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One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one has not dined well.
~ Virginia Woolf
Food can play a big part in the way we feel and as food is fuel for our body, it impacts greatly how our body functions. A sugary drink or caffeine late at night is likely to make it harder for you to sleep. However, the good news is that there are foods that can help you to feel calm and relaxed, inducing a better nights sleep.
5 foods that can help sleep are:
1. Almonds: have been claimed to boost sleep quality as they are a source of melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates sleep. They are also an excellent source of magnesium that has been discovered to improve sleep quality. (The National Institutes of Health, 2017)
2. White Rice: is high in carbs and low in fibre contributing to its high glycemic index, which is a measure of how quickly a food increases your blood sugar. It has been suggested that eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as white rice, at least one hour before bed may help improve sleep quality.
A study involving 1,848 people compared their sleep habits based on eating white rice, bread or noodles. It was found that those who ate more rice slept better and longer. Even though eating white rice improves sleep, it is wise to consume in moderation due to its lack of fibre and nutrients compared to brown rice. (The National Institutes of Health, 2017)
3. Bananas: contain vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium which support a good night’s sleep. Vitamin B6 converts tryptophan into serotonin which creates melatonin to help sound sleep.
4. Oatmeal: when you consume oatmeal, your blood sugar and insulin levels naturally rise, which can help you fall asleep faster. Oatmeal also contains Melatonin that induces sleep—so enjoy a bowl of oatmeal before bed, to maintain a peaceful slumber.
5. Fatty Fish such as salmon: is found to be beneficial when it comes to getting a good nights sleep. The healthy omega-three fatty acids found in salmon don’t just work wonders for brain function and skin health, they can help boost natural levels of melatonin—to help you fall and stay asleep at night. The vitamin D in fatty fish has been shown to help stave off insomnia. Note: always source sustainable fishing practices, to protect the future of our beautiful ocean (the blue heart of our planet)
Baked Mustard-Crust Salmon with Asparagus and Tarragon
• 1/4 bunch asparagus, trimmed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Pinch of Kosher salt
• Pinch of ground black pepper
• 1 large skin-on salmon fillet
• 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
• Pinch of smoked paprika
• 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1. Preheat oven to 135°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper on prepared sheet and then bake for 5 minutes.
2. Spread the salmon fillet with 1 tsp. mustard, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Top salmon with panko mixture, spreading evenly. Follow by dusting with smoked paprika. After asparagus has baked for 5 minutes, remove baking sheet from oven. Place the salmon fillet skin side down, return to oven and bake until salmon is firm but still pink in the centre and asparagus is tender, sprinkle with chopped tarragon.
4. After asparagus has baked for 5 minutes, remove from oven and add the salmon fillet, placing skin side down. Return the asparagus and salmon to the oven and bake until salmon is firm but still pink in the centre and asparagus is tender. sprinkle with chopped tarragon.
5. Serve on a plate and garnish with chopped tarragon.