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  • Writer's picturejackiehptla

Are You Sleeping Well?

1. Iron

Iron-deficiency anemia and decreased iron intake have both been linked to shorter sleep duration in infants and adults.

Top food sources:

•Lean beef, tofu, beans & lentils, oysters, spinach, dark chocolate, sardines

2. Zinc

Zinc helps the body absorb nutrients and helps in the growth and repair of body tissues. Zinc plays a role in the making of melatonin, which helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

Top food sources:

•Oysters, beef, lobster, crab, fortified breakfast cereals, pork, cheese, eggs, quinoa

3. Magnesium

Magnesium plays many different roles in our bodies, especially in the bones. It is also important in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is known to “calm” the body by increasing a neurotransmitter called GABA that slows down thought processes and promotes sleepiness.

Top food sources:

•Almonds, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashews, black beans, peanut butter, & edamame

4. Vitamin B6

We need Vitamin B6 to convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin, both of which are known to influence our sleep and wake cycles. If you drink a lot of alcohol, B6 may be low.

Top food sources:

•Tuna, salmon, chickpeas, bananas, potatoes, turkey, chicken breast

5. Tryptophan

You may be familiar with tryptophan as being the reason we all need to take a nap after eating turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. Tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes sleep by creating Vitamin B3, which then produces serotonin, a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter.

Top food sources:

•Nuts and seeds, soy foods, turkey, chicken, beef, cheese, eggs *Always talk to your doctor or an RD about potential causes of sleep challenges before taking any supplements.

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