The 15 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks

It’s well after dark and your stomach is rumbling.

The challenge is figuring out what you can eat that’s quick, tasty and won’t cause you to pack on the pounds.

After all, there’s growing scientific evidence that eating too late at night could make weight control harder.

Fortunately, if you’re truly hungry, a small, nutrient-rich snack under 200 calories is generally fine at night.

Some snacks even contain compounds that may help you sleep better.

Here are 15 excellent and healthy late-night snack ideas.

1. Tart Cherries

Consider adding tart cherries like Montmorency or their juice to your late-night snack options.

A few, small studies suggest that they may help you sleep better. What’s more, they have anti-inflammatory benefits and may offer protection against inflammation-related conditions like arthritis and heart disease.

In a recent study, a small group of older women with insomnia drank 8 ounces (240 ml) of 100% tart cherry juice or a placebo drink at breakfast and 1–2 hours before bedtime.

After two weeks, an on-site sleep test showed that those drinking cherry juice slept nearly one and a half hours more at night, compared to the placebo group.

Tart cherries contain the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, but only a relatively small amount.

However, they also contain the phytochemical procyanidin B-2, thought to protect the amino acid tryptophan in your blood, which can be used to make melatonin.

An 8-ounce (240-ml) glass of 100% tart cherry juice or one-third cup (40 grams) of dried tart cherries have around 140 calories.

SUMMARYTart cherries and their juice make an ideal late-night snack since studies suggest they may help you sleep better. Eight ounces (240-ml) of 100% tart cherry juice or one-third cup (40 grams) of dried tart cherries have around 140 calories.

2. Banana With Almond Butter

One small banana dipped in a tablespoon (16 grams) of unsweetened almond butter is a tasty, 165-calorie pairing that may even help you sleep.

One study in healthy men found a more than 4-fold increase in melatonin blood levels within two hours of eating two bananas.

Bananas are one of the few fruits known to be relatively rich in the nerve messenger serotonin, some of which your body converts to melatonin.

Almonds and almond butter supply some melatonin as well. Plus, they’re a good source of healthy fats, vitamin E and magnesium.

Magnesium has been linked to good sleep, since it may support your body’s production of melatonin.

SUMMARYSnacking on a banana dipped in almond butter may help increase your body’s melatonin levels to support a good night’s sleep — all that for only about 165 calories.

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