As medical science advances, researchers are finding more natural means of achieving and supporting health. Chrononutrition, or meal timing, has emerged as a powerful tool for improving health. Isolating and utilizing bioactive compounds, phytochemicals and other food derived substances, to support health is another expanding area of medical science research. In a recent chrononutrition study, published in Food and Function, a journal focused on the relationship between food chemistry, nutrition and health, researchers found that an antioxidant dietary fiber found in spent coffee grounds can impact chronotype and improve sleep quality in young adults.
Building on the knowledge revealed in the field of chronobiology – in simple terms, the study of biological rhythms, such as the circadian rhythm – chrononutrition focuses on the relationship between food timing, nutrition, circadian rhythm, metabolic function and overall health. At any given point of the day or night, there are numerous complex physical processes and chemical interactions going on in the body. The timing of those processes, even down to the processes that take place in individual cells, is regulated by the circadian rhythm.
Chronic circadian rhythm disruption is associated with increased risk of developing a wide range of diseases and chronic health conditions. These include some types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type two diabetes and metabolic system disorders. The circadian rhythm is a fundamental rhythm, an approximately 24-hour cycle mirroring the cycle of day and night. As a species, like all life on Earth, we’ve evolved to this rhythm. Its timing is our timing. The circadian rhythm is an important regulator of metabolic functions.
Chrononutrition provides a science based approach to supporting metabolic function and overall health via meal and nutrient timing. That timing works with and supports the circadian rhythm, focusing on consuming the correct nutrients at the right time of the day. Metabolic health is essential for optimal health. The metabolic system converts food into the energy the body needs to function. The production of hormones at the right time and blood glucose levels are examples of essential metabolic system related processes. When metabolic functions go awry, health problems result. Obesity, type two diabetes and poor cardiovascular health are just a few of the health conditions associated with compromised or poor metabolic system functioning.
Spent Coffee Grounds Impact Chronotype and Sleep Quality
Bioactive compounds have been garnering a lot of research attention in recent years. Studies have shown a connection between biological rhythms and bioactive compound activity. The recent study published in Food and Function adds to the growing body of chrononutrition knowledge and confirms the value of ongoing bioactive compound research.
In the study, the researchers conducted their study using an antioxidant dietary fiber – a bioactive compound – isolated from used coffee grounds that they added to biscuits and fed to their young adult test subjects daily for 21 days. It was discovered that the group of test subjects that received the antioxidant dietary fiber enhanced biscuits enjoyed longer, better quality sleep.
According to the researchers, this set of participants experienced improvements in their circadian rhythm and chronotype – preferred sleep and wake timing – changes. The researchers noted that further research would be necessary to confirm the results of this study and to explore the potentials for other bioactive compounds to be used to promote circadian rhythm health.
A More Natural Approach to Health
Chrononutrition and increased bioactive compound research are important parts of a welcome trend in health care and diet, a shift to a more natural approach to health. Based on solid science targeting the very mechanics of how our bodies work, utilizing the natural biological rhythms that have evolved with our species from its very beginning, chrononutrition promotes better health and helps to prevent disease on multiple levels. Meal timing, with its intermittent fasting – typically overnight – is a successful tool for weight management and promotes metabolic health.
As research continues, we may find that bioactive compounds, more natural than chemically created pharmaceuticals, may provide safer, more effective medicines and treatments with fewer negative side effects. After all, there is a big difference between taking a lab created vitamin C supplement and consuming vitamin C rich foods. The supplement doesn’t have all of the phytochemicals that the whole food does and is not as good as the real thing; sort of like how infant formula makers can’t copy human breast milk. Bioactive compounds like spent coffee grounds have the potential to take modern medicine to the next level.
Time For a Healthier You
Time, it turns out, is an essential element to optimal health and well-being. The timing of your meals, the timing of your sleeping and waking, the timing of your physical activity, they all matter. You can take steps today to improve your health and feel more energetic by improving the timing of your life.
Set a healthy rhythm for living, allowing for sufficient sleep and proper meals at regular times. This promotes circadian rhythm health, healthy metabolic system functioning and helps to protect against disease, helping you to feel better in the short-term and guarding your health over the long-term.