As a society we are becoming more demanding of food producers, brands and manufacturers to be more transparent and up front as to how our food is being produced, grown, manufactured and sourced. This has not only been the case in the gluten free industry but in all industries. More and more we are seeing and hearing seeing buzz words like fair trade, non-gmo, organic and more. The meat production industry has not been immune from these discussions.
In fact, advocates for a vegan lifestyle are seeing the tides change with more individuals learning and understanding the benefits of going vegan and the dire conditions that have long plagued meat production in the United States. Here on the gluten free chef blog, I have been open about my journey through veganism and advocating a whole foods mainly plant based lifestyle. Many of my recipes are vegan and or vegetarian and contain ingredients that are whole and processed as minimally as possible. The gluten free chef blog, has never touted itself to be a vegan food site but has always spoke highly of the benefits of holistic and plant based living in all areas of life.
A simple Google search will give you a seemingly endless list of the benefits of incorporating more whole foods into your diet and how you can improve your overall healthy by striving to be more plant based. From lower blood pressure, to weightloss and healthier skin; eating more fruits and veggies is one of the easiest ways to impove overall health including our sleep health.
What on earth is sleep health?
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:
“Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety. The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping”
Everyone knows all to well the headache that lack of sleep can induce and when lack of sleep becomes a chronic issue, a whole host of biological issues can be impacted. Our friends over at The Sleep Advisor created a wonderful infographic article that further details the importance of quality sleep here https://www.sleepadvisor.org/importance-of-healthy-sleep/
Since how we eat and what we eat plays a huge impact into our body and living functions it would only make sense to deduce that what we eat, can and does impact how we sleep…another way to ask is?
Do Vegans Sleep Better Than Meat Eaters?
We all know that certain foods like (coffee) caffeine can inhibit sleep and also trigger restful. The primary diet of vegans are vegetable and there are a few known veggies that can actually impact restful sleep
Veggies to Avoid Before Bed
• Broccoli/cauliflower – Packed full of healthy nutrients, the downside of these veggies is the high amount of fiber that can keep the digestive system working overtime while you try to get shut-eye.
• Avocados – We love all things avocado but they’re chocked full of fats (good fats) at 21 grams per serving. They’re good for your body but before bed they take longer to digest.
Veggies to Eat for Better Sleep
• Sweet potatoes – A sleepers dream. They promote sleep-friendly carbs and contain potassium, which helps relax muscles.If you do eat meat have you ever asked yourself why? Meat is a good source of protein but should we be eating a steak before bed?
Why Avoid Meat Before Bed?
Meats like steak and other red meat are very high in protein but also high in fat. High fat foods like red meat have been linked to sleep apnea, which can lead to a whole host of health issues over time. Chicken can backfill the digestive system during sleep.
So Do Vegans Sleep Better?
The answer may surprise you (and frustrate) you – there’s no definite answer if vegetarians or meat eaters sleep better. Studies have shown that vegan friendly foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cashew butter, peanut butter, avocados, kale, almonds, walnuts, spinach, and squash all contain vitamin B6, trytophan, and magnesium, which ensure a healthy sleep cycle. There are also many anecdotal studies that show that those adopting a vegan diet have more energy, better digestion, and in turn better quality sleep.
But don’t just take my word for it. Take the 30 Day Vegan Challenge and see for yourself if you sleep better adopting a vegan diet. Also be sure to learn more about the importance of sleep and how to get more of it courtesy of The Sleep Advisor.
Photo credit: Jon Butterworth | Sources: One Green Planet |Restonic