Bananas are probably one of the first fruits you have ever had as a child. As you age, you will realize that bananas’ simplicity and nutritious nature make it a top pick as your digestive tract becomes pickier and pickier.
You may have heard of some stories that state that you should never eat bananas before going to bed because it will interfere with digestion, or it might cause havoc in your intestines as you sleep. You should avoid some foods before going to sleep if you have a sensitive stomach or if you are prone to hyperacidity, but this list of foods does not include bananas.
More than anything, bananas promote excellent digestion, and this fruit helps people with either diarrhea or constipation. There is nothing about bananas that is harsh to human digestion, and you are better off consuming more bananas any of the days than not.
Is It Bad to Eat Bananas Before Bed?
It is not harmful to eat bananas before bed. This is simply a destructive urban myth, a health-related misconception that you can let go of because it simply is not valid.
Secondly, there is no scientific evidence that points to bananas being bad for anyone suffering from a sour stomach if that is your concern. The pervasive myth is that bananas can cause harm to your digestion and also trigger either diarrhea or constipation in the process because you have to digest the banana while sleeping.
The big loophole in this myth is this – why just bananas?
What about people who have a nightcap before going to bed? What about those who order late-night tacos and stuff like that? It appears that bananas were unfairly picked on in this case simply because it is linked to specific mechanisms that allow both ripe and unripe bananas to regulate the means of the digestive system.
Eating foods like bananas may also help with easing you into sleep. If you are constantly awake at night because you are strung up or tired, you may need to eat more melatonin-containing food items like bananas. One specific study on melatonin-containing foods showed that subjects who consumed more foods like bananas had higher serum melatonin levels, which led to better sleep. It is suggested that bananas also increased biochemical markers related to better sleep, including ferric reducing antioxidant power and oxygen radical antioxidant capacity.
In short, bananas are not only good for digestion, but this fruit also did more work around the body. Bananas are decidedly very hardworking fruits, and they always deserve a place on your dinner table as a result. Other studies emphasize that for a long time, bananas have always been protective of the body as a whole as it helps to reduce oxidative stress significantly. Bananas also contain plenty of vital nutrients like magnesium, which have been shown to improve sleep in humans, on top of regulating many crucial biochemical processes.
What Is the Best Time to Eat Banana?
There is no ideal time for consuming bananas because it is generally good to eat bananas at any time of the day. If you want, you can eat bananas all day if you are suffering from constipation or diarrhea. Bananas can be eaten ripe or unripe, and certain classes of plantains can also be boiled or added to different dishes. You might have access to several types of bananas and plantains that offer distinct health benefits.
Again, there is no specific time when bananas are best consumed. Eat bananas in the morning or at lunchtime, or eat a few before going to bed. You will only benefit from eating bananas, and there are no side effects. If you do hear anyone talking about side effects, then remember that those claims do not have any scientific evidence backing them up, which means it is not wise to listen to them at all.
If you have trouble improving the rate at which you consume fruits, be more creative in the kitchen. Also, fruits can always be eaten on their own, so if you have already run out of ideas about combining fruits with your meals specifically, why not just eat the fruits whole? That way, your daily fruit consumption would be less complicated, and you will all have the time in the world to enjoy your fresh or dried fruits.
What Fruits Can I Eat at Night?
As we have discussed previously, fruits, in general, are suitable for digestion and the body. However, some fruits are better than others when it comes to giving benefits to the body during the evening or late-night snacking.
- Cherries – Tart cherries, specifically, may help boost the nutritional value of your evening snacks. Some studies point to cherries being beneficial to people who suffer from heart disease and arthritis.
Suppose you have some conditions that are related to tissue inflammation. In that case, eating cherries can help reduce the inflammation markers in your body, which would impact the level of inflammation present in the different organs. Cherries also naturally contain tryptophan, which has been linked to the production of melatonin in the body.
- Bananas – As previously discussed, bananas promote higher serum melatonin levels in the body and help you fall asleep faster at night. The beneficial effects of bananas on sleep will be felt more rapidly by people who have sleeping problems.
However, to get more consistent results, you may have to increase your banana consumption over several weeks to build up the concentration of the proper nutrients in your body.
The body does restock itself with certain nutrients as it can do so. Over the years, some vital nutrients may be of lower supply than what the body needs. Such a condition (aptly called malnutrition) may lead to sleeplessness or insomnia and a host of other medical conditions.
- Kiwis – The kiwi fruit is low in calories, tasty, rich in fiber, and can also help improve your sleep quality. One study examined the effects of kiwi fruit on adult subjects, and the results are positive – kiwi appeared to give people better sleep at night.
However, as was previously observed, dietary modifications tend to improve sleep quality when done consistently over a period. The study above on kiwi fruit involved always consuming kiwi over weeks. After this period, the study subjects reported fewer sleep disturbances and an improved onset of sleep. Essentially, they could sleep much more quickly at night when they wanted to, and they enjoyed sounder sleep than before.
- Strawberries – Strawberries are an excellent source of fiber, natural sugars, and vitamin C. Vitamin C protects the entire body and helps in the natural regeneration of the skin and muscles when you sleep at night. Suppose you work out frequently and you are looking for a good ingredient for your post-workout recovery shakes. In that case, we highly recommend combining strawberries with veggies and bananas for a powerful punch of vital nutrients that are readily bioavailable. The great thing about having fruits and other natural food items is the body more easily absorbs the nutrients.
What Should You Not Eat at Night?
If there are ideal food items for consumption at night, then there are also food items that may not support good digestion and sound sleep. While dietary restrictions vary from person to person, it would be a good idea to be aware of the various after-effects of certain food items when you eat them at night.
- Coffee – This one is a no-brainer. Coffee contains lots of caffeine, which promotes wakefulness at night. Drinking coffee at night before going to sleep does not make sense. Avoid caffeinated beverages if you are already struggling with getting regular sleep. This warning against caffeine also extends to liquids that have caffeine, like energy drinks and soda, not just coffee products.
- Tea – Tea also contains natural amounts of caffeine, about 50% of what coffee beans provide. Monks have been known to drink caffeine during rituals and meditations to stave off sleep. The same thing happens to people when they are unaware of tea’s caffeine content and similar beverages such as milk tea, which is essentially just tea with dairy products added.
- Spicy food – Spicy food stimulates the body according to folk knowledge, but these food items can also cause digestive unrest. Spicy foods can easily irritate the stomach lining and cause either diarrhea and constipation if your body is not used to the food.