In those days, dinner was ready at 7 pm with family members gathering around the table, ready to dig in. These days, dinner is eaten later, anytime between 8 to 11 pm. Today, people are busier, with many working long hours at home or in the workplace. Although society has changed, the human body has remained the same. Do you know that most problems can be fixed with an early dinner? Here are some of the gains of eating an early dinner.
There should be a good amount of gape between your last meal and your sleep. Consuming large meals at night or late-night eating can cause indigestion. Your digestive system will be functioning while you are asleep, which can affect deep sleep, causing restlessness or sleeplessness. As a consequence, you end waking up more regularly. This also reduces your energy levels making you less prepared for the next day.
Reduce the Risk of Obesity
According to WHO, worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In Africa, the number of children who are overweight or obese has nearly doubled from 5.4 million in 1990 to 10.6 million in 2014. Obesity is preventable. To curb this, you may want to start by eliminating late dinner. Know that when you eat late, the body raises the risk of fat storage and responds by storing insulin which negatively affects fat metabolism. You may balance the right amount of fats, calories, proteins, and carbs in your diet, but without changing the mealtime, your weight loss goals may continue far-fetched.
Reduce the Risk of Cancer
A recent cancer study by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health has suggested that men who eat dinner at least two hours before sleeping have a 26% reduced risk of prostate cancer. Women with similar eating habits were also found to have a 16% reduced risk of breast cancer. This is the first study to analyse the association between cancer risk and the timing of meals and sleep. Do yourself a favour and put away that plate of fufu/eba etc when it’s past 7 pm.
Heartburn, acidity, gas, and other digestive issues could be a result as the digestive track fails to work its best. Before you sleep, the food needs time to digest properly. Eating dinner early keeps the acidic contents of the abdomen from rising back up into your throat and allows your body to get the time to digest food properly. We need to give our food time to digest properly before we get into bed and so by eating an early dinner, we can do this. If your body can take its time to digest food properly, this will lower the risk of stomach acid rising back into your oesophagus (acid reflux). Lying down quickly after a meal only makes this worse.
Improves general health
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine say that eating late at night could be more dangerous than you think. When you eat late consistently, you are prone to memory and cognitive function decline, diabetes and an increased rate of heart disease. Mood and brain function are also impaired. Meals with the right calorie level and timing overtime gives you more energy and generally prevents numerous illness.
With proper meal planning and setting aside a specific time each day to eat dinner, your digestive system will show appreciation. Doctors across the globe recommend keeping meals light for dinner and eating at least 2 hours before sleeping. Our gut needs a break to function properly. Breakfast literally means breaking a fast that you kept all night and then have a healthy breakfast after 11-12 hours of no food. When this is not followed – our gut suffers.
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