Why eating peanut butter might help you sleep better at night
If you’re having trouble winding down at night, head for the kitchen before you reach for the medicine cabinet. Some foods can help you get a better night’s sleep — and fortunately for all of the PB&J addicts out there, peanut butter is one of them. Why? Peanuts contains tryptophan, the same amino acid that’s in turkey — and we all know how tired we are after that big Thanksgiving dinner. That’s why a little peanut butter on toast is the perfect bedtime snack (per Northwestern Medicine). The brain actually converts tryptophan into melatonin — which as many people know, is available to buy in supplement form to help you fall asleep — as well as the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin (via Healthline).
To get the maximum impact of the tryptophan in peanut butter, go for a traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or at least, half of one. That’s because carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain (per VeryWellFit). You can choose whole grain bread and no-sugar-added jam for a wholesome, healthy, pre-sleep sammie.
Eating peanut butter before bed helps muscle repair
As if a more restful night’s sleep weren’t incentive enough to enjoy PB before bed, here’s another great reason to make peanut butter part of your bedtime ritual: the protein in it helps repair your muscles. There are micronutrients in this nut butter that regenerate muscles, promote muscle building, and prevent muscle breakdown (via Foodspring). Plus, because peanut butter takes a long time to digest, it fuels your recovery all night long, according to fitness blogger Sixpack Smackdown.
If you’re worried that peanut butter is too caloric of a snack to enjoy before bed, keep in mind that indulging in this filling treat may mean that once your head hits that pillow, you will be done eating for the night, and you may even find yourself craving a smaller breakfast the following morning. That’s because peanut butter will keep late night food cravings at bay and sugar levels in check (per Cooking Light). So when 3 a.m. rolls around, you’ll be fast asleep with a satisfied tummy, not roaming the cupboards for cookies. You don’t have to eat the whole jar, either. A tablespoon of peanut butter has 94 calories (via FatSecret), and you can pair it with apple slices instead of bread if you’re concerned about calorie intake.
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