Food is essential as well as water. But healthy living and eating right is more than just consuming food and drinks. There are certain do’s and don’ts one should take note of while planning your diet. Many people have developed very bad and unhealthy after-meal habits, and one of the most difficult thing for anyone to do is to change a habit. Most people have come to accept some of these dangerous habits as normal because its consequences are slow in coming
Don’t drink water immediately after a meal
I know this may come as a shocker. Isn’t water supposed to aid digestion? Is water dangerous? Well, it takes about two hours for food to digest properly. If you take water before your meal then you are not only disturbing the fluid component by diluting what you eat, you are also fastening the digestion process as the food now enters the large intestine much sooner than it should. Hence it is not advisable to have water just before your meal.
Drinking water right after your meals tampers the natural time it takes for your food to digest. This also makes you feel hungrier faster than anticipated and results in overeating and bloating. There should be a 30 minutes interval gap before and after a meal.
Therefore, while it is important to keep yourself hydrated and consume a minimum of two liters of water every day, you must also ensure you follow the right time to gulp down the wonder liquid.
Do Not Smoke
Smokers may be tempted to have an after-dinner cigarette, but resist the urge. Smoking is bad all the time, but smoking after a meal encourages heartburn by relaxing your lower esophageal sphincter. In addition, smoking worsens symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well as ulcerative colitis (a stomach ulcer). Smoking also has a bad effect on colon muscles.
Also read; Common Habits That Can Make You Feel Bloated
Do Not Sleep Immediately
After enjoying a warm dinner, many people are tempted to go to bed right away. However, doing so can be detrimental. Lying down after having a meal can slow down the process of digestion. It may also make you feel bloated and can lead to heartburn. Wait for at least 2 hours before going to the bed. During this time you can engage in other passive activities.
Don’t Drink tea
This is because tea/coffee contains substances that can absorb the essence of your food. Polyphenols and tannins found in tea/coffee can inhibit iron absorption by binding the iron in the foods, which can lead to iron deficiency or anemia. Tea/coffee also has high acidic content which will cause the protein in the food to be hardened and so, difficult to digest. So, for “tea addicts,” drink your tea at least an hour after the meal.
Eat Fruits Before Not After A Meal
Most fruits contain simple sugars hence, they are easily digested and are broken down in the intestine. Because fruits reach the intestines faster that food, eating them within an hour after a meal will make them get stuck in the stomach for longer periods and as such, “spoiling” the food and nullifying the fruits nutritional value. This can also cause bloating and GI distress. And even though, it is almost a normal thing in most homes to serve fruits right after a meal as a dessert, it is not a good thing for the health. The best time to have your fruits is as an appetizer before breakfast. This way, the body can best harness all the nutrients in the fruits and get enough energy that will be put to good use throughout the day.