When you think about eating better, what comes to mind? Adding servings of fruits and vegetables to your lunches and dinners? Cutting down on processed foods? Consuming more locally grown produce?
What if by doing something as small as adjusting your mealtimes, you could re-set your body clock and improve your health?
Because adjusting one specific factor — when we eat — could improve our lives just as much as changing what we eat. Much the same way that we should eat a healthy meal every day, we should also eat it when our body expects it.
Our bodies run on a 24-hour clock — right down to our cells. Pretty much anything that you would get tested at the doctor’s office has a circadian rhythm. For instance, your heart rate and blood pressure naturally rise in the afternoon and are lowest while you sleep. This rhythm helps us be alert when we wake up, it has our digestive system ready to process food when we eat, and it helps our organs rest and repair while we sleep.
In our busy and highly stimulated world, our circadian rhythm could use some assistance. The two biggest cues you can give your body to tell it the time of day are light and food.
– eat to wake up, don’t skip breakfast and eat really late and over hungry (you’ll also grab for almost anything so healthier choices don’t even figure)
– get the first light on your skin and in your eyes. Maybe on your face, no sunnies. Just to say ‘good morning body, time to kick ass today’
– the same for lunch and dinner. Not too late and over hungry or over full for your rest and repair in sleeping. Digestive rest is as important as good choices and timing can be the clinch pin!
Evolutionarily, light and food were very reliable cues to know the time of day. But in modern society, they’re both available around the clock. This can lead to circadian disruption and impaired health follows.
When you eat can be just as important as what you eat.