When it comes to eating at night, almost everybody has a same advice – ‘keep it light.’ However, if you ask them what kind of foods you should or should not be having, not many are sure of what they should really be including and are only operating on hearsay. Well, they are not to be fully blamed either. With the overwhelming presence of food myths around, it is natural for people to be confused. While some of these food myths could be absolutely baseless, some of these may have a deep-rooted logic behind them too. For instance, avoiding sour foods at night. Sorry curd lovers, but you may want to hear this out.
The most common reason cited against the favour of sour foods is that these foods are acidic in nature. Eating sour foods just before lying down may cause acidity. It is also said that sour food may aggravate cold and cough.
Eating sour foods at night may come in way of your weight loss goals too. According to the book, ‘101 Weight Loss Tips’ by Dr. Shikha Sharma, “sour food like vinegar, sambhar, kadhi, hot and sour soup taken at night cause water retention.”
Ayurveda suggests many compatible and incompatible food combinations for a particular time. According to Ayurvedic dietary habits, sour foods are best left avoided, especially during the night. As per Ayurveda, there are three fundamental doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and good health is considered to be a perfect state of balance of between these three doshas. Ayurveda expert Dr. Dhanvantri Tyagi says, “sour foods are not recommended during the night because they may aggravate your vata dosh.”
He explains, “during the sandhya kaal, which is basically, all of your evening until 11-11:30 pm, the vayu is one the upside. While the vayu kaal is on the upside, eating sour food may only aggravate the vata dosha. Hence, according to Ayurveda it is best to avoid sour foods during the night, to maintain the balance of doshas.”
An aggravated vata dosha, induced by eating sour foods at night, may also intensify cold and cough and lead to thickened mucus in the nasal passage. It can also lead to weakness and fatigue.
Be it sour, sweet or salty, nutritionists around the world advice against eating anything too close to bed, as it may interfere with your usual digestion process. When you eat too close to your sleeping time, you are provided with a sudden surge of energy, which is actually not required by your body at that time. It is the time to power down. The energy hike would prevent you from sleeping and give you a restless night.
Therefore, eat your sour delights, but just make sure they aren’t too late in the evening and definitely not immediately before your bedtime.