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Did you know that many veterans have sleep disorders after returning from active duty — and even years or decades later? Now, new evidence in natural medicine suggests that what veterans eat may affect their ability to get quality sleep.

What foods are bad for sleep?

According to one study, a diet poor in vegetables and fish – but high in sugar, simple starches and caffeine – resulted in subjects with poor quality sleep. Not eating breakfast also correlated to reduce sleep quality. To get your veteran the quality of sleep he or she deserves, encourage them to enjoy foods low in sugar while eschewing refined, processed and fried foods as well as those high in trans fats.

So what can veterans eat?

You may think that with all the food restrictions above, your veteran is doomed to a life of bland foods in order to get their needed zzzs. Not so! There are many delicious fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats that they can enjoy. For instance, whole grain pasta with garlic, chopped tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil is a healthy alternative. Cold water fish, whose polyunsaturated fats are good for the heart, are tasty as well. Finally, cherry juice has also been shown to improve sleep quality, so don’t be afraid to look into more yummy foods that let your veteran rest easy!