Kicking back at night with a tub of ice cream, a packet of crisps and a glass of wine might sound like heaven, but we know late night indulgences like this can take their toll on our bodies and our health. That doesn’t mean though that we have to padlock our cupboards come 7pm, because there are plenty of healthy and tasty snacks you can consume post dinner.
Eating at night doesn’t have to be bad, in fact it can actually be good for us. If done in the right way nibbling at nighttime can have some surprising health benefits, from regulating your appetite to sending you off to sleep. So instead of bypassing every edible evening option take a look at some of these great guilt free snacks to tuck into.
Coconut mango cream to curb your sugar craving
This is about as easy to make as it is to lift the lid off your sugar- and calorie-laden box of store-bought ice-cream. Just by blending up mangoes and adding coconut milk until it’s smooth, you can make a delicious sweet snack that goes perfectly with a good movie and has less than 200 calories.
Chocolate – as long as it’s the cacao-rich dark variety – is actually good for you. It doesn’t have the high added sugar content of traditional chocolate but it is high in antioxidants. Dark chocolate has been shown to fight inflammation, improve mood and lower blood pressure. Be careful not to overindulge though. Just an ounce of dark chocolate is all you really need to help you wind down.
Rather than mindlessly dipping into a packet of tortilla chips, pick up a bag of shelled pistachios instead. The slower you eat, the less you consume, so having to pick apart the shell to get to its content means you will likely eat fewer.
Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat nuts as well as being high in fibre. They are packed with the antioxidant selenium, as well as vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 – all of which are vital for skin cell renewal. With more nuts per serving than any other nut you can name, pistachios are a tasty treat that you can eat more of, guilt-free!
This combo doesn’t sound like the most appealing but it’s actually pretty tasty and good for you. The mixture provides a high dose of slower digesting milk protein, casein. This has been proven to help your body recover while you sleep, especially when taken late at night.
It you want to unwind and relax at nighttime then a bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds could be the key. They contain large amounts of relaxant magnesium – just one serving of seeds provides almost 50 percent of your recommend intake of the essential mineral – and because they’re slightly salty they can curb your craving for crisps too.