Sweet, colorful, and a favourite fruit of many, you can’t go wrong with eating mango. They’re not just tasty too. Eating mango before bed can help you sleep and give you a number of health benefits as well. We explain how, right here.
Eating mango before bed: The surprising sleep aid
Although eaten around the globe for generations, it’s only recently that we’re discovering that eating mango at night may actually benefit sleep.
That’s because mango is a great source of tryptophan – an essential amino acid that we don’t produce naturally, and which we must obtain through diet. Supplementing with this amino acid appears to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep as tryptophan helps your body produce an important sleep hormone called melatonin.
Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and is so important to our sleep health that often individuals who are struggling to sleep – or have been diagnosed with insomnia – are prescribed melatonin. Therefore eating mango before bed could be a great way to top up your natural melatonin levels at the right time.
Tryptophan also helps your body produce serotonin – a hormone that helps with our mood, well-being and happiness. Serotonin has a role to play in inducing sleep, and is needed in order for the body to produce that all-important sleep hormone – melatonin!
It doesn’t end there either. Mango is packed with folate – also known as Vitamin B9. Why’s that notable? Well folate tends to be low in individuals that suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders, so topping up folate levels by eating mango could help sleep quality.
Eating mango before bed could help sleep quality and onset due to the presence of tryptophan – which helps produce the sleep hormone melatonin – as well as folate. All of which have been shown to have a positive effect on sleep.
Eating mango at night: What are the HEALTH benefits?
This remarkable fruit is also an anti-inflammatory, and is loaded with antioxidants. Both are crucial to keeping your health in check, and can even reverse damage done to your body.
The anti-inflammatory nature of mango has been studied before, and is important to note as many major diseases like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are often linked to chronic inflammation. Therefore incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet – like mango or walnuts – is a no-brainer.
Mango is also a great source of antioxidants. That’s important as antioxidants appear to have a direct effect on sleep quality, as they support the immune system and help promote restfulness at night.
Antioxidant foods also help protect your body and can even reverse damage that has been done by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress comes about when there’s an imbalance between free radical molecules (which can cause harm) and antioxidants – that imbalance then causes illness and tissue damage. The result can be the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and many others. Therefore eating antioxidant foods – like mango or grapes – should be a priority.
The science has been backed up too. Lab studies have shown that mango can stop or even prevent certain types of cancer, another study concluded that consuming mango helped nutrient uptake, and could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Mango has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Because of that, several studies have shown mango to have a positive effect on health, potentially protect against disease, and boost the immune system.
Mango for sleep and overall health: Incorporating it into your diet
Mango can be found in shops and supermarkets around the world. They are delicious and can be eaten in their natural form, and so are easy to incorporate into your diet.
There are many different ways to incorporate mango into your diet too. You can use them as a topping for yoghurt, as part of a fruit salad, in a salsa, or even roasted!
Eating mango before bed: What about side effects?
If you don’t have a mango allergy then moderate consumption of mango shouldn’t cause any side effects. However eating mango in excess could lead to side effects like bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and vomiting.
As always, we recommend consulting with your doctor if undertaking a diet change, or if you have concerns about how a specific food may interact with any preexisting conditions or medicines.