Night Food Is Very Important. Watch What You Eat At Night.

According to Ayurveda, night food is one thing that you need to be very careful about, if you are really serious about your health. Light night food is highly recommended both by Ayurveda and by the modern science. One of my usual recommendations will always include a list of food to avoid at night.
If we divide a day into three equal parts, the last part is dominated by Kapha, naturally. So, in this period, the food that we eat should balance Kapha and should not increase Kapha dosha.

Foods to avoid – During night, oily food, junk food, sweets, chocolates, heavy-to-digest food, non vegetarian food,  cold or frozen food, ice creams, large quantity of food, curd, etc foods should be avoided or taken in very little quantities. These are the food to avoid eating at night.

If these foods are taken, it increases kapha leading to complications such as running nose in the morning, worsening of cough and cold, allergies, excessive weight gain, excessive salivation in the morning, worsening of vomiting, indigestion etc.

Over a period of time, it causes toxic substance accumulation and causes further complications. So persons suffering from all these should definitely avoid the above mentioned food articles. In many cases it is found that this simple diet adjustment alone cures or improves many of the respiratory conditions.

Diet plan for the night – healthy low carb diet, which is easy to digest, are preferred during night. Curd at night is to be replaced with butter milk.

Chapatis are better than rice. The quantity of food should be limited. Curry leaves, dal, turmeric, small quantities of ginger, etc are good to have at night. The rule of thumb is – the food that you take should make your stomach feel light. You should not get a sense of heaviness.

Generally during sleep, we require less energy. so, if we eat in large quantities at night, most of the energy produced out of the food is stored in the body, causing fat deposition and weight gain. Hence, modern science also recommends one to follow light diet during night.

58 thoughts on “Night Food Is Very Important. Watch What You Eat At Night.”

  1. Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    I’ve recently been trying to find definitive answers to a few questions related to curd/buttermilk…

    1. Some Ayurvedic practitioners say that it is better to avoid even buttermilk in the evening/night. Do the classical Ayurvedic texts have differing opinions on this?

    2. Is plain curd cooling or heating? Is plain buttermilk cooling or heating? Are they both dry? Can you perhaps suggest the right spice combinations in curd and buttermilk to vary their heating/cooling properties in different seasons?

    3. Should they be avoided in particular seasons?

    4. How does the water:curd ratio in buttermilk vary its qualities?

    5. Is there a recommended “way” to prepare the buttermilk? If so, what is it that makes it more effective than say, just mixing curd and water with a spoon?

    Thank you so much,

    Reply
    • I have not come across with such a direct reference.
      For example, banana and grapes are usually had after dinner to facilitate easy bowel evacuation, the next morning.

      Reply
      • So that means, the theory that fruits should be had on an empty stomach does not apply here? We can have banana and grapes after having dinner? I have heard that fruits should be had before eating solid food. Or is it different for different body types and dependant on the digestion capacity of different individuals?

        Reply
  2. Which fruit should be taken after dinner at 8. 3oo p.m. If simeone has sweet tooth, which Sweet can be taken after dinner?

    Reply
  3. I tried eating before sunset for 2-4 days and had a hard time evacuating my bowels next morning. Is the Sun related with our digestive agni or should we eat something at night compulsorily according to ayurveda?

    Reply
  4. Isnt digestion related with the sun according to ayurveda?? Then why do Hindus traditionally take their night meal just after sunset?

    Reply
    • Digestion is related to Sun. That does not mean that the food should be taken only when Sun is visible.
      As per Ayurveda, food is to be had when the previous food is digested and one feels hunger.

      Reply
  5. Could you please clarify a query i have:

    For breakfast can you make porridge of oats, water and add raisins and dates with tumeric?

    Reply
    • If you are comfortable with it you can go ahead. But would advice to add milk and make the porridge.

      Reply
  6. Dr Hebbar good day to you, i just wanna ask if its ok to drink whole milk right before sleeping at night? Thank you

    Reply
    • During summer, it is fine to drink whole milk.
      During other seasons, it is best to drink warm milk at night.

      Reply
  7. Is milk heavy food or light food. If I remember, in some places in Charak Samhita, milk is listed as heavy food but in other places, milk is stated to be light. I’m confused. Your view on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Reply
      • If milk is heavy then why in vagbhatt sahita it is said that milk’s best time to take is night. You said don’t take heavy food (milk)items at night..please clarify

        Reply
        • Can you please give the exact reference? If the digestion strength is good and if there are no allergy, cold, cough symptoms, then milk can be had at night.

          Reply
  8. I used to have

    2 or 3 idly and set dosa in morning, and 1 full meals in lunch and 2 or 3 chapatis and fruits in night like apple,polmgranate or papayya alternative day . Also i completely avoid oil fried items but i usually take 180 ml of liquor every saturday,is it possible to reduce my belly fat and weight by 30 days

    Reply
  9. I am going for night shift work. I used to have four chappathis with lot of vegetables before leaving for work . Can you tell me whether its good for health.

    Reply
  10. What about ripe coconut at night ? (the brown coconut with little water left inside)
    Is this sequence ok ?
    sweet fresh/dried fruit, followed by ripe coconut, followed by roasted amaranth, followed by cow’s milk.

    Reply
    • Al fiber rich vegetables and foods – bran, cauliflower, cabbage, berries, green leafy vegetables, Celery, squash, Banana, beans, mushroom oranges.

      Reply
  11. I m drinking milk at night with ghee for past two months .. I have gained 2-4 kgs is it because of milk and ghee at night ?

    Reply
  12. What is the difference between indigestion vs acid indigestion. I am not able to figure out if I have only pitta dosha or pitta and vata both. I have bloating stomach,gas formation and wake up in the middle of night with sudden heartburn. I take 1 spoon jeera immediately and heartburn subsides ,literally goes away .I get heartburn only once in the middle of night. I have indigestion problem from last 20 years. Is it only pitta or vata and pitta .

    Reply
  13. I have digestion issues from a long time and I feel that, my main problem is, I don’t get empty in morning bowel so due to I face issues in a day.

    I have taken medicine from every where and ayurveda and other doctor says, you don’t have anything now I am tired alltogether.

    So, will it be a good solution if I take dinner around 6 pm and sleep between 9-10 as ayurveda says take good before sunset for good digestion, but now a days I take dinner around 8pm and sleep around 10 pm, I often get up in the night and face gas problem too.

    Reply
  14. Because fruit is digested and leaves the Stomach in less than an hour it should always be had on an empty Stomach.
    If you mix Fruit with Food, fermenting of the Fruit will take place.

    Reply
  15. Dear doctor is it good to have only fruits at night? I tried this but middle of the night i feel hungry and didn’t slept properly..

    Reply
    • It is fine to have only fruits at night – 2 days per week
      Consider adding more quantity. Consider adding papaya.

      Reply
  16. From V.r.k. Raman. To Gaurav’s query, you have answered that astringent taste of buttermilk increases pitta. Astringent taste belongs to VATA Dosha and VATA is cold in nature. So, how can pitta increase through astringent taste?

    Reply
  17. Fruit is always to be had on an empty Stomach because Fruit is digested and leaves the stomach in less than an hour. If you mix fruit with food(which takes 3 hours to be digested and leave the stomach) the fruit will Ferment and you will not benefit from its intake.

    Reply
  18. Sir, if I do not eat right before sleep and one time during the night when I wake up I cannot sleep ( caused by an emotional issue -fear- that I compensate with until I resolve it ).
    Food has to be heavy to play its role unfortunately.

    Following some principles you underlined in your books, I at least try to keep those snacks light in proportion and of good quality, instead of lightness in the type of chosen food which would not meet the objective I stated before.
    What works great is 1/2 tsp ghee with 12 raisins along with 6 cashews or 2 wallnuts or 2 almonds and 1/2 tsp of green papaya powder. Of course, it does aggraviate kapha in the morning ( phlegm, respiratory system charged ) and does certainly cause problems with the quality of my sleep.

    Would you have any recommendation that would help me with this situation, please?

    Reply
  19. Sir, can you please suggest what is the best way to eat salad? Before the food or after the food or in between the food ?

    Reply
    • Fruit salad – in early part of food.
      Vegetable salad – along with food, preferably at the end

      Reply
  20. I can not digest chapati at night.it gives me stomach ache and bad health throught out the day..what should i eat at night? I am a bengali.

    Reply
  21. Sir,
    Is it okay to have vegetable salad with a portion of cooked beans (channa, black gram, green gram, peas, sprouts etc) at night ?

    Reply
  22. Hi,

    I finish dinner by 5:30-6:00pm but by 8pm or so I start feeling hungry and want to eat. What is a good option for me to eat? I am a vata.

    Also I usually start feeling hungry by around 2 hours after each meal but I just suffer through it until the next meal. But at night its different because I’ve gotta try and get to sleep while thinking about my hunger.

    For a while I just suffered through it, but the last few days its been annoying me, so I just eat like 4 pieces of toast with peanut butter and sometimes even more food after that (its the only time when I ‘fall off the wagon’)

    Thank you!

    Reply
  23. Thank you, Sir! I live in South Australia, I think I have found a good clinic here, but if you happen to know of anybody then I would be happy to meet them. Otherwise, I will go to the other place, they have good reviews. Peace!

    Reply

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