Your 2 AM nibbles sorted!
You’re Netflix-ing and chilling after work. You don’t realise that it’s way past your bedtime. Your tummy doesn’t either. It rumbles, signalling your brain to action late-night snacking. Listen, we are not judging you. A guy’s got to eat when he’s gotta eat! Besides, we’ve all been there!
It’s absolutely NORMAL to feel hungry in the middle of the night, especially if you’re a late-to-bed-and-late-to-rise person. However, if you’re someone who has been sweating it off at the gym/home in the hope of shedding those few extra kilos or getting those six-pack abs—be mindful of what you reach out for when hunger strikes! The rule for midnight snacking is simple: Ditch everything salty, fried, starchy and sugary! Here’s our list of seven healthy yet delicious alternatives to satiate those midnight cravings….
A great option for when you want something masaledar, reach for a (small) bowl of oven-roasted makhana! Makhana or lotus seeds are super healthy and a delicious snack to eat. Oven-roast it with various spice-combos to have a range of flavours at your disposal. These are easily available at your regular grocer; just make sure to shop for ones with low-sodium.
GOOD FOR YOU: They are loaded with antioxidants and are also a good source of protein and fibre, along with micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
Bananas are said to increase melatonin (the hormone that helps us sleep) production. A medium-sized banana contains only around 105 calories and is a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals—making them the easiest and healthiest way to curb that post bedtime hunger! You can satisfy your sweet tooth without the added calories or artificial sweeteners unlike candies.
GOOD FOR YOU: Bananas are full of potassium, fibre, and vitamin B6. Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. In addition, bananas are low in sodium. The low sodium and high potassium combination helps to control high blood pressure.
Nuts are great anytime of the day. They are a great source of good fats, plant protein and vitamins. The protein in them will keep you full longer. Walnuts are an awesome late-night snack because they contain melatonin. Almonds are a great source of plant protein and vitamin E. A handful of nuts provides 172 calories, so make sure to keep your serving small to stay within the 100-calorie limit.
GOOD FOR YOU: Almonds come packed with heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats, and also antioxidants. Whereas, walnuts have minerals like magnesium—which can help calm nerve activity and help you get some healthy shut-eye!
If you’re a serial late-night snack-er, prep a raw veggie-and-hummus platter and store it in the fridge. From cucumbers, baby carrots and bell peppers to stalks of celery—veggies are simple yet delectable crunchy snacks. Stick to just TWO tablespoons of hummus, which roughly accounts for 60 calories.
GOOD FOR YOU: Raw veggies are a great source of fibre and keep you full longer. The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which has a good amount of protein—and this combo will keep you satisfied till you wake up!
Make your own version of a trail mix for those 2 AM hunger pangs. Choose some nuts like almonds, walnuts and a few cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Then, add some dried figs, raisins or dates into the mix. Finish off with some dark chocolate bits. You’ll get the same boost of energy as with a granola bar, minus the calories.
GOOD FOR YOU: Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are good sources of monounsaturated and omega-6 fats and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Kale is a superhit with the health conscious, and not without reason. This dark, leafy green superfood can be eaten raw with salads, cooked or baked. Store-bought kale chips often have high sodium content, so it’s best to buy them fresh and bake them at home. Just add salt or pepper or smoked paprika. To keep them crispy, it is important to let them cool completely. Once cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days.
GOOD FOR YOU: Kale comes loaded with vitamins A, C and K and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium and zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. It can help lower cholesterol and help boost immunity.
Steamed edamame tossed with some salt, sesame seeds and fried garlic is a great snack option for when you need something extra. Edamame (soybeans) is loaded with protein and fibre and a little bit of fat—a trio of nutrients that make for a delicious and nourishing snack! The best part? A 1/3-cup of the shelled variety has 75 calories only!
GOOD FOR YOU: Edamame contains around 12 per cent protein—making it a quality plant-protein source, providing all the essential amino acids. Plus, it’s low in carbs.
These snacks won’t derail your physical transformation or cause heartburn. Or other health issues. Just be sensible about portions. Happy snacking!
[All Image Credits: Shutterstock]