This healthy salad makes a delicious side dish for dinner or a full meal for lunch. It contains foods rich in tryptophan and melatonin and good amounts of magnesium. Nourishing your body throughout the day will help you to sleep better at night.
Beetroot – A good source of tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) then melatonin (the ‘sleep hormone’). It also contains magnesium (which helps the muscles relax and contributes to a calm and sleepy state), Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 (B6 aids the absorption of magnesium).
Avocado – Not only does avocado contain good fats, which helps keep the body satiated for longer, it also contains tryptophan, magnesium and vitamin B6, all of which set you up for a good night’s sleep. Avoid over-ripe avocadoes at dinnertime; they contain higher levels of tyramine – an amino acid that promotes the production of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that’s part of the fight-or-flight response. That will only make you feel more alert.
Leafy salad greens – A great source of magnesium and calcium. Calcium assists the body to produce melatonin.
Nuts and seeds – Cashew nuts contain tryptophan, magnesium, B6 and niacin. Niacin is involved in the metabolizing process of converting serotonin from tryptophan. Sesame seeds also contain excellent levels of tryptophan, as do linseeds (flaxseeds), chia seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Many nuts also contain selenium. A deficiency in selenium has shown to disrupt sleep.
Beetroot, Avocado & Cashew Nut Salad
- To make your salad, simply combine raw beetroot, chopped avocado and salad greens (including the leafy beetroot tops).
- Top with sesame seeds, linseeds, chia seeds and cashew nuts.
- Drizzle with Lime or Lemon Cashew Drizzle.