Some foods can help relieve insomnia because of their nutritional value. Chinese medicine considers that congee is a food that can improve sleep quality. Check out the following four kinds of sleep-inducing congee (Chinese rice porridge) and their effects.
1. Red date congee
Place red dates in rice and cook them into a congee.
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Red dates are sweet and can benefit the spleen and stomach and calm the nerves. It is especially good for women who have a poor appetite, suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, and have poor blood circulation. Red dates contain carbohydrates, vitamin C, organic acid, mucilage, calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
2. Longan congee
Cook dried longans with red dates and rice.
Longans are sweet and can benefit blood circulation and calm the nerves. They are especially beneficial for people whose hearts and spleens are weak, and those who suffer from palpitations, insomnia, and amnesia due to poor blood circulation. They are recommended for the elderly, women following childbirth, and when recovering from a serious illness. Longans contain various kinds of vitamins and carbohydrate nutrition.
Mix millet with water and cook the congee.
Millet has a high nutritional value. It is rich in protein, fat, and vitamins, especially B vitamins, and is a source of magnesium, which is known for its relaxing properties. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it can clear body heat, nourish the vital essence, increase the production of urine, and treat diarrhea. In northern China, it is a tradition for many women after childbirth to eat millet congee with brown sugar to help the body recover. Thus, millet congee is often called an alternative ginseng soup.
Cook the rice congee first. When the congee is almost ready, add fresh milk.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that the human body cannot synthesize. So it must be supplied in diets. Tryptophan acts as a precursor to the important neurotransmitter, serotonin. It is generated in the brain and results in sleepiness. Insomnia is caused by a lack of serotonin secretion in the brain and tryptophan produces serotonin, thus, eating milk congee at night can lead to good sleep.
Translated by Sharon L and edited by Helen