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Grocery Shopping Tips from a Nutritionist

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Grocery shopping tips from a nutritionist to help fuel your day, and sleep better at night.

Are you dragging during the day and not sleeping well at night? 

Paying attention to what you buy at the grocery store may help. Eating healthy is important not only for nutrition, but also to maintain energy during the day and to sleep well at night.

Experts Ilisa Spitzer Nussbaum and Amanda Walker explain how making a few specific choices at the grocery store can have a lasting impact on overall health.

Nussbaum is a licensed dietician and nutritionist from Connecticut. "What a person eats during the day impacts sleep quality," she says.

Foods to Fuel Your Day

To start the day right, Nussbaum says you don't have to pass up your cereal in the grocery aisle, as long your favorite go-to is made out of whole grains. "These types of grains have complex carbohydrates which are good for sustainable energy, and prevent those high peaks and valleys in hunger during the day," she explains.

Walker, a nutrition coach in Phoenix, advises, "If you are looking for a midday energy boost, make a quick stop in the dairy section and pick up Greek yogurt and add a bit of honey for sweetness." This combo offers a "nutritious snack without spiking sugar levels."

As you head to the produce section, throw some bananas in your cart. Walker suggests "pairing fruit with peanut butter since it is a balance of fat and protein."

Grab a bunch of iron-rich spinach, and throw a bag of brown rice into your cart. According to Nussbaum, "These two items offer a perfect source of energy."

Better Food Choices for Restful Sleep

Healthy choices during the day will maintain a steady level of energy, and your body will be ready for more restful sleep at night. "Avoid reaching for over-the-counter melatonin supplements for sleep issues," Nussbaum cautions.

Instead, buy foods that already have this hormone.

If you prefer something heartier, make a porridge out of chia and flax seeds. The Omega 3 and natural melatonin is a helpful aid for sleep. Calcium rich foods like kale and milk are sleep enhancers too. Turmeric, a spice naturally rich in melatonin, can be added to warm milk, Nussbaum suggests.

Walker encourages people to seek "whole foods, since they don't contain additives, salts, and refined sugars." Avoiding these processed ingredients are helpful for maintaining energy and restful sleep.

On your next grocery trip, remember this natural prescription for energy and sleep: fruits, greens, yogurt, whole grains, milk, peanut butter, and turmeric. According to Walker and Nussbaum, these ingredients may help your circadian rhythms, and your sleep, stay on track.

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