On the journey towards better health and a sound mind, “when” you eat is equally as important as “what” you eat. You may not realize it yet but eating dinner early has immense benefits on your overall health. Let’s explore some of these benefits.
Eating too close to bedtime puts you at risk of indigestion and heartburn. When you eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before bed, it gives your body enough time to digest the food before bed. Without this, your digestive system works overtime to break down the food while the rest of your body sleeps. Early dinner allows your digestive system to rest along with the rest of the body.
Research has shown that restricting your meal times to certain hours can promote weight loss. The weight loss can be attributed in part to the consumption of fewer calories as the time you spend eating has reduced. It is also partly due to a longer fast period overnight, causing the body to burn more stored fat and reach ketosis.
If you are prone to constipation or flatulence, eating dinner early will help you find relief. Because eating dinner early helps your digestive system to rest better, it improves excretory processes as well.
Another important benefit of eating dinner early is that it reduces the risks of cardiovascular complications. Naturally, we consume a lot of salt. Eating salty food at late hours of the night can cause bloating, water retention, or worse, increase the risk of high blood pressure. It is advisable for people living with diabetes, PCOD, thyroid, and cardiovascular diseases to not only eat a light dinner but to also eat on time.
Ideally, your blood pressure drops by 10% when you sleep at night to allow your body to rest well. When you wake up in the morning, the blood pressure returns to normal. People who eat right before bed are likely to have a condition called “non-dipper hypertension” where the blood pressure does not drop during sleep. If this continues, there is a high risk of developing heart diseases. Eating dinner early will help to reduce this risk.
Eating dinner just before bedtime can trigger acid reflux. Some of the symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, the sensation of a lump in the throat, and regurgitation of food or sour liquid. You may also experience chronic cough, new or worsening asthma, and laryngitis during night-time acid reflux. Ultimately, acid reflux is a very uncomfortable condition that is bound to give you a sleepless night. Eating dinner hours before bed will help prevent this condition.
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