Nutrition

Intermittent Fasting: The Diet Hack You Needed?

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Everyone has heard the saying “Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince, and eat dinner like a pauper.” However, there’s a new fitness trend that’s turning this old advice right on its head. Through intermittent fasting, people are actually skipping breakfast to lose weight and live healthy lives.

Fascinated? We were, too. Here’s what we’ve learned about intermittent fasting.

We take a look at what intermittent fasting is, how it works, why you should consider it, and how you can go on an intermittent fasting program.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

First off, this isn’t a diet. It’s an eating pattern.

If you go on an intermittent fast, you eat for 8 hours a day, and abstain from any food during the remaining 16. These cycles of eating and fasting help with weight loss, metabolism rates, and may even help protect you against illness.

The great news, and why a lot of people prefer intermittent fasting: you only watch when you eat, not what you eat.the-facts-about-intermittent-fasting-fat-loss-and-muscle-growth-header-v2-830x467How Does It Work?

With the 16/8 system, you will be eating a little more at each meal. However, you will end up consuming fewer calories than when you eat as usual, because you eat fewer meals now.

Contrary to popular opinion, your body is designed to survive an intermittent fasting regimen, and easily. When you eat regularly, your body constantly has a source of energy: the food you eat. When you go on an intermittent fasting regimen, your body needs another source of energy: the fat stored in it.

When you work out in the ‘fasting state’, your body craves fuel, and uses your fat reserves. That’s a win!

Another way this works (warning: we’re getting a little scientific here) is that fasting deprives you of glycogen, a starch stored within your body. This makes you more sensitive to insulin, means that most of the food you eat will be burnt as energy or stored in muscles. You won’t be adding more fat to your body.

 

Why Try Intermittent Fasting?

We’ve already addressed this, so here are the highlights: improved metabolism, weight loss, improved muscle growth, and no more overeating.

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Okay, So How Do I Go On An Intermittent Fast?

You can start with a 12/12 fasting-feasting schedule, where you eat all your meals for a day in a 12-hour window. Then, progress to 14 hours, and then 16 hours, of fasting.

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The results will speak for themselves!

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-intermittent-fasting

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide

4 Healthy Treats For Children

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When you’re sending your little one off to school, there’s hardly enough time to cook up something healthy.

But with these five recipes, you are set for the next few days. Read up: we’ve curated five recipes that are as healthy as they are fun, ensuring that your kids get the nutrition they need. They’re also easy to prepare, and the rest of your family will likely enjoy them too.

Recipe 1: Lentil And Mushroom Burgers

Burgers that are healthy: a win on both counts, tasty and healthy.

How you make them: sautée onions in olive oil. Pan fry the mushrooms in olive oil, until the liquid melts and the mushrooms turn golden brown. Mix both, and set them aside. Add the mixture to a food processor along with lentils, and pulse it. Don’t let it become a purée, though.

Mix this with egg, adding salt and pepper. This is the base for your patty. Shallow fry patties, and place them in whole wheat buns, with caramelized onions. Healthy and tasty, all in one!

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Recipe 2: A Quickie Twist On Noodles

This is a healthy dish you can whip up quite easily, with whatever veggies you have lying around your kitchen.

Heat oil to boiling point. Add slice onions, peppers, carrots, mushrooms and ginger garlic paste. Stir fry this mixture and then add soy, schezwan, turmeric, and sugar to this. Add this mix to boiled noodles that you’ve strained and let cool.

Toss well, add seasonings, and garnish with chopped coriander, toasted crushed peanuts, and lemon juice. Gourmet done the healthy way for your young diners!

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Recipe 3: Idlis, Made Using Oats

Counting those calories? This recipe would be a great choice.

Dry roast oats till they’re slightly brown, and powder them in a mixer. Fry mustard seeds and urad and channa dal in oil, and add chopped chillies, coriander and grated carrots to this. Then, fry this mixture with some added turmeric powder. Add this to your powdered oats. Use curd to develop all these ingredients into idli batter.

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Recipe 4: Simple, Healthy Upma

This South Indian breakfast staple is a breakfast staple for one good reason: it’s really easy to make, and is loaded with healthy ingredients.

To make upma, start by frying mustard seeds and cumin in oil. Then add onions, curry leaves, chopped chillies, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and salt. Stir fry this for minutes, and then add vegetables and tomatoes, and fry for 3 minutes. Add the semolina then, and cook for two minutes before adding water and curd. Then, cook till the mixture is dry. You can garnish the upma with coriander, and add tang with lemon juice.

Steam this for hot, healthy idlis that you can serve with onion chutney.

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These recipes are all designed to help your children get the nutrition they so need. They’re tasty too, so you won’t have to cook ‘substitute’ meals for the rest of your family.

References:

http://food.ndtv.com/lists/10-best-kids-lunch-box-recipes-1434784

What To Eat After 3 Different Workouts

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Eating is crucial to a workout.

What you eat after  a proper fat burning session at the gym is important for two reasons:

  • It resupplies the energy you spent on your workout
  • It helps you make the most of your workout, helping you get the results you want

What’s more, ask any dietitian and they’ll tell you that it’s not all about the protein. You’ll need carbs to help your body recover and repair muscles quickly, and water to replenish the fluids you lost.

And what you should eat varies from workout to workout.

What To Eat After…. 1. Cardio

With cardio, you spend a lot of your energy. The key facet of post-workout nourishment is replenishing your body’s carbohydrate stores. Also important: adequate rehydration.

Have a slice of wholegrain bread with peanut butter. This will give you essential carbohydrates, proteins, and good fats. Add a sliced banana, and you’ll give your body the potassium it needs to relax your muscles after your workout.

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What To Eat After… 2. HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training is quite a popular fitness fad these days, and for good reason. It is a fast way to shed those extra kilos, building muscles as you do this.

Post HIIT, go for an omelette or a boiled egg.

Protein is the obvious reason why, but there’s more to eggs. Specifically, leucine: this triggers the creation of muscle building proteins. Throw in some capsicum, which contains vitamin C: this maintains healthy cartilage, ensuring that your joints stay healthy even with all that HIIT-induced stress.

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What To Eat After… 3. Weight Training

When you’re hitting the weight room, your key post-workout ingredients are: an adequate amount of proteins, and all the energy-replenishing carbs your body needs. Basically, give your body all the nutrition it needs, avoiding fats.

Smoothies are a great idea. You can add all the ingredients you choose, and simply blend them together.

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References:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/what-you-should-eat-after-13278439

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/01/10/heres-what-to-eat-after-every-type-of-workout_a_21652311/

Going Gluten Free? Here Are The 5 Foods You Need To Avoid

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Until recently, gluten was only considered a problem for people diagnosed with something called Celiac disease. In the last few years, though, studies have shown that gluten can have an effect even on those of us not diagnosed as gluten allergic.

What is gluten? A component of many grass-related grains, it is a composite of storage proteins. Here’s what it can do to you: it can cause an inflammation in your guts, and worse, trigger a range of autoimmune related diseases.

Now that we know it’s not great for health, here’s a list of foods to avoid if you want to avoid gluten.

Food #1: Various Grains

Fairly straightforward: gluten is predominantly present in grass-related grains. To avoid it, you avoid these grains.

This means avoiding a number of common grain based food, such as chapatis, naan, bread, cakes, cereal, pasta, batter-fried food, and a number of pastries. Many companies claim to offer gluten-free versions of these grains, but make sure they actually are. Especially if you have a gluten allergy like Celiac disease.

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Food #2: Alcoholic Beverages

Most common drinks are made from grain-based ingredients. Think whiskey, most vodkas and gin. Then there are beer and malted alcoholic drinks like wine coolers.

A number of people convince themselves that these drinks are ‘okay’ because they are distilled, but the truth is that patients suffer gluten-related problems all the same. If you drink when on a disease-enforced gluten-free diet, you’re doing yourself double damage: these drinks actually have gluten in them, and alcohol inhibits your ability to heal yourself.

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Food #3: Sauces And Dressings

This includes a number of common condiments: Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, MSG, and modified food starch are all sauces that contain gluten. Even salads have dressings that contain gluten.

You’ll have to avoid all of these to steer clear of gluten.

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Food #4: Sweets And Treats

Sigh, one more reason to deny ourselves candy and chocolate, as if we needed it. But that’s the truth: a number of these are made with flour or other ingredients that contain gluten.

The ‘to avoid’ list reads like the stuff of children’s nightmares: chocolate and candy that contains malt, ice creams, cake frosting and even root beer.

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Food #5: Processed And Preserved Meats

The preservatives in processed meats make them a health hazard even if you ignore their gluten content. These are known to increase your cancer risk. In general, avoid processed meat cuts like salami, sausages, pepperoni, liverwurst, and pate. All of these involve grains in their manufacturing process.

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The verdict is unclear on whether meat from grain-fed animals is safe for people with a gluten allergy.

There, we’ve covered most of the foods to avoid if you want to avoid gluten. If you’ve got a gluten allergy, avoid all of these will extreme caution. If you don’t indulge with care, and pay attention to the amount of gluten that goes into your body each day.

References:

https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/top-foods-to-avoid-on-a-gluten-free-diet/

https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/guidelines-for-avoiding-gluten-unsafe-ingredients-for-gluten-sensitivity/

Paleo Diet: 5 Key Elements Of The Caveman Menu

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A number of people are walking the caveman path to get leaner and healthier.

People in the stone (Paleolithic) age were much tougher and healthier than modern man. The Paleo diet works on the principle that, if we eat the same way that people in these times did, we’ll be as tough and healthy as they were. But this means that your diet changes considerably.

Here are 7 key elements of every Paleo diet menu.

 

  • Going Green: All The Veggies

 

Wild-growing vegetables were usually the order of the day when early men failed to hunt an animal. They would depend on the gatherers in their clan.

This means that you can eat the A-Z of healthy veggies. Think artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, carrots, celery, eggplant, and so on, all the way up to zucchini. Salads and other preparation that don’t involve cooking the veggies help you stay close to prehistoric meals, and thereby the Paleo diet.

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  • Hunters’ Bounty: Various Kinds Of Meat

 

This is the primary kind of food that stone age men survived on, and that’s why most paleo diets revolve around meat.

Beef is the quintessential Paleo diet meat, considering it’s an easily available meat today and was likely the meat hunter-gatherers were likely to pick. You can also eat chicken: all the parts are okay, so you’re fine eating chicken wings.

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  • Fresh Catch: Seafood

 

Most species of seafood are a great choice as well, including delicacies like salmon, sardines, shrimp, prawns, clams and lobsters.

Stick to one kind of meat, though. It makes sense that cavemen would likely eat whatever they killed on a particular day. Eating multiple meats at one sitting was highly unlikely, so you can skip things like surf and turf.

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  • All-Natural Dessert: Fruits

 

A fairly easy assumption to make: early men probably relied entirely on fruits to satisfy their sweet cravings. Fruits like apples have a well-rounded nutrient profile, meaning they satisfy your body’s needs for a number of nutrient types.

Other fruits like bananas, avocados, and berries probably made for great snacks. Which means they would fit right into your paleo diet, when you need something to hold you between meals.

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  • Fat, The Good Kind: Nuts And Seeds

 

A reason why the Paleo diet is considered so effective is that it meets all of your body’s nutrient needs, which includes fats. That’s where nuts and seeds fit into the Paleo diet: supplying vital healthy fats.

Include nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts in your diet. You can also use oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil in your Paleo diet.

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There, this should give you a broad idea of what to eat on your Paleo diet. Tread the ancient path to health and fitness today!

References:

https://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

http://paleogrubs.com/paleo-diet-food-list


Bringing Back Forgotten Tamil Recipes

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You daily meals are the main source of your nutrition, but with growing modernization, a lot of the traditional ways of cooking are being given up. There is an ever widening gap of nutrient intake vs. requirement which has led to increasing demands in medicines – both modern as well as traditional.

 

India is known for its rich and diverse culture and traditions. Out of these, Tamil traditions and foods have found their way to the spotlight because of the scientific and nutritive values behind them.

 

Here are 4 age-old Tamil recipes that are nutritious and can help us lead a healthy lifestyle:

 

#1  Angaya podi:

This is a rice mix in Tamil Nadu, the knowledge of which has faded across time. This rice mix is rich in minerals and has many a medicinal value. It helps cure indigestion, vomiting, loss of appetite and so on. It is one of the main items in food that is known as `pathiya sappadu’.

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#2  Kambu sadam:

Also known as Bajra rice, this was the staple diet of the majority of the rural population. Bajra is a reserve of vitamins and minerals and is absolutely fat-free. India is the largest producer of Bajra, however it has all but disappeared from mainstream cooking.

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#3  Kambu koozhu:

It is an offshoot of the above dish and was a popular summer drink along with buttermilk. Traditionalists are making attempts are made to make this drink popular again.

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#4  Ellu sadham:

Also known as ‘Sesame rice’ where the key ingredient of sesame is said to be one of the oldest products cultivated and the oldest seasonings used. Sesame seeds are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Triple-Sesame-Jasmine-Rice-

It is ironic that we are constantly told to not forget our roots by our elders and yet we end up forgetting them. On a positive note, it’s better late than never. Try adopting these foods into your diets and lead a nutritious and a healthy lifestyle.

https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-old-forgotten-recipes-of-Indian-dishes

http://www.dishcovery.in/cuisines/tamil

The Safe Munchies: 5 Healthy Indian Snacks

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‘Keep your friends close and your snacks closer’, these types of quotes are often found in popular search engines and social media sites. Irrespective of the threat of packing few pounds of fat, snacks have always found to be an indispensable meal of one`s diet.

 

In a world with large proportions of workaholics, the need for health concern has been ever increasing. As most people say, ‘healthy life is an offshoot of good eating habits’, it is time to enrich our snack times with healthy and nutritious snacks.

 

Here are 5 indian snacks that are nutritious and delicious to munch:

 

#1 Bread Poha:

 

It is one of the easiest  snacks to make. It enriches us with energy, iron, carbohydrates and has a low gluten level. Add some lemon juice to add flavour and taste to the poha.


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#2 Rava Idlis:

 

This south Indian food is rich in carbohydrates and proteins and low in fat. Enjoy it with traditional side dishes like sambar and vegetable chutney.

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#3 Dhoklas:

 

Dhoklas are made from fermented flour.  Since it is steamed and not fried, it is very low in fat. Add some green chillies to spice it up!

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#4  Sprouts Chaat:

 

No one can deny the health benefits of the sprouts. Add a pinch of a salt and pepper, chaat masala, finely chopped tomatoes and onions to enjoy a delicious snack.

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And not to forget,

 

#5 Steamed Corn:

 

Corn is generally associated with having the essentials for eye and skin care. It is also a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates. Steamed corn has low calorie content and can make you feel full even with small quantities. Add chat masala to it to add flavour.

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You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control what you put in your body. And your body deserves that attention to detail. Don’t compromise on quality for quantity. Eat healthy, stay healthy!!

TIMING YOUR MEALS TO LOSE WEIGHT

Everyone knows what to eat to lose weight. Everyone whose address doesn’t read “under a large rock”, anyway. However, did you know that when you eat matters as much?

A number of us have fitness goals to achieve or at least dream of looking or getting fitter. Working on meal timings doesn’t require a lot of effort, plus you’ll see your fitness and/or weight loss goals get closer.

Without much further ado, here’s a simple how-to guide on timing your meals to lose those kilos.

Eating 3 Square Meals A Day Vs. Eating 4 or 5 Smaller Ones

The traditional ‘3 meals a day’ routine is your only option if you have a strict daily schedule that only allows for 3 meal times a day. Make sure you get that recommended minimum of 30g of protein at each meal, though.

The 5-meal routine works a little more effectively at shedding kilos, allowing you a “between meals” snack twice a day. Calorie counting is a little easier here.

Bonus format: You can also plan your meals around workouts. If you have an established workout routine, you can load up on your entire carb supply for the day before/after hitting the gym.

The ‘Meal-By-Meal’ Breakdown

Breakfast

No skipping this one. One study reported that 80% of people who lost 15kg of weight and kept it off invariably ate breakfast.

As for what to have, have a healthy, satisfying breakfast loaded with hunger-beating proteins and healthy carbs. When? One hour after you wake up, according to experts. Preferably before the clock strikes ten (AM).

(Optional Mid-Morning Snack)

Have one if, and advisable only if, you feel hungry before lunch. 2-4 hours after breakfast. Maybe a handful of healthy almonds.

Lunch

Earlier lunches = More effective weight loss. To this end, try and get lunch done by 3 PM.

Post-Lunch Snack

An afternoon snack can keep blood sugar levels at manageable levels. You won’t feel like overeating at dinnertime, which is (obviously) great for weight loss!

Dinner

Two simple rules to follow here:

Rule 1: No heavy meals at dinnertime. Learn from the healthy Mediterraneans, and leave that for breakfast and lunch.

Rule 2: Do not give in the dark desire that is the midnight snack. You’ll feel good for a few seconds, but this defeats the purpose of even dieting in the first place.

Well, that’s about it. Keep an eye on your watch, and you’ll be able to keep an eye on that waistline!

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/how-time-your-meals-optimal-weight-losshttp://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/best-time-to-eat-for-weight-loss

 

Coffee, Tea And Your Waistline

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Are coffee and tea great weight loss tools that have been hiding in plain sight? Can they actually help you lose weight and reduce your pants size?

First off, let’s establish something: coffee and tea are not miracle substances that can magically make those love handles disappear. So why are we talking about them in relation to weight loss and embarrassing waist sizes?

Here’s the secret.

Drinking Coffee, And Weight Loss

You probably know already about the other health benefits of coffee. A steaming morning cuppa offers you antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and type-2 diabetes-beating abilities. It can even help coffee lovers beat diseases like Parkinson’s.

While weight loss involves exercise and a careful diet, coffee can play a role as well.

Its main role is to curb your appetite. Weight loss is, for the most part, a calorie counting game. A cup of plain coffee is literally 2 calories, and no fat. With a piping hot cup before a meal, you can help yourself postpone a meal, or eat less during the meal. There’s a lot of noise about coffee being a diuretic, but coffee with water means that you won’t get dehydrated. You can simply curb your appetite and watch that waistline.

An added bonus is the mood boost coffee offers.

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Note: Always exercise caution when using coffee for weight loss. No more than 400mg per day, especially considering you’re using it for health! That’s four cups of coffee, or two high energy drinks. And obviously, sugar is a big no-no!

On The Other Hand… Tea

Tea contains chemicals that discourage your gut from absorbing fat in food, and reducing cholesterol levels. Both these functions help keep those pesky inches off your waistline.

Compounds like theaflavins and thearubigins, also present in tea, have been proven to combat obesity. A warning though: these two chemicals, also called polyphenols, are less effective when you take your tea with milk.

Black tea is what the doctor ordered, then. Or, you could go one better and drink green tea. Often touted as ‘the healthiest beverage on the planet’, green tea can do wonders for your weight loss. It also offers considerable health boosts: it can increase your metabolic rate, increase insulin production and even spur fat oxidation. As little as two and a half cups a day can give you these benefits.

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Of course, tea and coffee can’t help you shed those kilos and fit into smaller pants by themselves. You’ll have to use them to supplement a careful dietary plan and exercise routine. They help by boosting the effects of a proper diet-and-exercise routine.

References:

http://www.wikihow.com/Lose-Weight-with-Coffee

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coffee-increase-metabolism

Foods That Cure Insomnia

importance of medical examinations

 

In the age of gadgets and technology and work-stress, sleep has become a luxury for most of us. We want to make the most of now and spend all the time after work doing things we believe we are missing out on – it could be a movie marathon or chatting late night with friends, these are all things that take away precious sleep time.

Eventually for a lot of people this gets to a point where they cannot sleep even if they want to.

Days and weeks of staying awake into the wee hours of morning, people believe that the fight against insomnia is a battle they have to lose. This is not necessarily true!

Here are a few foods that you can include in your diet that will help you sleep better.

  1. Honey

Not only is honey tasty and a fairly healthy substitute for sugar – it also has some excellent soothing properties that will help you sleep! Add some honey to a warm cup of milk before you sleep and apart from helping you sleep better, it is also an excellent addition to your diet.

Honey

  1. Milk

A glass of milk takes most of us back to our childhood days when it was mandatory to drink it because it gave us calcium. However, this calcium rich food increases the levels of serotonin in your brains and helps you enjoy a good night’s sleep.

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  1. Bananas

An apple a day might keep the doctor away but it looks like having a banana can actually keep you away from all the stress and distractions! Vitamin B6 found in bananas help produce serotonin in the body that helps you keep calm and sleep better.

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  1. Oat Meal

Not just good for diet food, oat meal is also known as the “feel-good” food! These kind of complex carbohydrates are good for the body to produce those hormones that are essential for sleep and a calming effect. What better than a food that keeps you both fit and helps you get quality sleep?

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References

http://www.mensxp.com/health/live-healthy/9160-10-foods-to-cure-insomnia-p5.html

 

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