Every year, on the 16th of February, we celebrate National Almond Day!
How this ‘holiday' came to be, we honestly do not know. But, what we do know is that health enthusiasts around the world did everything they could to make us all aware of this amazing seed. And, they succeeded! Nowadays, most of us, are familiar with almonds and with their healing power.
If you are an almond lover – you probably want to make this day a bit more special than all other days, right?
Well, there are many things you can do to celebrate almonds today. For instance, what you can do is create an almond treat – just pour melted dark chocolate on top of your slightly roasted almonds and you will get the so-called almond bark. This is a delicious treat that is not only healthy but also contributes to having a great night's sleep.
Another thing you can do on this day (or any other day, to be honest) is to try different types of almonds. Go to your local organic shop and get small amounts of all types of almonds you can find. Then, give them a taste. You can also try eating almond butter, almond milk, and almond flour. P.S. Eating foods made of almonds, such as the foods just mentioned, will help you beat unhealthy eating habits by showing you how tasty healthy alternatives can be.
And now, let us tackle the issue of how almonds can improve sleep quality.
But, before we go any further, let us first tell you that almonds do have a sleep-inducing effect, but, don't expect a miracle to happen if you have some severe insomnia symptoms, if your sleep cycle is severely damaged, or if you are living an unhealthy life (eating bad food, not moving your body, etc.), if you have chronic diseases, etc. Moreover, don't expect a miracle to happen overnight. To finally have a healthy sleep, you will need to consume almonds for a couple of weeks first.
Now that we got all of that out of the way, let us share with you how almonds promote good sleep.
Almonds are packed with the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin!
Our brains, that is, the glands in our brains, are the ones responsible for producing melatonin. At night, or when we are somewhere where it is naturally dark, these glands release melatonin which then regulates our sleep cycle. In other words, melatonin tells us that it is time to hit the bed.
It is another nutrient with sleep-promoting properties.
Magnesium proved to be very beneficial to people with primary insomnia and to all other people who had sleep-related problems. Magnesium works by lowering the cortisol levels in our bodies. Cortisol is the so-called stress hormone, and, when its levels are high, we simply can't fall asleep.
We cannot talk about hormones in our body without mentioning the most important one – serotonin! Serotonin is our happy hormone. The more we have of it, the happier we are – as simple as that.
So, yes, being happy is sometimes as easy as eating some almonds. And, when you are happy, you will have nothing to keep you awake at night.
It is true, almonds are not packed with that much vitamin d – but, they have enough vitamin d levels to help you have better sleep.
And, why is vitamin D important for sleep efficiency? Well, it is important because it directly affects the production of melatonin and serotonin. Moreover, vitamin D helps with magnesium absorption.
This vitamin is of crucial importance to our circadian rhythms! In other words, when we have enough of the so-called sun vitamin (which is also a hormone – fun fact), we are able to have that good night's sleep.
However, if your body lacks vitamin D, having just almonds will not solve your problem. You should take some vitamin D supplements as well – but, consult your doctor first,
Thus, now you have your answer – if you want to have better sleep quality, just eat those almonds! Eat them every day, not just on this holiday!
However, almonds are not the only foods that promote sleep, no. Besides them, you should also try eating the following:
Tart cherry juice
All of the foods mentioned above contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals – that is, they contain a lot of nutrients our bodies and minds need to function properly. For instance, in them, you will find vitamins C, E, D, and B, omega 3 fatty acids, amino acids, sink, etc. And, when your body is enriched with these nutrients, trust us, poor sleep hygiene will not even exist in your dictionary.
Moreover, all these foods will not only result in improved sleep but also in improved heart health, regulated blood sugar and pressure, and in boosted immunity.
Just as there are the best foods you can include in your daily diet to help you with sleep regulation, there are also certain foods that do the opposite. These are, for instance, processed foods, foods high in sugar and fat, etc. Basically, all ‘fast foods' or foods with a lot of carbs in them, will hurt your sleep quality.
As you have seen, celebrating Almond Day can result in many great things – you will learn more about almonds and, more importantly, you will eat more almonds whose calming properties will put you straight to bed.
There is a piece of scientific evidence that shows how beneficial almonds are for regulating sleep, so why not give them a go? There's nothing to lose – unless you are allergic! Moreover, besides promoting sleep, almonds are great for boosting your immunity, supporting your heart health, and relaxing your muscles. So, have about a handful of them every day or every night before sleep, and watch the magic happen.