5 Best Foods to Eat in the Evening
After a long day, seniors may crave a snack later in the evening before or after eating their regular dinner. It’s important, especially in our older years, to keep to a healthy diet. This isn’t just for fitness reasons, but overall health, wellness and state of mind.
While nutrition experts often recommend avoiding large meals close to bedtime, a small portion of healthy food in the evening can help calm the body and prevent undernutrition in seniors. To keep healthy and happy after 60, consider focusing on these foods when bedtime draws near, rather than the energy-giving snacks you’d serve earlier in the day.
Staying healthy after 60 can be tricky. If you are a caregiver, make sure you promote health, well-being, and restful sleep in your aging loved one with these five best foods to eat in the evening:
In addition to being tart and tangy, kiwis may encourage restful sleep. Research has shown that this bright green fruit includes antioxidants and serotonin that can help a senior fall asleep more quickly, sleep more soundly, and rest for longer. Experts recommend eating two kiwis approximately one hour before bed.
In addition to improving sleep, kiwis come with a host of other benefits. They are packed with dietary fiber, which helps promotes feelings of fullness. Thanks to their high vitamin C content, kiwis can help boost your immune system. Try slicing up kiwi into a fruit salad along with other sleep-inducing fruits, like bananas and pineapple.
2. Cottage cheese
Full of calcium and protein, cottage cheese makes a great snack for seniors in the morning, noon, or night. But because cottage cheese has a high content of casein protein, it makes a particularly smart choice as an evening snack. Research has shown that consuming protein before bed can steadily supply the body with amino acids throughout the night, reducing muscle breakdown and boosting overall health.
Try serving cottage cheese in the evening with tart cherries or raspberries, which contain the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
3. Air-popped popcorn
When it’s not slathered in movie theater butter, popcorn can be a healthy treat. As a whole grain, popcorn contains plenty of healthy fiber that can help a senior feel full. Popcorn is also full of the antioxidant polyphenol, which is associated with healthy hearts and a reduced risk of cancer.
As an evening snack, popcorn is particularly effective because of its carb contents. Carbohydrates can help the body absorb tryptophan, an amino acid that allows the brain to synthesize serotonin.
Skip store-bought microwave popcorn and air-pop your own by microwaving a paper bag filled with kernels or using an air-popper. To add a kick of flavor, sprinkle on some cinnamon.
With a serving of almonds, you get a dose of vital nutrients like fiber, protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats. Almonds, in addition to other nuts like pistachios and walnuts, contain the hormone melatonin. The nut is also an excellent source of magnesium, which can help enhance a senior’s overall quality of sleep. Try serving an ounce – about a handful – of almonds in the evening.
5. Warm milk
Warming up a glass of milk has been a comforting bedtime routine for generations. Warm milk’s power to induce sleep can be attributed to several factors. Milk contains small amounts of tryptophan, which is thought to encourage healthy sleep in the elderly – particularly when combined with melatonin and exercise. And because of its association with comforting memories of childhood, serving a glass of warm milk in the evenings can help create a soothing bedtime ritual.
Healthy foods can be enjoyed at any time of day, but certain types of nutritious snacks are especially effective for inducing the feelings of calmness and tranquility that are usually desired in the evening.
Do you have any go-to healthy evening snacks you enjoy serving? Share your favorite recipes in the comments below!Back to Blog