Tired and stressed? These tweaks to your diet can help – NBC News

Try these strategies to help you stress less and sleep better

Eat more fiber and less saturated fat

In a small study that examined the effects of food on sleep, researchers found that a dietary pattern low in fiber and higher in saturated fat (found in red meat and full and reduced-fat dairy foods) was linked to poorer sleep quality, with more night time waking and less of the deep, restorative sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed.

Another study found that participants who upped their intake of insoluble fiber (one of the two types you need), reported feeling less stressed out and they said they had fewer headaches and better wellbeing during the study period.

About half of Americans fall short of daily fiber targets, which is in the range of 25 to 35 grams per day. You can get this amount — along with a mix of both insoluble and soluble fiber — by embracing plant-based, fiber-rich foods, which include fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Since a sudden uptick in fiber can cause some unwanted GI effects, increase your fiber intake gradually and be sure to drink plenty of fluids along the way, both of which can give your system a chance to adjust to its new, healthier norm.

Stick to recommended added sugar limits

Added sugar has also been linked to disrupted sleep so be sure to stick with the American Heart Association’s limits of six teaspoons per day for women and nine for men. Think beyond what you add to your coffee and tea and the usual dessert suspects and start to look at labels to get a sense of the foods that supply added sugars. Breads and cereals (including healthier whole grain varieties), plant-based milks, condiments, flavored yogurts, soups, granola bars, and deli meats and jerky are some of the sneakier foods that often contain excessive amounts of added sugars. When you keep track of these hidden sources of sugar, it frees up your sugar caps for lower-sugar desserts so you can stick to the limits but still enjoy a sweet treat.

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