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Backed By Science: 10 Health-Killing Foods You Shouldn’t Eat At Night

Backed By Science: 10 Health-Killing Foods You Shouldn’t Eat At Night

There’s rarely anything more satisfying than having a late-night snack or meal before bed! I’m guilty of indulging myself! I’m also guilty of indulging in some foods that scientists and health experts argue are the worst food choices to eat at night. The below list describes the top-ten health-killing foods you shouldn’t eat before you go to bed.

1. Cheese

Cheese is fattening and easy to over-eat on. Cheese should be eaten in very strict moderation. Cheese is high in saturated fat and cholesterol,  and too much of it can increase your risk of heart disease.

2. Citrus

Too many fruits can lead to gas at night, and makes digestion more complicated because sugar ferments. If you must eat some fruit before bed, try not to eat more than a cup.

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3. Spicy Food

Spicy or hot foods stimulate your senses, and they have the ability to give heartburn or contribute to an upset stomach, and no one wants that before bed.

4. Fatty Food

Pizza, burgers and French-fries taste great, but they aren’t great to your body, so don’t eat them at night. They can mess up your digestive system and help you pack on the pounds. You’ll feel horrible the next day, zapped of the energy you need to make your day productive.

5.  Red Meats

Red meats are hard to digest. That’s why you shouldn’t eat them at night. It will be harder to fall asleep if you do eat red meat directly before bed.

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6.  Cereals

It is very difficult to follow serving suggestions for cereal, so if you’re watching your weight, it’s best to eat it in the morning but not late at night.

7. Vegetables

I know I threw you off with my suggestion to lay off of fruits and citrus before bed, but you are probably shocked vegetables make the list. Some vegetables are not ideal to eat before bed. Celery, for example, celery is a diuretic. According to this article, a diuretic increases the rate of urination. It’s counter-productive to eat these types of vegetables, because you’ll be waking up more than usual at night to use the restroom instead of getting a good rest.

8. Junk Food

Chips and salsa, popcorn, and all that other comfort food. Let it go. It’s not helping you sleep better, lose weight, or be healthy.

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9. Sweets

Put down that ice cream cone, candy bar, or piece of chocolate, because they are officially off limits before bed! Yes, these things can be considered comfort foods, but these same comfort foods are loaded with fat! Sugar also keeps you up longer! It’s not the type of combination you want while you’re trying to go to bed!

10. Bread

Unless you’re trying to gain weight, eating bread before going to bed is a horrible idea.  The carbs in bread can make you hungrier at night, and cause you to overeat.

Don’t take my word for it, check out this article and see for yourself! Then explore the internet and check out other suggestions.  Many of the things I’ve listed here, are the same things health experts elsewhere will tell you to avoid.

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Some things weren’t listed here because they were obvious or not considered food, but here are some other suggestions: do not drink alcohol before bed, do not drink too much water before bed, and be sure to not drink coffee before bed.  Soda also follows under the do-not-drink directly before bed list. Some experts suggest not eating at all three to four hours before bed.

For a list of suggested healthy night-time snacks, click here.

Your health and well-being matter! Take them into your hands and make better choices for your personal happiness!

Featured photo credit: food via imaginalhealth.com

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Emina Dedic

TEFL Instructor, Traveler, Professional Writer, Model

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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