Eating lentils before bed is good for weight loss. They reduce cravings for fattening late night snacks and help sleep better at night. A poor night’s sleep can lead to obesity.
Can I eat lentils before bed for weight loss?
We can eat lentils as a late night snack. Lentils are supper filling food with only a few calories.
We tend to seek sugary and fatty treats at night. Sweats have many calories, though. Moreover, they don’t have any satiating effect, leading to overeating.
When we consume more calories than we burn, we gain weight.
Eating filling foods with few calories is key for weight loss.
Do lentils help me sleep at night?
Furthermore, eating lentils before bed is good for weight loss because they contain nutrients that help us sleep.
Short sleep duration, insomnia, or other sleep disorders have been linked to increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Sleep quality and duration may affect appetite hormones. If we don’t sleep well at night, we have lower levels of leptin (a satiety signal) and high levels of ghrelin (an appetite stimulant)!
Therefore, a bad night’s sleep can lead to overeating, and eventually to obesity.
A cup of cooked lentils contains 71 mg of magnesium. This dose is about 17% of the recommended daily.
Actually, lentils as well as other beans and legumes are excellent dietary sources of magnesium.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It can improve sleep quality. Adequate amounts have beneficial effects on sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, snoring, sleep duration, and daytime falling asleep.[3,4]
Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. It regulates night sleep. Thus, eating foods high in melatonin before bed supports a good night’s sleep.
Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan, an essential dietary amino acid, which is found in abundant in lentils.
Although raw lentils aren’t rich in melatonin, they have other nutrients that may be involved in its synthesis.
Folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may be important for the synthesis of melatonin. Further studies are needed, though.
Moreover, a serving of lentils provides about 27% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is also essential for weight loss.
In addition, you could consume sprouted lentils. Actually, they’re good dietary sources of melatonin. Sprouted lentils contain 2,000-fold more melatonin than raw lentils. Sprouted lentils contain about 100 mcg of melatonin per 100g, while raw lentils contain negligible amounts.
Furthermore, melatonin has powerful antioxidant properties. It may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
Also, lentils are particularly high in potassium. A serving provides 21% of the recommended daily intake.
Actually, lentils are particularly rich in iron. A serving provides 37% of the recommended daily intake!
Iron deficiency is associated with sleep disorders. On the other hand, high iron intakes may have beneficial effects on restless legs syndrome, general sleep disturbances, and sleep disordered breathing.
Lentils are good dietary sources of selenium as well. A serving provides 10% of our daily needs.
Can eating lentils at night make me fat?
Most people can eat lentils before bed. Lentils can help us sleep better at night and also prevent overeating.
However, you better consume them in moderation. 1/2 cup is great for most people. Much higher amounts at dinner may cause bloating, gas, and other stomach disturbances. People with sensitive stomach should be extra careful about the consumed quantities.
As a rule of thumb, we should have a light dinner. Otherwise, we may have a poor night’s sleep, which may affect the production of satiety hormones.
What’s the best time to eat lentils?
Certainly, the best time of the day to consume lentils is at lunch. Lentils can keep you full for a long time, containing only a few calories. You could eat a slice of whole-wheat bread to improve the quality of protein of the meal.
Furthermore, lentils are packed with vitamins, minerals, and many bioactive compounds.
It’s better to boost the antioxidant capacity of your body during the daytime. Antioxidants protect us from the detrimental effects of air pollution, sunlight radiation, and smoking. These are common risk factors which contribute to the excessive production of free radicals and eventually to oxidative stress.[11,12,13]
Due to their unique nutritional value, lentils may reduce the risk of many diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, cancers, cardiovascular disease, and many degenerative diseases.
What’s the worst time of the day to eat lentils?
The worst time of the day to consume lentils, or any other food high in fiber, is before a workout or a race. High fiber intakes before exercise are likely to cause bloating, gas, stomach cramps, or discomfort.
Athletes and active people should avoid consuming fiber before exercise.