Nutritionist Dale Pinnock is the author of The Medicinal Chef (Quadrille).

 

BEDTIME BREW

Milk’s calcium content has a calming effect on the central nervous system, and it is also rich in the amino acid tryptophan, which is turned into serotonin that regulates the body clock. Camomile and valerian are both very relaxing herbs, too.

 

Serves one-

1 mug milk (use cow’s milk to reap the benefits of tryptophan)

1 camomile tea bag

2tsp cocoa powder

20 drops valerian tincture

 

  1. Heat the milk in a small pan with the camomile tea bag; simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Put cocoa powder in a mug and mix with a small amount of water
  3. Remove the tea bag from the milk. Add the valerian and pour the hot milk into the mug, stirring well. Drink 10 minutes before bed.

 

BANANA & PEANUT OAT BARS

Tryptophan-rich bananas aid sleep, while magnesium in peanut butter can help relax the muscles.

 

Makes 8 Bars

1tbsp coconut oil, extra for greasing

3 very ripe bananas

1tbsp honey

2tbsp peanut butter

280g oats

2tbsp flaxseeds

 

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, 160 degrees fan, and grease a 20cm square baking tin with coconut oil.
  2. In a bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
  3. Melt the coconut oil, honey and peanut butter together over low heat in a large pan. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the bananas.
  4. Stir in the oats and flaxseeds, and mix well.
  5. Transfer to the prepared tin, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting into pieces.

Don’t believe us? Try it! Let us know how that goes.