Whether or not you should eat before bed, which is basically between dinner and bedtime has been a hot topic in the health and nutrition circuit since the longest time. Some say it interferes with sound sleep and digestion, while some say that a certain kind of food may just help you sleep better. If you are under the impression that fruits can help induce sleep, think again! Several experts around the world often advise against eating fruits too close to bed time.
Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager, Baidyanath, says ”According to Ayurveda the food should be consumed three hours before your sleep. As far as fruits are considered there should be a gap between proper meals and fruits because both have different effect on the digestive system. Fruits get digested faster and are pushed from the stomach to the intestine much earlier. Meals which are especially rich in protein and fiber require much more time and gastric juices to digest. Therefore it is always advisable to take fruits early in the evening. This could be altered according to individual need.”
Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood says, “It is best to avoid having anything right before bed time as it can interfere with your sleep. Eating fruits right before going to bed can release a lot of sugar, causing spike in energy, when your body should be preparing to slow down and rest.”
She adds, “However, if a person is on diet and is hungry, we do end up advising him to take a fruit or two which are not so high in sugar, in order to prevent them from binging on something unhealthy.”
Experts also say that pairing fruits with another food may prove to be a tad risky for diabetics too. Taking fruits with other foods high in protein, fiber and fats can reduce the pace of sugar from fruit to enter the small intestine, thereby causing a slight rise in the blood sugar, as compared to eating the fruit alone.
Therefore, while it is always advisable to nibble on some fresh fruits packed with umpteen minerals, vitamins, flavanoids and antioxidants, they are best left alone before bedtime.