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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 November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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