Diet Choices That Can Boost Sleep Quality

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In March we welcome the change of seasons. We are excited to say goodbye to winter and the cold weather. With the promise of Summer on the horizon, many people are refocusing their attention on their health and wellness journey.  This often includes attention to your diet, which can help with better weight management.

If you are seeking to make changes to your nutrition and diet, sleep plays an important factor in being successful.  Many of us feel especially sluggish after the winter hibernation. In addition, we experienced the change of our clocks. We jumped ahead one hour due to Daylight Savings. The National Sleep Foundation has claimed the week after Daylight Savings to be Sleep Awareness Week. In 2021, Sleep Awareness Week is dated March 14th through March 20th.

We have compiled a few options on how to achieve a better night’s sleep through our nutrition choices during the day.

Fruits – An important piece for any diet, but when we are speaking about sleep specifically, look at eating more cherries or kiwis. Cherries have been found to help decrease the effects of insomnia. Cherries contain a high amount of the sleep-promoting hormone, melatonin. Eating kiwis two hours before bed has been found to help with falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer and waking up less frequently.

Caffeine – Most of us know to avoid caffeine before bed. The rule is to avoid caffeine 5 to 6 hours before bed. Caffeine can be tricky because it can also be found in the foods we consume, it’s not limited to beverages like coffee or soda.

Snacking – Avoid late night snacking. Try to stop eating 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed. Snacking can lead to broken sleep, individuals find themselves waking up more frequently during the night.

Spicy food – Eating spicy food can cause heartburn which can impact your sleep. Acid reflux can worsen and irritate an individual’s airways. Avoid consuming spicy foods within 3 hours of going to bed.

Alcohol – Drinking alcohol before bed is typically not the best choice. Alcohol is a sedative and it may help you fall asleep, but it reduces the overall quality of sleep you receive. Most people find themselves waking up more frequently during the night.

Sources: Sleep.org and Hopkinsmedicine.org

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Simple Steps To Eat HEALTHIER

March Is National Nutrition Month

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Most of us are aware that we need to make a change to our diet. However, a complete overhaul of our current habits is an overwhelming task. Instead of looking at the whole pie all at once, try breaking down the end-goal into smaller pieces. Each small step that you accomplish is a mini-victory on your way to a Healthier diet.

We have highlighted a few small steps that can help jump start you goals:

Slow Down – let your brain and body register the food that you are eating. Your appetite is controlled by hormones. The hormones will send signals to your brain stating if you are hungry or full. Your brain needs about 20 minutes to receive these signals. There have also been studies to show that fast eaters are more likely to be obese than slow eaters.

Eat Your Greens First – The best way to ensure that you eat all your greens/vegetables is to eat them at the beginning of your meal.

Eat Your Fruits Instead Of Drinking Them – Fruits are most nutritious in their natural form. Most fruit juices don’t even use real fruit. They are typically made from a concentrate that contains excess sugar. Some fruit juices can contain as much sugar as a soft drink.

Cook At Home More Often – This tip helps your diet and your wallet. Choose to eat at home 4+ nights a week. By cooking the food yourself at home, you know exactly what you will be consuming once it is completed.

Replace Your Sugary Beverages With A Sugar Free Alternative Or a Flavored Sparkling Water – Sugary beverages are loaded with liquid sugar which is linked to numerous diseases like Heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep – the importance of sleep cannot be overstated! Our bodies need good and ample sleep to function properly. Example being, sleep deprivation can disrupt appetite regulation.

Eat From A Smaller Plate – When eating from a smaller plate, it can trick your brain into thinking that you are actually eating more.

Learn these tips and more at Healthline.com

 
 

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Let’s March into Spring HEALTHIER

March is

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National Nutrition Month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The month focuses on helping people make informed and healthy food choices. They focus on developing better eating habits and healthy physical activities. Many common health problems can be prevented by taking charge of your diet and exercise. Paying attention to what you eat and drink and physical movement are two of the biggest ways you can take control of your health.

Common health problems that can positively benefit from a good eating regime are many. At any age it is important to pay attention to what you eat and the quantity. Our diet contributes to our overall well being.

Diabetes is a long lasting disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. There are different types of Diabetes. Over 34 million people live with diabetes and over 85 million live with prediabetes. Most of the food we eat is broken down into sugar (glucose) and released into our bloodstream. When your blood sugar goes up, your pancreas is signaled to release insulin. Insulin acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. With diabetes, your body doesn’t make insulin or can’t use it properly. Over time, serious health problems can develop, such as heart disease, kidney disease and vision loss.

Living with diabetes can be a challenge. But one can do a lot of good by eating well and staying active. A healthy diet that includes a balance of nutrient rich foods is extremely important. Balancing your blood sugar is the key to staying well. Knowledge is power, so here’s a list of things to help create a healthy eating plan.

Meal Planning - Make a plan so you are not caught without the proper foods to sustain your health

Grocery Shopping - Helps keep you on track with your meal plans

Read Food Labels - Know the nutritional value of the food you purchase

Eating Out - Have a plan before you go to a restaurant, choose wisely

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Learn much, much more at: mayoclinic.org, cdc.org, diabetes.org, eatingwell.org

 

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