No matter how healthy you were throughout the day, but if you give in for midnight cravings and end up eating Junk – high in salt, high in trans fats, and high in sugar everything goes in vain. Unhealthy midnight snacks will just add additional calories to you and make you feel more unhealthy. Do you feel hungry at late night? Are you unable to control midnight hunger pangs? Are you looking for healthy Indian Midnight snack options? This article will help you to understand the reason behind midnight cravings and healthy Indian midnight snack ideas to keep you satiated and healthy at late nights.
Why there is midnight Craving?
Even after having dinner, many of us keep sneaking kitchen shelves and refrigerator to find something to munch on. Are you one of them? Midnight craving for food is mainly due to :
- Excessively limited consumption of food during the day time and at dinner.
- Eating Disorders like Binge Eating Disorder and Night Eating Syndrome.
- Sleeping Difficulties.
Side effects of eating junk for Midnight Cravings
Having untimely snacks will add up extra salt, sugar and fats to your body. This is associated with many health issues –
- Weight gain.
- Acid reflux.
- Triggering Stress Hormones.
- Disturbed Sleep.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Ideas
In this fast-paced life, people are working hard day and night to finish their targets at work, attending calls from different time zones, and burning out to be the number one at their work. Not only working people even students are also following this unhealthy lifestyle and suffering health issues at a very early stage.
If you are someone who has to stay late nights for work or study or just to watch your favorite cricket match or movie and like to munch on in between, try these healthy Indian Midnight snacks. These late-night healthy Indian Snacks are low in calories and nutritions at the same time.
Healthy Indian midnight Snack Idea 1: Puffed Grains
Puffed grains of rice, wheat, Corn, Amaranthus, and Jowar are easily available in the market. These are made from grains by putting them in high pressure and temperature with help of steam. A small Katori of these puffed grains can be taken as such at the midnight.
If you have the energy to make something more special late at night, cut some veggies and sprinkle some lemon juice and enjoy them.
So, Muri Bhel, Popcorn, Popped Jowar, and Popped Amaranthus are very healthy late-night snacks.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 2: A Fruit (Banana/Apple)
- Small bananas,yellaki or elaichi varieties, are available all over India the whole year. Have a banana as such or add a spoon of peanut butter on it and enjoy.
- Have a whole apple with cinnamon powder sprinkled on it.
Both fruits are rich in dietary fiber and can satisfy hunger. Banana release Tryptophan amino acid, elevate mood with natural sugar and contain muscle-relaxing magnesium and potassium.
3. A bowl of Papaya or Pomegranate.
Make sure that there is a 2 – 3 hours gap between your last meal and fruit.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 3: Oatmeal/ Corn flakes/Bran Flakes/Poha flakes with milk
Have a cup of oatmeal/Corn flakes/Poha flakes or Bran flakes with warm milk. You can add a few seeds and nuts to make it more nutritious. Try not to add any sweetener to this porridge. If you cannot eat plain add one teaspoon honey or jaggery. The combination of calcium, protein, and complex carbohydrates will keep you full and help to get good sleep.
Make sure you buy these flakes in their original form instead of flavored sugary ones.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 4: Curd
A small cup of home set curd will nourish with calcium and probiotics. You can have fruit or grated veggies with a teaspoon of flaxseed powder to have an enriched and nutritious snack.
You can have cut vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and beetroots dipped with curd.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 5: Handful of Nuts
Always keep a jar of mixed nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, and Pistachios) at the side of your bed or workplace, when hunger strikes at odd timings you can relish a fistful ( 3 almonds, 3walnuts, and 3 pistachios) of nuts guilt-free. These nuts are a rich source of protein, vitamins, and other essential nutrients
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 6: Dark Chocolate mini Bar
Make fruit and nut mini bars at home when you get free time. Trust me it’s a great stress buster as well. Make the bars by blending dark chocolates ( 70% or high cocoa) with almonds, raisins, pistachios, dried cranberries, walnuts, and other nuts/fruits of your choice.
This mini bar can give you a good dose of antioxidants and improve blood flow in the brain. This can be a healthy alternative for people who crave coffee or other caffeine beverages to stay late in the night.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 7: Phool Makhana
Have a small bowl of Phool makhana as your midnight snack. Dry roast or roast them with 1 teaspoon ghee and sprinkle your favorite masala like kali mirch, dhaniya powder, or curry leaves powder.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 8: Groundnuts
A small cup of dry roasted or boiled peanuts can quickly satisfy your midnight hunger pangs. Do not add additional oil or spreads to the peanuts as they will increase the calories.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Options 9: Roasted Chickpeas
A small cup of roasted channa along with a small piece of jaggery can keep your tummy happy and satisfy the midnight craving.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Option 10: Khakhra
Plain Khakhras is a classic midnight snack. Make khakhras with bajra or jowar flour and methi leaves. You can make them and store them for 2 weeks. While snacking add grated veggies, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes with a few drops of lemon juice. Trust me no pizza can replace the taste of this khakhra.
Healthy Indian Midnight Snack Idea 11: Boiled White Eggs
Have two boiled egg whites along with some veggies of your choice to control midnight hunger pangs. Do not consume the yellow part of the egg at midnight.
Healthy Indian Beverages for Midnight cravings
We underestimate liquids or beverages as a snack option. Try these Indian beverages, if you crave a midnight snack and notice the healthy change in your sleep pattern, digestion, and energy with which you wake up the next day.
A glass of turmeric milk.
Have a glass of warm milk with turmeric and jaggery before bedtime to get sound sleep or satisfy hunger pangs at late nights. If you have anybody pains, it gets better after having a cup of turmeric milk.
A glass of plain warm milk can satisfy the hunger at midnight. A teaspoon of nutmeg powder along with elaichi powder or a teaspoon of gulkand can be added to the milk if you are struggling with sleep disorders.
Blend Some rolled Oats with curd and fruits like apple or banana to make a healthy Oatmeal smoothie for a midnight snack. Sprinkle a pinch of also powder on the smoothie and enjoy.
Indian Herbal tea
Indian herbal teas like Babune ka Phool tea (Chamomile Tea), Brahmi tea, and Ashwagandha tea are great midnight drink options. These teas will help to reduce anxiety, headaches, and nervousness. The soothing will calm the mind and induce good sleep.
Please consult your doctor, qualified nutritionist or registered dietiatian if you are pregnant,lactating or on medications for heart related issues and diabetes before including these teas in your diet.
A cup of Hot Chocolate
Mix a spoon of cocoa powder in a cup of warm milk to make a healthy Hot Chocolate drink/ unsweetened cocoa powder. Make sure you use original cocoa powder instead of sugary one.
|Midnight Cravings||Try These healthy midnight Indian snacks|
|Ice creams||Curd with fruits and nuts , Hot chocolate or Healthy Smoothie|
|Salt cravings like chips, nachos or french fries||Dry Roasted or boiled peanuts, Phool Makhana, Bhuna Channa, Muri , Home made Popcorns, Puffed grains etc|
|Sugar Cravings like Cookies,Brownies, Sweets etc||Mini home made Chocolate bar, Bhuna Channa with small of Jaggery,Home made whole grain cookies, Nuts, Flakes porridge, Healthy Smoothies|
|Pizza and Noodles||Home made Khakhras with Curd and veggies and vegetable Muri Bhel|
|Alcohol, Caffeinated Beverages or Carbonated Beverages||Turmeric or Gulkand Milk, Chamomile (Babun ka phool) tea or Brahmi or Ashwagandha Tea.|
Points to remember before snacking :
- Identify the reason behind your midnight cravings.
- If you are struggling with eating disorders please consult a physician and qualified nutritionist to help you with the issues.
- If the reason is boredom, then you must find alternatives to keep yourself engaged rather than untimely snacking.
- If the reason is Stress, Anxiety, and Depression please consult a qualified counselor to help with your conditions. Try Meditation, Yoga, Hot Bath, etc to relax you.
- If the reason is improper meals throughout the day, then start meal planning for the day. Instead of having erratic eating patterns follow a regular mealtime and have healthy balanced food. Have three-course a meal and two snacks in between the day to keep you away from midnight cravings.
2. We are not encouraging midnight snacks. Any food after 9 PM will add up to your per day calorie requirement. Have these healthy Indian Midnight snacks only if you have to stay late in the night for work, exams, or you are traveling late nights, etc.
3. Portion Control is a must while snacking. Snacks like puffed grains, nuts, groundnuts, porridge, etc have not more than 50 – 60 grams per day and beverages have 90-100 ml per cup as a midnight snack.
4. Please exclude all the junk from your pantry and refrigerator. Replace them with healthy options so that you are left with only healthy snacks.
5. If you are Vegan or Gluten sensitive please add the alternatives instead of the regular one.
6. Do not add additional salt, sugar or fat to the snacks.
7. Make sure to have a gap of two hours before your heavy meal and sleep.
8. Make Sleep your priority like how you give priority to brush, bath, etc. Have good sound sleep of 6-8 hours in the night time for overall health.
9. If you are diabetics, please select the snacks according to your sugar fluctuations. Try to have them without additional sugars. Any day these healthy Indian snacks are better than biscuits, toffees and namkeens.
10. Try to make the snacks at home as much as possible. This way salt, sugar and fat amount in the snacks will be in your control. If you are buying from outside please check the label of ingredients before getting it to home.
Having midnight Snacks is inevitable in certain situations like working late nights or preparing for exams etc. Having unhealthy Junk Snacks late nights will only end up in weight gain, sleeping issues, and other health problems. Try healthy Indian Midnight Snacks for satisfying your midnight cravings and nourishing the body with nutrients. These healthy snacks are low in calories and rich in nutrients which will not hamper your weight loss journey. Any day these healthy Indian midnight snacks are way healthier than pizza, Burgers, french fries, noodles,Vada Pav etc. Try to finish your meal or snack by 9 PM for better sleep and digestion. Happy and guilt-free snacking!!
References (Retrieved on 14/02/2021)