Thursday, May 30, 2024

Late night dinners can be harmful! Here is why you should have your dinner before sunset!

Sanjana Mahendru

Do you remember your grandparents forcing you to have an early dinner? Or have you heard about eating dinner before sunset in Jainism? If yes, and you’re still wondering why, here you will learn about the scientific reasons behind it. Eating dinner before sunset is a practice that Ayurveda strongly supports, and there are various reasons behind it as well.

The sun has a strong connection with our body, especially our digestive system. The biological clock of the human body works in accordance with the sunrise and sunset. Our digestive system functions really efficiently after sunrise, and when the sun sets, the amount of digestive juices in our body also reduces, and the body’s digestive process slows down as well. Therefore, late-night meals are not just harder for the body to digest; they can also lead to several digestive problems and diseases. You can avoid all these problems if you take up the habit of eating dinner early. Some of the benefits of taking dinner before 7 p.m. are as follows:

It prevents obesity and promotes weight loss.

Obesity and weight management are major issues in all countries, contributing to serious health issues. In order to prevent weight gain, even experts advise adhering to an 8-hour schedule during the day. Everything you consume after sunset isn’t entirely processed into energy because your body’s metabolism slows down. In its place, it turns into fat and causes weight gain. What time should you eat your last meal to lose weight? If you eat during your eight-hour window, instead of using the glucose in the meal you eat for your early dinner, your body will use the fat you’ve stored up for energy. So by not eating after 7 p.m., you can easily lose weight.

It reduces gastrointestinal problems.

Practice intermittent fasting; stop eating at 7 p.m. to reduce and even avoid digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, and acidity. Those who eat late dinners, like after 10 p.m., deal with this, as the time gap between sleep and dinner reduces. Therefore, when you lie down on your bed, the acid gets refluxed into the esophagus. This eventually leads to uneasiness and pain, resulting in serious digestive disorders. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Peptic Ulcers (Stomach Ulcers), and Inguinal Hernia are some examples.

It reduces the risk of cancer.

A small study found that eating dinner at 6 p.m. or at least two hours before sleeping showed a 20% lower risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Conversely, eating dinner after 9 p.m. or later increases the risk of certain cancers.

It reduces the risk of a heart attack.

Research has shown that we experience a 10% drop in blood pressure overnight, which helps with rejuvenation and waking up feeling refreshed. High blood pressure is a common side effect of eating late at night, especially when the meal is large. In turn, this raises the risk of a heart attack. Every 1 percent increase in night-time calories consumed after 8 p.m. can boost the likelihood of higher blood pressure, less long-term control of blood sugar, and a higher body mass index—which eventually contributes to heart risks, according to lead researcher Nour Markarem, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

It promotes better sleep quality.

Negative effects on digestion and sleep quality are another name for eating dinner too late. This nighttime digestive activity can lead to sleeplessness or anxiety, even when the rest of your body is sleeping. Moreover, poor digestion causes heartburn, coughing, and nocturnal acidity, which disturbs your essential REM, or deep sleep. Moreover, a late-night dinner can also increase water consumption, which is a significant sleep cycle barrier. You’ll wake up frequently throughout the night to urinate. Therefore, eating dinner before sunset can also contribute to better sleep quality.

Is eating dinner at 5 p.m. too early? No, absolutely not. But eating dinner after 8 p.m. is worse and can negatively affect your health in multiple ways. Eating before sunset, as Ayurveda suggests, and managing a good time gap between sleep and dinner are crucial. It improves digestion, helps with weight loss, guards against major health issues like cancer, diabetes, and heart attacks, and brings peaceful sleep at night. It keeps you healthy and refreshed the next day.

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