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Most of us tend to have food cravings towards the night. This can be detrimental to maintaining weight especially if you have a sweet tooth. It is certainly impossible to fall asleep with that gnawing feeling in your tummy. But if you reach out for that leftover lasagne, or chow down a bag of chips, you are in for trouble. The safest option would be a small fruit to quell the hunger. But it doesn’t come without a downside to it as well. Eating fruit before bed isn’t as innocent as you think it would be. We explain why it could have adverse effects on your health and what you need to be wary of when you pick fruit to eat at night.
Is Eating Fruits Before Bed a Good Idea?
Fruits are an integral part of a healthy diet. They are high in fibre and low on calories. Fruits are rich in phytochemicals that help neutralise free radical damage to your body. But your choice of fruit before bedtime is very important. It may be perfectly alright to eat a slice of melon, pear, or kiwi. It is essential, however, to remember that there needs to be an adequate gap between a full meal and consumption of fruits. Fruits being high in fibre get digested and moved to the intestine faster than protein and fat-rich foods. This means that fruits should be eaten much before a heavy meal, or slightly after. Another point to remember about eating fruits at night for dinner is that the spike in sugar can release energy which affects sleep as your body should be prepared to rest.
Benefits of Snacking on Fruits at Night
There are multiple benefits to eating fruit as a snack at night, as mentioned below:
- Regular servings of fresh fruits can reduce risks to strokes, kidney failure, heart diseases, diabetes, and bone loss.
- Eating high-fibre fruits instead of calorie-heavy snack will help in weight management.
- Fruits are packed with micronutrients and essential vitamins which improve your health and your vitality.
- When it comes to eating fruits at night, Ayurveda says you can have high fibre fruits like melon or apple that are good for your digestive system and will not cause sleeplessness.
Possible Drawbacks of Having Fruits at Nighttime
One should be aware of small details while eating fruit at night:
- Many fruits are full of sugars and will cause your blood sugar to spike immediately.
- Too much of fruit can cause a loss of nutrients because you may be skipping vegetables and other food groups to accommodate your fruit.
- Fruits at bedtime increase energy levels and may cause disturbed sleep.
Precautions to Consider While Eating Fruits Before Bedtime
Certain things should be remembered when eating fruits at night:
- Maintain a gap of a couple of hours between a meal and a nighttime fruit.
- Pick fruits that are low in sugar but high in fibre, like a pear.
- Avoid eating the fruit immediately before you sleep.
Certain frequently asked questions have been answered below:
1. Does Eating Fruits at Night Cause Weight Gain?
It is a myth that eating fruit at night makes you fat. Fruits have minimal calories and cannot cause weight gain on their own. But if you snack every night on a calorie-rich fruit like a banana, after you have consumed the entire calorie requirement for a day, you will add a few pounds by the end of the month. But this is true of any food that is eaten after you have reached your maximum required calories for the day.
2. Can Having Fruits before Bed Cause Digestive Problems?
If you have fruits immediately after a meal and before bed, it may create digestive discomfort because meals and fruits have varied digestive rates and fruits may end up fermenting in your digestive tract. If fruits are eaten with the right spacing from a meal, it should not create any issues.
3. Which Fruits are Good to Eat at Night?
Fibre-rich fruits such as apples, banana, pears, or grapes can be eaten at night.
4. Can Eating Fruit at Night Cause Insomnia?
Eating very sweet fruits immediately before sleeping can disturb you. Eating fruits at night is harmful because the sugars in the fruits will spike your energy levels. As this is a time your body is winding down, a rise in energy can cause insomnia and listlessness.
Ayurveda mentions that if fruit is eaten in the appropriate season and climate, and consumed when ripe, it is akin to pure nectar. It can convert into a nutritious fluid in an instant when consumed correctly. As fresh fruits require very little digestion, they can cleanse the system and make way for the next food. Remember to pick your fruits correctly and from a farmer’s market. This way you can avoid artificially enhanced fruits that have detrimental effects on your body.