Foods to help you sleep

Many times sleep issues can be attributed to an imbalance of the Shen of the body. As we've mentioned in other posts, the Shen is the mind, which is governed by the Heart organ system. Whether the imbalance causing your sleep problems comes from stress, worry, fright, illness, or digestive problems, here are some foods that you can add to your diet to help strengthen the Heart, thus calming the Shen, and help your body and mind be at rest.

1. Salmon

Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fats and is full of Vitamin B6. Omega 3 fats provide rich nutrients for the Heart and mind. Vitamin B-6 also helps in the natural production of melatonin (our sleep-inducing hormone).

2. Cherry Juice

The deep red pigment in cherry juice contains proanthocyanidins which can also slow down uptake of tryptophan. In addition, proanthocyanidins can help with the reduction of inflammation in the body.

3. Bananas

The potassium and magnesium in bananas help to promote sleep heart health and cognitive function. Bananas are also a great source for vitamin B6, which helps produce melatonin.

4. Sweet Potato

The National Sleep Foundation says that the addition of complex carbohydrates to the diet makes the amino acid tryptophan more available to the brain.

5. Chinese Jujubes

Delicious and nutritious, this beautiful red fruit is also known as the Chinese Date. They are one of the vital ingredients in Chinese herbal formulas nourish the heart and the Shen. Regular dates (from the date palm) also contribute to good sleep because like turkey, they contain a lot of tryptophan.

Did you notice, besides their ability to help with a better night's sleep, the thing that most of these foods have in common is the red color? In Chinese medicine theory, the color red dominates the heart organ system. Many foods that are red tend to help with dysfunctions relating to the heart system, such as anxiety, insomnia, and stress. 

Posted in Nutrition, Health Conditions