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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2024, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (2): 115-125.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2024.02.002

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Chrononutrition in traditional European medicine—ideal meal timing for cardiometabolic health promotion

Nora Selena Eberli, Ludivine Colas, Anne Gimalac   

  1. Department of Traditional European Medicine, Navi Institute of Research in Integrative Health, Ecole Professionnelle Supérieure de Naturopathie, Centre André Henzelin, 1066 Epalinges, Switzerland
  • Received:2023-08-02 Accepted:2024-02-01 Online:2024-03-31 Published:2024-03-01
  • Contact: Nora Selena Eberli; E-mail address:

Meal timing plays a crucial role for cardiometabolic health, given the circadian regulation of cardiometabolic function. However, to the best of our knowledge, no concept of meal timing exists in traditional European medicine (TEM). Therefore, in this narrative review, we aim to define the optimal time slot for energy intake and optimal energy distribution throughout the day in a context of TEM and explore further implications. By reviewing literature published between 2002 and 2022, we found that optimal timing for energy intake may be between 06:00 and 09:00, 12:00 and 14:00, and between 15:00 and 18:00, with high energy breakfast, medium energy lunch and low energy dinner and possibly further adjustments according to one’s chronotype and genetics. Also, timing and distribution of energy intake may serve as a novel therapeutic strategy to optimize coction, a concept describing digestion and metabolism in TEM.

Key words: Circadian rhythm, Chrononutrition, Naturopathy, Traditional European medicine, Metabolic syndrome, Meal timing

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