in your midnight routine for enhancing fitness and body composition.

Stay happy:

Preventing yourself from eating anything before midnight might have a similar effect to dieting in that it can make you feel deprived. In addition to contributing to binge eating and potential weight gain over time, this may cause despair and anxiety.

Cons

Unhealthy choices:

The inclination to opt for unhealthy foods high in starch and sugar during late-night hours can be attributed to our Paleolithic ancestors. Surprisingly, the appeal of carrot sticks with hummus diminishes compared to the allure of salt and vinegar chips after sundown.

Vicious cycle:

Adhering to the principle of “eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” optimises our body’s functioning. Consuming a majority of calories during the evening can result in waking up feeling full, skipping breakfast, and perpetuating unhealthy eating patterns the following day.

Indigestion and heartburn:

Even while eating a lot of spicy chicken wings and cheese pizza may be nice, the aftereffects are less pleasant when you wake up at 3 in the morning with a burning sensation in your esophagus. Before going to bed, eating a lot of food prepares the body for classic indigestion and heartburn sensations to appear.

Weight gain:

Late-night cravings are generally more intense than early-morning desires, which causes people to consume more calories than their bodies need throughout the evening. Additionally, many consume calorie-dense, sugar-laden foods at night, which might lead to weight gain.

Bedtime Snack Ideas For Kids

If you’re seeking late-night snack suggestions for your little ones, we offer a range of options. These recipes feature ingredients known for their calming properties and can effectively satiate your kids’ hunger before bedtime, ensuring their tummies are content.

Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Popsicles

Although kids love popsicles, many store-bought varieties include artificial additives and a lot of sugar that might keep them up at night. These homemade popsicles are healthier with protein-rich Greek yogurt, bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate chips for fun.

Tart Cherry Fruit Leather

If you’ve never attempted to make fruit leather, learn how easy it is. This homemade variation on fruit rolls requires only dried sour cherries, cherry juice, and some honey. This fruit leather makes a great pre-bedtime snack for kids since it is loaded with melatonin.

White Night Insomnia Cookies

Enjoy these white-night cookies with Greek yogurt, walnuts, flax seeds, dark cherries, and rolled oats, among other elements that may help you fall asleep. The gingerbread-like flavours of ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon added to these sleepless cookies will enchant kids and have them begging for more.

Bedtime Bears

Discover the joy of these delicious handmade gummy bears created with just five basic ingredients. They successfully quiet the nervous system due to the soothing magnesium, melatonin, and amino acids they contain. 

These gummy bears are a healthy and fun treat you can safely give your kids since they don’t include artificial colours or additives.

Tart Cherry Granola Bar

Watch as your little ones develop an instant affection for these delightful homemade granola bars, featuring a medley of ingredients such as oats, almonds, dried cherries, tahini, and chia seeds. With their satisfying crunch and a delectable drizzle of dark chocolate, these bars are guaranteed to bring joy and satisfaction.

Conclusion

For most people, taking a midnight snack is mandatory. It’s part of the daily routine they cannot let go. 

While there is nothing wrong with a snack before bedtime, most people do it wrong by using unhealthy snacks. 

You must ensure these snacks are delicious and healthy for efficient sleep.  

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