We often promise to have a more balanced diet but we don’t always do it. Every meal of the day is important, but there is one that especially stands out because it really influences liver problems, insomnia, and obesity: dinner.
If you’re looking for ideas for healthy dinners, then check out this article, as we’ll explain a few of the healthiest dinner options below!
Benefits and Risks of Dinner
Dinner is the last meal of the day. You should never go to bed with your stomach empty or too full, because it will be difficult to rest. Since you don’t consume much energy or burn many calories at night, it is important to have dinner earlier or a lighter one.
When you eat a big dinner, too late, or include unhealthy foods, you will note some of the following effects on your health:
- Insomnia, sleep loss, and fatigue in the morning
- Puffy eyed or dull appearance to your face
- Fluid retention
- Mucus when you wake up
- Liver problems, poor digestion, acidity, flatulence, etc.
- In the long run, obesity or weight loss
When to Eat Dinner
Once you lay down to sleep, your body starts to relax and allow the cells in your body to regenerate. According to traditional Chinese medicine, an organ regenerates every hour. Specifically,
- 11 to 1am: the gallbladder
- 1 to 3 am: liver
- 3 to 5 am: lungs
- 5 to 7 am the large intestine
- 7 to 9 am: the stomach
If you respect the biological clock in your body, you should be finished with the digestion of your dinner at 11 o’clock a the latest, taking into account that digestion tends to last between 2 to three hours. That is why, the best time to eat dinner is before eight at night.
What Should a Healthy Dinner Include?
A balanced dinner should contain the following:
- One part vegetables, preferable cooked. Although if you digest them well, they can also be raw (salads, for example), especially when it is hot out.
- One part low fat proteins: eggs, fish, legumes, wheat gluten, fresh cheese, yogurt, dried nuts, mushrooms.
- One small, option part starch or grains: wheat bread on the side, pasta, brown rice, potatoes, banana.
- One small part healthy fats: vegetable oils, dried fruits, egg yolk, yogurt, avocado.
What Shouldn’t a Healthy Dinner Include?
- Excess starches or grains, because they give you too much energy
- Sweet fruits because they cause you to gain weight if you eat them mixed with dinner
- Citrus fruits like oranges or mandarins because they make sleeping harder
- Summer fruit rich in water, like watermelon or melon, because they slow down digestion
- Saturated fat (margarine, pastries, fried food, red meat, etc.) because they overwork your liver and bladder
- Excess salt, which causes fluid retention
- Stimulants like coffee, tea, Coke, etc.
Examples of Healthy Dinners
- Vegetable purée, a little bit of oatmeal, and hard boiled egg
- Sautéed vegetables with mushrooms and whole wheat toast
- Natural yogurt with half a banana and a handful of walnuts
- Vegetable and noodle soup and grilled fish
- Vegetable smoothie or gazpacho and an omelette
- Legume cream and baked pears
- Vegetables with a little bit of potato and baked chicken
- Green salad with fresh cheese and seeds
- Corn tortillas with guacamole
- Lentils, grated carrot, and a little bit of mayonnaise salad
One Last Comment
If you eat dinner earlier or are going to do something before bed, you can increase your amount of starches and grains and allow yourself to have a whole wheat vegetable and mushroom pizza or a lettuce, tomato, and cheese sandwich. If you take care of your dinner during the week, you can make an exception on the weekend, although you will always notice the next morning if your dinner has been healthy or not according to the mood and energy you wake up with.
Images courtesy of cobalt123, robbplusjessie, and David-Robert-Wright