You may well think that eating snacks before bed is a surefire way to gain weight, but it’s probably more to do with what and how much you’re eating in the evening, rather than the time of day you do it.
Eating a bedtime snack has been found to have some surprising health benefits. Eating protein before sleep can help you build muscle while you slumber, and eating low GI carbs can help regulate your blood sugar in the morning.
Here are 16 healthy snacks you can have at night!
1. High Protein Cake Batter
This may sound very unhealthy, but it doesn’t need to be on the “banned” list as it’s a high-protein version of traditional cake batter. It combines vanilla protein powder and heavy/double cream with pumpkin spice, and packs 19 grams of protein and 274 calories.
2. Coconut Mango Cream
This creamy chilled dessert ticks all the right boxes, and all for just 171 calories. This simple dessert uses frozen mango and coconut milk to make a delicious, indulgent-feeling snack.
If you want to make it vegan, use hemp, brown rice or pea protein powder.
3. No-Bake Peanut Butter & Honey Cookies
Peanut butter and chocolate are one of the great taste combinations, and the honey adds a hit of sweetness. The oats add fiber and plant protein, and best of all, there’s no messy and time-
consuming baking involved! This recipe makes around 8 cookies, although you can make 16 smaller cookies instead to cut down on the calories. A full sized cookie is around 238 calories.
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate bears very little relation to its unhealthy milk chocolate counterpart. Dark chocolate doesn’t have a high sugar content, and is full of antioxidants, which help lower blood
pressure, fight inflammation and even improve your mood. Because it’s so rich, you don’t need to eat much to feel satisfied, so next time you want a relaxing bedtime snack, have an ounce of
at least 70% cacao content dark chocolate.
5. BCAA Slushy
If you want to hark back to your childhood love of slushies without the sugar and artificial food dyes, look no further. This no-added-sugar slushy contains branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s), which can help soothe sore muscles and help stimulate muscle growth, all for 36 calories.
6. Cheat’s Strawberry-Banana “Ice Cream”
There’s nothing better than curling up with a dish of ice cream before bed, but with half a cup containing around 200 calories, it’s not really an option.
Frozen bananas make a great alternative to ice cream when mashed, and don’t contain the added sugars, fat and calories of traditional ice cream. It’s also a great way of using up over-ripe
bananas. Slice up two very ripe bananas and one cup of strawberries. Once they are frozen, place them in a food processor on high until they are an ice-cream-like consistency. If you go bananas for
banana ice cream, you might want to think about the Yonanas machine – a kitchen appliance designed for making banana ice cream!
If you buy pistachios in the shell they make a great night-time snack. Shelling them is time-consuming, so you won’t eat as much of them, and buying pistachios in the shell works out cheaper than shelled ones. An ounce of pistachios comprises around 49 nuts, so you get to eat a lot of them, even if it takes ages to shell them all! Pistachios contain fiber, biotin, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, unsaturated fats and plant sterols, which make them highly nutritious. If you want a little more substance to your snack, pair them with raspberries or goat’s cheese.
8. Protein Milkshake
You can make thick and creamy milkshakes without lots of fat and calories – they key is to add a casein or milk protein powder. Casein acts like a thickener, and research has linked it with
preventing excessive muscle breakdown after a hard workout. This milkshake has around 40 grams of protein, 307 calories and a third of the daily recommended amount of calcium.
9. PB and Chocolate Cottage Cheese
This may sound like a strange combo – peanut butter and chocolate go very well together, but cottage cheese? The cottage cheese adds a creamy texture and a big dose of casein protein so don’t be afraid to try it. It may become your new favorite healthy snack!
10. Raspberry and Greek Yogurt Popsicles
Popsicles are a favorite snack for many people, but the ones you buy at the store are full of calories and sugar. These Greek yogurt pops are nutritionally dense and don’t take long to make. Greek yogurt has double the protein and half of the carbs than regular yogurt, so it’s a sensible choice. Mash 3⁄4 of a cup of raspberries into two cups of plain Greek yogurt. Put the mixture into
popsicle moulds and freeze for several hours until frozen.
11. Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great pre-bed snack. One serving of them contains almost 50% of your daily recommended intake of magnesium, which is an essential mineral used in over 300
reactions in your body. Magnesium is also a relaxant, which will help you wind down at night, and the salty tang of roasted pumpkin seeds will stop your craving for salty snacks like potato
12. Hot Milk and Honey
Warm milk and honey seems to be everyone’s go-to bedtime drink when they want to sleep. Research has shown that this drink has more of a psychological than physical effect on getting
to sleep, but it still works for many people. Adding honey to your hot milk will boost the sugar content, but it can stimulate hormones that help create serotonin, which will help you feel good and relaxed.
13. Frozen Blueberries
Frozen blueberries are as full of antioxidants as fresh ones, because they are frozen at the point of peak ripeness. Studies have shown that blueberries can help improve heart health and brain
Nuts tend to get a bad rap as a snack food, due to their high fat content, but a 2012 study showed that people who ate almonds lost as much weight over 18 months as those that didn’t.
Those eating almonds also experienced improvements in their total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Eat your almonds raw, roasted or seasoned with a spice such as chili or curry powder.
15. Berries and Cream
The rich smoothness of cream goes brilliantly with berries, but if you use Greek yogurt instead you’ll get a much higher protein dessert. Top half a cup of full fat plain Greek yogurt with a 1⁄4
cup of blackberries and a 1⁄4 cup of raspberries.
16. Kale Chips
If you want a salty crunch without the extra fat and calories, kale chips are a great choice. They’re packed with vitamins A and K, and carotenoids that help fight cancer. Kale chips taste
best when they are freshly made, and the prep time is very short.