The Sleep-Enhancing Vegan Dinner Recipes You Need in Your High Rotation
If you've recently switched to a plant-based diet and are having trouble finding your way back into a good sleeping habit, read our tips on fixing it here. For everyone else, you can always improve on the quality of sleep—whether it's drifting off with ease or snoozing right through to your morning alarm without waking up too often. You might be wondering how your vegan dinner and your sleep are even related, so let us explain. Consistent, healthy sleep patterns directly correlate to your energy levels, ability to concentrate and even your mood. As a fairly new vegan myself, I had to learn the hard way that not all foods labelled with a plant-based approval are a) healthy and b) going to provide me with all of the essential nutrients that my body and mind was craving. So, I had to do a bit of research myself into the types of vitamins and minerals that we as humans need to flourish daily and incorporate foods containing those nutrients into my regular dinner routine. You see, when your body is void of certain minerals such as calcium, magnesium and B6, your brain can begin to feel foggy and you might even see an increase in the symptoms of fatigue and depression as a result. None of this is conducive to a great night's sleep, so we're putting together your ultimate sleep-enhancing vegan dinner list to try this week.
Cauliflower Couscous with Almonds and Apricots
Almonds should be high on your weekly shopping list due to its high magnesium content which is known to help produce serotonin, as well selenium which can help to combat low mood and feelings of depression. Combined with cauliflower which is naturally rich in B vitamins and phytonutrients, we're adding this tasty dish to the cookbook.
Rocket, Kiwi and Fennel Salad
If you needed proof that plant-based dinners can be dynamic and full of interest, then you need to try this bright and yummy salad option. Another food that's high in the "feel good" hormone serotonin is the kiwi fruit. It's also great for digestion, so this healthy dinner is beneficial to your physical and mental wellness at the same time. It also contains those nutritious almonds we were raving about.
Mega Lentil Burger
There's nothing worse than trying to get some rest only to be interrupted by stomach issues caused by an unbalanced gut. This is a nourishing dinner option for anyone looking to add some fibre into their diet as it's full of lentils as well as magnesium-rich walnuts. And, who doesn't love a burger!?
Chickpea Buddha Bowl
This is a great option for anyone (all of us) who don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner or simply don't enjoy cooking and still want their food to taste fantastic. Chickpeas contain a range of vitamins and minerals and are an excellent source of protein and fibre for vegans. Note that the vegetables in this recipe an easily be replaced by your favourites.
And, for dessert...
Banana and Cacao Ice-Cream
After a long day in the office, it's time to treat yourself to a delicious vegan dessert that'll take you no time at all to prepare. Cacao is an ingredient that's known to help produce serotonin in the brain and helps us to feel relaxed. The trusty banana is also a fantastic sleep-inducing food, high in magnesium and vitamin B6. Also, the potassium found in bananas works as a muscle relaxant so this dessert should have you drifting off without a worry in the world.
While we're on the topic, these are the ways a vegan diet affects your skin.