Eating Banana at Night

When you are hungry or crave for something sweet at night, you search for anything that will satiate your appetite from the fridge. Then you find bananas. Normally, bananas are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Bananas are the perfect source of energy and taking several bananas will help you meet your daily fruit recommendations. It is recommended that you consume two bananas daily. However, is eating banana at night the right thing?

Can You Eat Bananas at Night?

The answer is yes, you can eat bananas at night. However, you should not eat more than two bananas as a dietary recommendation. Moreover, eat the bananas at least an hour before you go to bed to prevent any stomach issues. Here are the benefits of eating bananas at night.

1.   Increase Vitamin Intake

According to research conducted in 2012, less than 2% of American adults reach the daily recommended intake of potassium. Eating food high in potassium aids in lowering the risk of high blood pressure. A medium-sized banana contains about 420mg of potassium, and the recommended intake for adults is 4,700mg every day. Eating bananas at night gives a boost in vitamin B6 which is an essential coenzyme used in metabolism. If you are the type of person who experiences night muscle cramps, then eating a banana will reduce the risk of night cramps. Cramps are usually caused by electrolyte imbalance; bananas have two electrolytes magnesium and potassium.

2.   Ingest More Fiber 

A medium-sized banana gives about 3g of fiber. Men under the age of fifty should get at least 38g of fiber per day while women should consume 25g per day. Most people do not meet the RDA. So by eating banana at night as a snack, it can give you extra fiber. Fiber is good for the health of the heart and digestive system and can lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

3.   Curb the Craving

For people who have a habit of eating late night snack, eating a banana will help you satisfy the craving instead of taking something high in added sugar and calories. Bananas have sweet flavor which will satisfy the craving, and can provide minerals, vitamins and fiber at the same time.

4.    Controll Stomach Acid

Bananas can be a safe snack for people with stomach ulcers or heart burns because they do not irritate the conditions. Research indicates that a compound in bananas helps in fighting bacteria which are linked with stomach ulcers; however, further research is still underway.

Does Eating Bananas at Night Affect Sleep?

Eating bananas at night will increase the relevant nutrients intake, which can optimize a night sleep. 

1.     Magnesium

Bananas are one of the main fruits with a high content of magnesium. Magnesium helps battle insomnia, and this will help you go to sleep faster and longer. Eating banana at night will help to relax the muscles as it has the neuroprotective effect. Magnesium in bananas lowers brain temperature, and this is important in hormonal regulation. Magnesium deficiency results in relaxing difficulty and night cramps.

2.     Potassium

Potassium works with magnesium in relaxing muscles, improving sleep, calming nerves, regulating blood pressure and promoting healthy digestion. Deficiency in potassium is a condition called hypokalemia which can affect sleep and lead to muscle cramping, fatigue, and heart irregularities.

3.     Amino Acid Tryptophan

Eating bananas at night is essential in combating insomnia because the fruit has amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used by the body for the production of melatonin and serotonin. The two hormones are important in regulating circadian sleep rhythms. Low levels of tryptophan can lead to insomnia and other side effects such as depression.

4.     Vitamins

Vitamin B complex has shown to be effective in controlling sleep. Vitamin B6 found in bananas can help produce melatonin, serotonin and tryptophan. They are important in controlling the circadian rhythms, sleep and mood. A big banana can provide about 50% of daily intake of vitamin B6.

What Are the Other Healthy Snacks to Eat at Night?

The previous part shows the benefits of eating banana at night and its effects on sleep. Here are more healthy snacks to eat at night.

1.   Dried Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are known to contain melatonin which is a sleep-inducing hormone. The sweet tart satisfies the evening sweet teeth while at the same time giving you an antioxidant boost. It is important that you keep the quantity to a quarter cup serving to avoid excess calories.

2.   Nuts

Nuts are a good choice for a snack anytime of the day because they provide a combination of healthy fat and protein which alleviates hunger while providing nutrients. You can have them in the evening because they will satisfy the need for a crunchy snack and you do not have to eat a lot to feel full. A quarter cup serving will prevent hunger all night without the feeling of stuffiness before going to bed or feeling bloated when you wake up.

3.   Popcorn

Popcorn is a complex carbohydrate which has serotonin to help you relax. It is a perfect snack in the evening because about 3 cups of popcorn contain only 100 calories. Moreover, the fiber in the popcorn will help you feel satisfied for longer time.

4.   Oatmeal

If you want to go to bed feeling full without really being too full, then you should try a bowl of oats. Oats are rich in fiber, and the relaxing and satisfying effects bring a feeling of satiation without adding too many calories. You can sprinkle cinnamon or add a drizzle of honey.

5.   Cottage Cheese

For those looking for a cool treat before going to bed, cottage cheese is a perfect choice. The snack will help you avoid sugar-packed ice cream. Cottage cheese has slow digesting protein, which will ward off hunger. In addition, it is rich in calcium which eases your sleep, and the protein in the cottage cheese will prevent acid reflux.