3 Anti-inflammatory Foods That Help You to Sleep

Danh NgoNutritionLeave a Comment

foods that help you sleep

Here is this month’s food that we are highlighting a specific topic of sleep.  There are 3 foods that help you sleep better that you do not read about enough.  If you noticed, we specifically chose fruits as they get no love when it comes to having the anti-inflammatory conversation.  Fruits get a bad rap due to the high sugar content but do not let that fool you.

Modern media has trashed our beliefs of curbing the portion size of fruits.  Glucose is important for energy for our whole body.  When people advise you to use will-power to lose weight, exercise more, be more patient, blah blah blah, it’s nearly impossible without glucose.

Our brain is like a circuit and electrical transmission is used throughout the day.  Glucose from fruits helps keep this transmission.  Modern society and many hidden factors like heavy metals and inflammatory toxins overheat our brain circuit.  This will lead your body into a spiral that may take weeks, months, or years to show.  It was never an auto-immune issue in the first place, and if you have been diagnosed with an auto-immune or chronic pain disorder, you need these three even more.

The nutritional benefit information provided below is a blend of “Life Changing Foods” book by Anthony William and www.ph360.me which is a company that brings individual mind+body+recovery health plans based on your genetic profile.  This is important to understand as your body will change every month to every year.  A diet might be the best for you now, but not be in a year.  Every experience and your body’s growth will need nutritional modification to best fit the stress you are dealing with: physically, mentally, and recovery.

Here is another factor that will help you understand if the 3 foods below are the best or not for you.  Your body will tell you if you NEED or you should HOLD off (for three months) on eating this three food.

The optimal time to stop and listen to your body is 40-60 minutes after you eat.

There are three main categories to which you need to pay attention to after you consume the recommended food: physical, emotional, and recovery/detox.

Physical: BAD if the food makes you feel tired, weak, and sluggish.  Food should recharge you but in this case, help you to relax.

Emotional: BAD if the food makes you feel moody, anxious, impatient, or a sense of “something is off”.  Food should help you be in a state of calmness.Recovery: BAD if your body begins to produce “stuff” to detox out of your nose, mouth, and skin such as like mucous, allergy, itchy, sore throat, and temperature changes (cold or hot).  The obvious signs of eating something bad are diarrhea and vomiting.  In this article’s purpose of sleep, the food should help you get a restorative night of sleep, which includes dreaming and waking up feeling fresh.


#1 Banana

We specifically started with banana since we hear that many avoid banana due to the high sugar content.  The sugar from a ripened banana is completely different from processed sugar or cane sugar and bonded to critical life supporting trace minerals such as manganese, selenium, copper, boron, and many more.   Banana is popular for the potassium benefits which is a catalyst for production of electrolyte and maintaining good hydration for nerves and muscles.  This is the premise for consuming banana if you are suffering from cramps.

Tryptophan is a sleep-enhancing amino acid that made turkey popular as a post-Thanksgiving sleep aid.  Bananas are highly rich in this amino acid and naturally slightly alkaline thus a great food that helps you sleep soundly.

Banana has an anti-thermogenic effect that naturally cools down the body, whether it is cooked or not, which is important to help us sleep or under high inflammation.  In Eastern Medicine, our body goes into a “Triple Burner” state or physiologically heats up around bedtime.  Our body naturally produces cortisol during this time which places our body in a heated hyper-alert state.  This is why modern society bedtime practices have of computer and smartphones have made people struggle with getting a restorative sleep.  Be careful if you consume too many bananas on a cold day.

The tartaric acids in bananas act as a natural laxative and provide other health benefits for the digestive tract.  Many people with chronic pain and auto-immune disorder have concurrent digestive dysfunction.  You should consume banana if you have a hyperactive colon or small intestine, Crohn’s disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bananas are a great antiviral and antifungal food.  A common myth is that if you are dealing with Candida, you should avoid high sugar, as this will feed the Candida.  Bananas are great removing unproductive bacteria and replacing with good micro-organisms in our gut.  Get green bananas for this pre-biotics benefits.  A good gut hygiene has been linked to better control of many auto-immune, inflammatory, and chronic pain disorders.

According to Anthony William, banana is a great blood sugar stabilizer and great for weight management.  Grab a banana as a healthy snack as an alternative to nuts and seeds.

SLEEP BONUS: Walnuts and almonds are good options to help you to sleep but we understand that nuts are good in small moderation.  Many people tend to overindulge these bite-size snacks during the day.

Glycemic Index: 54

#2 Cherries

Tart and dark red cherries are known to be great snack option for chronic pain and suppress inflammation.  Its combination of vitamins C and E, as well as its rich flavonoid content, provides great anti-inflammatory properties.  There is a natural aspirin in cherries that can help reduce inflammation-related issues in the tissues and joints.

What we found fascinating was how cherries have phytochemical compounds and agents that help to rid our body of radiation and repairing myelin nerve damage.  Myelin helps conducts our nerve and hence the impact of chronic pain and inflammatory disorders.

Cherries are great as a liver tonic, cleanser, and rejuvenator.  Read our article called “Love Your Liver” about the importance of our liver according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Modern society makes it very hard for our liver and supporting organ, the spleen.

There are many macro and trace amino acids which work in tandem with the sleep hormone, melatonin, to help calm us to sleep.  Cherries are a great food that helps you sleep due to the listed minerals such as tryptophan, threonine, and lysine.

Other benefits of cherries include influences on our endocrine, blood, digestive and pelvic health.  The vibrant (darker the better) color of cherries indicates the benefit towards our blood health, such as Hemoglobin, zinc, and iron production.  As stated above, digestive and pelvic health are important for a happy and healthy body.  Cherries are great for alleviating constipation, spastic bladder or bladder prolapse.   Cherries are good at suppressing appetite.  Eat cherries if you are looking for a healthy snack to lose weight.  Do consume small portions at a time.

As you can see, cherries have a holistic nerve, endocrine, and digestion health benefits, making it a great food that helps you sleep.  Be careful to pick cherries from high-quality organic sources as it is high in pesticides.

Anthony Williams brought up a good point in how cherries teach us patience.  If we are not careful and rush into eating cherries, you will be punished with a dark red stain or chip a tooth on the seed.

Glycemic Index: 25

#3. Mangos

Mangos are great snack foods that help you sleep.  The phytochemicals and amino acids, such as glycine, glutamine, and cysteine, combine with fructose and glucose get shuttled to our brain when we consume mango.  This action restores our depleted neurotransmitter at the end of the day.  They have the bioavailable Magnesium and phytochemical, phenolic acids.  This helps to calm our brain and nervous system for disorders like seizures.  Try consuming two per day or before sleep.

The slightly alkaline fruit is known for the high content of vitamin C, vitamin A, polyphenols, carotenoids, and antioxidants.  This is great as a nice protector of healthy eyes and skin.  Antony William talks about mango as a good fruit to reduce skin cancer risk.

Mango is good to address pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and hypoglycemia.

It is a good source of potassium and traces of sodium, which is important for muscle strength, metabolism, maintaining good hydration and electrolytic functions, and helping keep the nervous system healthy.  The combination of having this with glucose and magnesium makes it a great pre-workout snack.

Glycemic Index: 51

Hopefully, you enjoy this article.  We believe eating a variety of non-processed and organic foods that look like the rainbow.  This will help you thrive or be reVITALized.

Please SHARE if you find this article helpful.  Lookout for our monthly NUTRITION article and subscribe if you do not want to miss out on next month.

If you need immediate assistance and need help or answer, click on the blue button below.  We are a premier Holistic Physical Therapy clinic located in the neighborhood of Bixby Knolls, Long Beach


Dr Danh Ngo

Holistic Spine and Sports Medicine Expert

ReVITALize Rehab Club

Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, California

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