Like we change our clothes with the daytime (morning and night) and age so also should the foods we consume. At age 40 and above, our body metabolism begins to gradually decline as a result of muscle mass loss, reduction in organs and cells activities. This means we have to be even more selective with the foods we eat as they may affect our quality of life and cause physical health problems.
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With that being said, it is important to consume foods that provide nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that help the body to stay metabolically fit, especially at night. According to Healthline, a study shows that nighttime eaters typically make poorer food choices which can cause weight gain, poor night sleep, and increase blood pressure.
As important as it is not to eat late-night foods, it's also important to eat the right foods especially when healthy aging is concerned. Although that's not to say these foods come with an age limit, eating the right types of foods at the right time can prevent obesity, acidity, heart diseases, and an increase in blood pressure.
Healthy foods are those foods that provide you with the nutrients you need to retain energy and sustain your body's well-being at the right time. This means that some healthy foods in the morning may not be healthy if consumed at night. Hence, the following foods should be consumed regularly as night foods.
1. White rice
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Unlike brown rice, white rice contains a lower amount of fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients such as thiamine, manganese, and folate which makes it healthy for night food. Moreso, white rice has a high Glycemic index(GI) that simply measures the rate at which foods increase the body's sugar level. This makes rice a healthy night food that can improve one's sleep.
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Turkey is a great source of protein, vitamins, and a nutritive compound called selenium. This powerful antioxidant known as selenium plays an important role in ensuring that the thyroid gland functions properly. It also contains a considerable amount of tryptophan that promotes sleepiness. Thus, cooked(or boiled) turkey is recommended as night food for people above 40 years old to improve their sleep and thyroid gland functions.
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Banana is a sweet and nutritious fruit that can be taken as a midnight snack or food. It is rich in tryptophan and potassium that plays an important role in body relaxation and improvement of all body cells. It also contains a healthy amount of vitamins and antioxidants properties that can improve sleep quality and make bowel movement easier in people above their 40's.
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As healthy as oatmeal is if consumed in the morning, it is also healthy if it's consumed at night. This is because it contains a considerable amount of fiber and beta-glucan that can promote sleep and keep cholesterol levels in check. Hence, a warmly prepared oatmeal is healthy for people in their 40's and above.
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Fatty fishes like mackerel, salmon, and sardine are another great choice of night food. This is because fatty fish contain a considerable amount of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin D helps the body to regulate its calcium level and promote good skin, parathyroid gland, and kidney health. While omega-3 fatty acids help to improve the serotonin produced by the nervous system to improve sleep quality. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also protect the brain from inflammation.
6. Pumpkin seed
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According to Healthline, 28g of pumpkin seed contains 148 calories and 37% of RDI for magnesium which promotes good sleep. It is also rich in tryptophan that can trigger the brain to produce melatonin. Melatonin helps the body to reduce oxidative stress, aid eyes function, prevent cellular atrophy, and improve immune system functioning. This makes it a very good night food for aged people that are at risk of decreased cells and organ functioning.
At night, digestion slows down which may cause discomfort and poor sleep especially in aged people, therefore, these listed foods are highly recommended as night foods because they can be easily digested, promote digestion, and improve night sleep.