Yogurt is one of the most popular fermented dairy products worldwide, and it has numerous health benefits other than its basic nutrition. In general, yogurt is considered a nutrition-dense food due to its nutrient profile and is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and many more nutrients. In addition, it provides proteins with a higher biological value and almost all the essential nutrients needed to maintain good health.
Moreover, yogurt has other health benefits, including its ability to strengthen your immune system by increasing cytokine and antibody production. Additionally, since yogurt is a probiotic carrier food, it can deliver significant amounts of probiotic bacteria into the body. Furthermore, this bacteria is referred to as “good bacteria,” as it can give our bodies specific health benefits such as reducing stress levels.
Yogurt can also help you if you’re following a strict diet to lose weight since it can provide your body with more calcium, which helps control your body weight. Because of these health benefits of yogurt, the demand for yogurt and yogurt-related products has become the fastest-growing dairy category in the global market.
Therefore, yogurts are now being manufactured in numerous styles and varieties with different fat contents, flavors, and textures. Moreover, yogurts are available for different meal occasions and plates, such as snacks, desserts, and sweet or savory food.
Benefits of Eating Yogurt Before Bed
Rich In Essential Nutrients
Yogurt is known to have so many vital nutrients as it is an excellent source of high-quality proteins, digestible carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. Moreover, it is quite fascinating to have all of those nutrients in one small cup of yogurt. The typical serving size for yogurt is equivalent to 170–175 g, although serving sizes may vary from country to country.
According to one study, an average 170 g portion of popular low-fat fruit-flavored yogurt gives our bodies about 6% potassium and magnesium, 20–24% calcium, 26% phosphorus, and 30% of vitamin B12. Furthermore, it is highlighted in the same study that many national health agencies promote yogurt as a viable option to get the essential nutrients in one daily serving.
Furthermore, Health Canada includes yogurt in its dairy and alternative food groups in the Canadian Food Guide. Also, the USDA recommends the consumption of yogurt to help Americans achieve the recommended intake of essential nutrients. Thus, it is ideal to consume yogurt a while before bedtime to maximize your nutrient intake at the end of your day.
Strengthens Immune System
Our immune system is an important contributor to diseases and illnesses, it helps us combat illnesses and improve our physical well-being. There have been several studies conducted that indicate that yogurt consumption can enhance and strengthen our immune system. Furthermore, this is a result of yogurt’s ability to increase cytokine and antibody production.
In one study, 33 male and female students between the ages of 22 and 29, consumed 100 g then 200 g of yogurt for four weeks. The research aimed to see the effects of eating yogurt on the students’ immune systems. Moreover, the study found that there was an increase in the stimulated production of proinflammatory cytokine which is responsible for combating illnesses and infections.
Additionally, the study observed a higher resistance against some common infectious diseases due to the participants consuming yogurt daily. Therefore, individuals who consume yogurt daily can have a much stronger immune system and more active infection-fighting cells. Thus, you should eat yogurt before bedtime if you feel tired or sick to feel better the next day.
It Can Reduce Stress Levels
One of the most intriguing facts about yogurt consumption is that it has the ability to reduce your stress levels. This is because of the presence of probiotics in yogurt, which can help in relieving stress by reducing activity in the insula. Moreover, the insula is a part of our brains that contributes to the perception of sensations associated with danger or threat.
One study was conducted with a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial to measure the levels of two stress-induced hormones, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol. Moreover, the participants were divided into two groups (109 placebo subjects and 115 test subjects) and were given 100 g of yogurt daily for 12 weeks. The yogurt contained two probiotics, Lactobacillus Gasseri, and Bifidobacterium Longum to efficiently observe the effects of the yogurt on stress levels.
It was concluded that the participants’ serum ACTH levels were significantly decreased by yogurt consumption and a reduction of cortisol in saliva was seen in the test subjects. Furthermore, the results suggest that yogurt consumption has the ability to improve your health by alleviating stress, making it ideal to consume before bedtime.
Yogurt can be a great addition to your diet, although some people often cut down on the consumption of milk and dairy products to lose weight. However, there is little evidence to support the idea that the consumption of dairy products such as yogurt can lead to excess weight gain. On the contrary, there is numerous evidence that suggests cutting down on yogurt in your diet can be counterproductive.
In one study, 34 healthy but obese women participated in the research, with one group receiving 1100 mg of calcium/day in the form of 3 servings of fat-free yogurt and another group receiving 500 mg of calcium/day. Furthermore, at the end of the study the yogurt group lost about 22% weight (average loss of 13 pounds), 61% body fat, and 81% truncal fat that the other group who did not consume yogurt.
Furthermore, the results indicate that the calcium in the yogurt helps in weight and fat loss, as well as calorie restriction. Moreover, it indicates that yogurt consumption has a greater effect compared to an equivalent amount of supplemental calcium. Thus, you can add yogurt to your diet as it may make an important contribution to your ability to control your body weight.
Side Effects of Eating Yogurt Before Bed
Might Impair Your Digestive System
Overall, eating yogurt before bed will not cause major damage or give you severe adverse effects. However, if you already suffer from a weak digestive system, you should avoid yogurt consumption as it might trigger some negative effects.
One article found that people with digestive problems such as acidity, acid reflux, or indigestion should avoid yogurt consumption before bedtime. Moreover, the article quoted Dr. Komal Malik, who is the head clinical nutritionist at Max Smart Hospital, Delhi. Furthermore, he stated that eating yogurt at night could cause constipation when your digestive system is already weak, especially consuming excessive amounts.
Therefore, if your digestive system is already weak and might not be able to properly digest dairy products such as yogurt without negative effects, it is best to avoid them.
Great Midnight Snack Recipe Ideas With Yogurt
#1 Yogurt Chia Pudding
This recipe is ideal for a midnight snack and can even be considered a healthy dessert. Moreover, it recipe is very simple and easy to make, this parfait is layered with vanilla yogurt, chia pudding, and fresh berries for one tasty bite. You can use full-fat yogurt and add your favorite fruit such as fresh blueberries, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, and mango are all great choices.
#2 Frozen Yogurt Bark
This healthy frozen yogurt bark is topped with blueberries, strawberries, and granola, making it very healthy for you and an ideal snack. You can use fresh strawberries and blueberries to add a pop of color and a sweet taste while getting some healthy fruits in your diet such as mango or kiwi. Additionally, it includes granola which can be either homemade or store-bought or you can skip it and just add something crunchy like nuts, seeds, or even chocolate chips!
The consumption of yogurt is very essential as it can help us maintain a healthier lifestyle and provide us with several health benefits. Also, it is actually endorsed by health agencies in Canada and in the US to be consumed regularly because of those benefits.
Furthermore, the benefits of yogurt consumption include providing us with essential nutrients because it is very rich in high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, and more. In addition, yogurt consumption can help increase cytokine production which helps strengthen our immune system by increasing the activity of infection-fighting cells.
Also, yogurt consumption can reduce our stress levels due to the presence of probiotics in yogurt. In addition, it can be a great snack to help control our weight as it is rich in calcium which helps in weight and fat loss, as well as calorie restriction.
However, there are negative effects that can occur due to excess consumption of yogurt before bedtime, which include constipation. This might occur if you already have a weak or impaired digestive system, which would get worse if you consumed yogurt excessively.
Yogurt Before Bed FAQs
When Is the Best Time to Eat Yogurt?
Yogurt is a dairy product that is essential to promote digestive health. Moreover, it is recommended to eat yogurt early in the morning or late at night a few hours before bedtime. You can eat yogurt at any time but it is advised to eat it on an empty stomach. This is because the probiotics can easily reach the large intestine when yogurt is consumed on an empty stomach.
How Much Yogurt Before Bed Should I Eat?
It is ideally recommended not to consume too much yogurt, especially before bedtime, so one cup of yogurt which is around 245 grams should be enough. This is ideal because the amount of calcium in the yogurt is sufficient enough to help your brain use the tryptophan found in yogurt to produce melatonin. Moreover, melatonin is a hormone that induces sleep, and eating a small cup of yogurt can help relax your gut and help you sleep.
Does Eating Yogurt Before Bed Affect Your Sleep?
Eating yogurt before bed can affect your sleep in a positive way, it can put you to sleep faster. This is because yogurt contains tryptophan, which is a sleep-inducing chemical that can put you to sleep. Moreover, because yogurt is easy to digest if you have lactose sensitivity this could be an ideal snack for your gut. Additionally, yogurt can affect your sleep because it’s such a rich source of protein, thus can help you avoid a glucose spike that would make you feel alert.
- Fernandez, M. A., Picard-Deland, É., Le Barz, M., Daniel, N., & Marette, A. (2017). Yogurt and health. In Fermented foods in health and disease prevention (pp. 305-338). Academic Press.
- Meyer, A. L., Elmadfa, I., Herbacek, I., & Micksche, M. (2007). Probiotic, as well as conventional yogurt, can enhance the stimulated production of proinflammatory cytokines. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 20(6), 590-598.
- Nishihira, J., Kagami-Katsuyama, H., Tanaka, A., Nishimura, M., Kobayashi, T., & Kawasaki, Y. (2014). Elevation of natural killer cell activity and alleviation of mental stress by the consumption of yogurt containing Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 and Bifidobacterium longum SBT2928 in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Functional Foods, 11, 261-268.
- Zemel, M. B. (2003). Role of dietary calcium and dairy products in modulating adiposity. Lipids, 38(2), 139-146.
- Should you eat yoghurt just before bed?. Hindustan Times. (2020).
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