In today’s bound-free, buzzing digital era, getting adequate sleep is paramount to our physiological, emotional, mental, and even social well-being. Sleep allows our bodies and minds to self-regulate, repair, build resilience, and operate smoothly and sustainably in myriad ways.
Luckily, one of the best (and yummiest) ways to nourish ourselves to better sleep is through food, especially when opting for a nutrient-packed bedtime nibble. One of these necessary nutrients that we often skip out on is magnesium, which plays a crucial role in supporting and nurturing health and life and is also connected to hundreds of chemical reactions within our bodies. Thus, to learn more about a few magnesium-rich ideas, amp up your nighttime routine, promote restful sleep, and lull yourself to better health, keep on reading!
These mighty tree nuts are a go-to source when it comes to eating for healthy sleep. In addition to their high omega-3 fatty acid and linoleic acid content, walnuts are a good source of manganese, copper, and magnesium (around 44 milligrams of magnesium per ounce) and other essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
But aside from their optimal composition of bioactive nutrients, walnuts are also rich in antioxidants (hello, melatonin!) and other plant compounds deemed to encourage better sleep, fight oxidative damage, and nourish the beneficial bacteria that reside in our guts, among others.
At 74 milligrams of magnesium per ounce, pumpkin seeds are an incredibly healthy alternative to upgrading your nighttime snacking fun. Rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids, folate, and beyond, pumpkin seeds are also a natural source of tryptophan, an amino acid thought to assist sleep quality and total sleep time.
Did you know these succulent fruits contain more potassium than bananas per gram? Indeed! Avocados are not only a nutritional powerhouse but also a good source of both magnesium and potassium, which are helpful in relaxation and improving sleep efficiency.
If you are looking for some avocado nighttime inspiration, try topping 2-3 slices on any toast (or cracker) of your choice, sprinkle with some toasted pumpkin seeds, flaky sea salt, and voilá!
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Together with many other key sleep-promoting nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and complex carbs, whole grains are another magnesium knockout. From dry buckwheat (65 mg of magnesium per ounce) and quinoa (also known as pseudocereals) to oats and barley, whole grains are an excellent path to sleep and digestive health overall.
Whole grain combos are endless if you are looking for some before-bed delicious noshes! Try reaching out for some oatmeal with berries, whole-grain cereal with milk, toast with almond butter, or quinoa with olive oil.
An all-time favorite, bananas are not only known to pack an essential nutrition punch ⸺ vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, etc⸺ but also a high level of magnesium (37 milligrams in one large banana), carbs, antioxidants, and soluble fiber. This amount of magnesium makes them an ideal alternative to sustaining a normal circadian cycle, thus contributing to adequate, quality sleep. Who thought such a sleep wonder couldn’t be nourishing, delicious, and efficacious in one delightful piece.