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Want Better Sleep and a Slimmer Waist? Here Are 4 Foods that Could Help With Weight Loss

Update Date: May 14, 2013 03:15 PM EDT
Genes that promote myelin formation are turned on during sleep, according to a new study. (Photo : Flickr)

Getting a good night's rest can greatly affect how a person's day starts. Numerous research studies have looked into the benefits of sleeping, which include improved productivity, better stress management and enhanced cognitive abilities. Despite these numerous health benefits, at the end of the day, some people still have difficulty sleeping and staying asleep. Instead of turning to medical remedies, like sleeping pills, here are four easier options that could improve sleep and even trim the waistline.

Food #1 - Kiwi

Although kiwis are known for being rich in fiber, these little fruits have been tied to helping people sleep as well. In a study conducted by Taiwanese researchers, the findings revealed that people who ate two kiwi fruits an hour before their bedtimes had an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep for a longer period. The researchers of this 2011 study theorized that the fuzzy outer skin, which people do not often like to eat, is packed with antioxidants that could contribute to enhancing the effects of sleep.

Food #2 - Oatmeal

Starting the day off with a hearty breakfast like a bowl of hot oatmeal can help people's productivity levels, and now, research suggests that ending the day with oatmeal might also have different kinds of benefits. Based on research, eating carbohydrates triggers the body to produce insulin, which then clears the amino acids in the blood. When these amino acids are no longer present, tryptophan starts to work and produce the drowsy effects accompanied with sleep. Since carbohydrates have this effect, it would be wise to choose foods with healthier whole grains and fewer calories, which is why oatmeal is a great candidate.

Food #3 - Almonds

Nuts, such as almonds and peanuts, are filled with numerous healthy benefits that range from healthy fats to minerals. Almonds, in particular, are rich in magnesium, which has been linked to promoting a better overall sleeping experience that includes the quality and duration of sleep, and the alertness the morning after. Almonds also contain tryptophan, which promotes good sleeping patterns.

Food #4 - Bananas

Last but not least, bananas are considered to be the best food option for people looking to improve their sleeping quality. Not only do bananas contain tryptophan and magnesium, bananas are packed with potassium. Potassium, according to a study published in 2007, has been linked to improving sleep while relaxing muscles.

Not only do these foods help improve sleeping quality, they are also very healthy options and would not put a large dent in people's wallets. 

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