Just like most folks, I’m always looking for new tips and tricks for my health. Here’s another post based on reading this book – The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet & Lifestyle by Dr. Gaynor. The book just clicked with me. Let me tell you, in my humble opinion, the book is fantastic. The author goes through the exact foods that you should eat, what to avoid, and most importantly, why to do it. Dr. Gaynor goes into great detail on how to avoid long term diseases (ex. cancer, diabetes, heart disease) from formulating in your body by making small tweaks to your lifestyle and diet. Most diseases take 20+ years to fully formulate, giving people plenty of time to change habits to avoid major diseases like cancer and improve your life.
I highly recommend this as a read, it wasn’t too difficult to follow along. Now, let’s get to the topic at hand of sleep. Look at that baby below…so cute.
Doesn’t everyone wish they could sleep like a baby. There’s so much going on in our lives today that it’s getting more and more difficult to achieve a great night of sleep. That’s right, I don’t want a good night of sleep, I want a great night of sleep. In order to get there, there are specific foods we put in our body that can actually help us catch some z’s. One of the highest indicator to get a better night’s rest is melatonin. Instead of focusing on the output, why not go straight to the source of the key ingredient dealing with the synthesis of melatonin. Basically, I mean how melatonin transmits to your body in order to sleep. It’s an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan can be found in lots of foods that can help provide a better night’s rest.
1. Chickpeas – loaded with tryptophan. Look for the natural or raw kinds instead of the canned version, but canned is fine if you don’t have access to fresh ones. Also, chickpeas are a main ingredient in hummus.
2. Shrimp – delicious shellfish served in most forms will provide lots of Tryptophan. One of my favorites below is Shrimp Scampi loaded with garlic…Yum!
3. Almonds – one of my favorite nuts by far, great for snacking, heart health, and contains magnesium (a key element in sleep).
4. Romaine lettuce – great for caesar salad, also great for sleep because of sedative effects on the brain.
5. Halibut – cold water fish that contains lots of vitamin B6 which is needed for melatonin.
6. Pistachio Nuts – another B6 superstar.
7. Cherries – these wonderful red fruits contain lots of melatonin.
8. Chamomile Tea – wonderful tea to drink prior to going to bed that contains natural sedatives that help with relaxing.
9. Honey – allows all that great tryptophan to get where it needs.
10. Kale, Spinach, or Mustard Greens – other powerful greens containing tryptophan that can help with sleep. As you can see, lighter dinners with some greens are recommended.
I, for one, can always use a better night’s rest. Something that’s key to this list and not mentioned is a healthy dose of exercise. Exercise is key to any lifestyle as it acts as a deterrent to sleep deprivation diseases like heart disease and obesity. Tiring your body out even a few hours before bed, will help with a sound sleep with the downstream effects of feeling refreshed the next day.