One of the greatest joys in life is to savour the mouth-watering food out there. So much so that many people eat right up to the last minute of the day – or night in this case – before they ease into slumber.
However, as our eating habits evolve together with the industry, most late night snacks that we greedily consume are pretty much the unhealthy lot. Fried stuff, oily food, addition of too many preservative, colouring etc. You get the drift. This then conveniently translates into the many modern situations of today – obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and so on.
But there is also now a new danger from the late night snacking – skin damage.
In a recent study involving rats, co-author Dr Joseph Takahasi, Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, US, and his fellow researchers found that night feeding resulted in greater skin damage from sun (UV) exposure, as compared to normal day feeding. This was due to the disruption of the circadian rhythm of the skin cells which subsequently altered the activities of a skin-protection enzyme to become less active during the day.
But even without this discovery, late night snacking is really unhealthy in itself. So what can you eat if you find yourself starving at night, despite a good dinner?
- Avoid – Anything fatty, spicy, sugar- or caffeine-rich.
- Go for – Something which has complex carbs and protein. For instance, you can try high-fiber cereal with milk, nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts etc), yogurt, whole grain crackers, a banana, strawberries etc.
At the same time, at the end of the day, relax yourself. Don’t deluge yourself with never-ending work; leave it at the office. When people are stressed, they tend to let their bellies overwhelm it all and pig it out all on food. Relax and prep your body for sleep. Listen to some soothing music, read a light-hearted book, or catch up with your significant other of their day.