Sleep Well Smoothies – the new wellness trend
It is no secret that I am a strong green smoothie supporter. Not long ago I already wrote an article on those amazing green beverages (read it here), and now there is a new trend slowly taking over the wellness world – Sleep Well Smoothies.
While I strongly suggest having a green smoothie first thing in the morning to fuel your body with healthy nutrients and give it an energy boost, the smoothies I will talk about today are intended for drinking before you go to bed as they act as an all-natural sleep aid.
So here is how it all works: certain foods contain tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid known for its calming effects for the nervous system. The calming effect comes into the picture in the form of a forerunner of the neurotransmitter serotonin, a derivate of the amino acid tryptophan. Said differently, tryptophan helps our brain produce serotonin, aka the ‘happy hormone’, but at the same time serotonin is transformed into melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycles in our body. So, on one hand, food rich in tryptophan can reduce anxiety and stress related insomnia because serotonin helps with relaxation and feeling happy. And on the other hand, it helps produce melatonin which regulates sleep in general.
There are a number of vegetables and fruit that are rich in tryptophan and can help you get a good night sleep. Spinach is one of the best veggies for smoothies and very rich in tryptophan but there are a number of other recommended vegetables like leafy greens: watercress, kale, cabbage, and parsley. Strawberries, bananas, cherries, grapefruit, peaches, and kiwi are fruit high in tryptophan. And let’s not forget nuts and seeds: almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews…
And that is why these sleep-well smoothies really have the potential to help you get a good night sleep. Here is one delicious Sleep Well smoothie I have recently tried and it was pretty delicious:
- handful of spinach,
- ½ cup strawberries,
- ⅓ banana,
- ¼ cup almonds
- ½ cup water or almond milk.
I have read that you should drink your bedtime smoothie 30 minutes before you go to bed, but I would suggest drinking it more like one hour prior to hitting the hay. And of course, turning off your phone and all other blue light devices will also help you get those much appreciated z’s 😉
I think this is a pretty interesting beverage trend for the wellness industry as more and more attention is given to the importance of a good night sleep. It would also be a great addition to diversify a wellness or spa-bar menu.
Let me know how you like my Sleep Well Smoothie and share your own recipes.
P.S.: click here for an interesting article on tryptophan.