Throughout our lives, we do certain things out of our habit. We perform these habits without even thinking twice about their consequences on our body.
Have you ever thought about the probable reasons behind your chronic digestive or metabolic disorders?
You will be shocked to know how your activities post-meal affect your health negatively.
Often, our elders tell us not to do certain things immediately after eating. For e.g. sleeping, drinking water, doing exercise and many more. But, we hardly listen to them.
Here, we have tried to list down some of the most important Do’s and Don’ts to follow after your food. If followed properly, these correct habits will help you in keeping your body function’s smooth.
9 Things you should not do after a full meal
1. Sleeping after having your meal
Many of us are found guilty of this habit irrespective of our age. As soon as you finish your dinner you must be feeling goaded to rush to your bed. Well, that can be a cause for many health issues in later days.
Lying down immediately after eating triggers our digestive juices to flow in the opposite direction and after a point, it leads to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder. In this disorder, you feel a burning sensation in your throat. It happens when the gastric juices travel up towards your throat and corrode the inner lining of your food pipe.
You should take your meals at least 2 hours before going to bed.
2. Drinking Tea & Coffee after your food
You may be a tea or a coffee buff and might have tasted a variety of brands in both the beverages. But, sipping in steaming cup of tea or coffee immediately after your food can lead to serious health hazards.
Tea contains tannins and polyphenols that inhibit the absorption of protein and absorption of iron (contained in food) by almost 87%. Also, Coffee is a home to various anti-oxidants which inhibits absorption of iron, zinc, calcium & magnesium in your body.
If you have a tea or coffee drinking habit after the meal, you may develop anemia due to deficiency of iron in the blood. The symptoms for deficiency of iron in blood are appetite, fatigue, cold feet, and dizziness.
There must be a gap of at least an hour between your meal and your tea session. Else, as an alternative, you can have a cup of green tea just after your meal.
3. Taking Shower after your dinner
Taking shower after a full meal is one of the negative habits most of us are nurturing for years. A refreshing shower at the end of the day may relieve you from stress or cleanse your skin from dirt and sweat. But, it may also cause long-term disorders in your digestion.
If you take shower after the meal, your blood circulation reduces in the stomach due to the release of heat from the surface of your skin. As a result, your digestive system becomes weak and after some days or months, you start developing stomach pain.
To avoid such complications, you should wait for at least 30 minutes to take a bath after your food.
4. Doing heavy Physical activity
Every day, while going to your office, do you always rush towards the bus stop immediately after a heavy breakfast? Have you ever thought how it damages your digestive system in the long run?
When you do heavy work after a full meal, your body temperature rises and it hinders digestion. Being into this habit for a long time may cause acid reflux, nausea, and even stomach pain.
Attending a meeting, reading your favorite book, talking to someone over the phone or doing some light activity could be your options post meal.
5. Eating fruits after the meal
Eating fruits after a full meal leads to partial digestion of the fruits and your body is deprived of the nutrients from them. Also, you may have heartburn or indigestion if you eat fruits after meal.
Fruits are easily digestible, they take very short time to reach your intestines from your stomach. They need enzymes for their digestion.
If you eat fruits after the meal, they get stuck midway and are not digested properly.
The best time for eating fruits is in the morning in an empty stomach. You can also have fruits in the form of salad as an evening snack.
6. Smoking is dangerous
Are you into the habit of smoking since your early twenties?
Well, it’s time for you to know about it affects on your health if you have been smoking immediately after your meal.
Some research studies suggest that during digestion nicotine in a cigarette tends to bind with the oxygen and gets absorbed easily. You are more at risk of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis.
The best advice is to stay away from smoking at any time. If it’s absolutely impossible for you to quit this habit at an instant, wait for at least 2-3 hours after your meal.
7. Putting on tight clothes
You must have had to wear your skinny pair of jeans or a muffin top many a time that you have bought recently and you just cannot wait to flaunt your dress code to your colleagues. Now, the problem is your abdomen and waist which almost sticks out of your jeans.
Tight fit clothes put pressure on your abdomen causing heartburn or other discomforts. It also hampers your digestion.
Try wearing loose fit clothes while eating as it enables easy digestion and better sleep.
8. Loosening your belts
This is an old habit most of us could be found guilty with. It is found commonly among men while attending an informal gathering. However, loosening your belt while eating does not cause any digestive problem. But, due to this habit, you tend to over-eat which in turn results in weight gain.
While eating, you should wear a normal fit garment which neither causes discomfort to your abdomen nor should you make your belt lose to fill up your stomach with more food.
9. Do you drink cold water after meals?
Water is life! It is very important for maintaining our body functions. By drinking water, we mean water in its normal temperature and state. But, if taken immediately after the meal, the water (normal or cold) can cause a disturbance in the digestion process.
Drinking water right after your meal may cause bloating and indigestion. Due to excess intake of water, enzymes needed for digestion gets diluted. And, the dilution of enzymes and gastric juice will lead to indigestion.
It is always recommended to drink lukewarm water after your meals.
Now, at least you have an idea about what not do after your meal. These habits will have a big impact on your body in a long run. We have made your life a bit easier by listing down the things you can do to make your body’s digestion smooth.
Things you must do while & after eating
1. Sitting for mindful eating
Mindful eating means using all your five senses while eating. According to food specialists and health experts, mindful eating can give you the best benefits from your food. In short, you should enjoy your food while eating them.
It can only be possible if you take the time to eat your food. The best posture for having your meal is sitting. Sitting on a chair and focusing on your food without the distraction of a television or laptop will give you the best benefits of having a meal.
2. Yoga after dinner
There are various yoga poses which you can practice regularly post-dinner for improving your digestion.
As we take food, our body secretes digestive enzymes for breaking down the food particles. Doing some micro yoga asanas that are related to stretching with our torso accelerates our digestion.
You can improve your digestion by doing Vajrasana yoga after your food. The Vajrasana yoga is highly effective in improving digestion. The other asanas which you can try after consulting your health expert are Gomukhasana and ArdhaChandrasana.
3. 10 minutes’ walk
A 10-15 minutes’ walk after your meal can really work wonder in your digestion.
Going for a walk outside, in your lawn or garden every day after lunch or dinner (preferably). Your blood sugar level will also be controlled due to adequate secretion of insulin.
Walking boosts your digestion by the digestive organs flexible. The fresh air outside calms down your mind and triggers your metabolism indirectly.
4. Include Probiotic in your meal
If you are having a delicious platter whether at home or outside, don’t forget to include a cup of probiotic in your menu.
Probiotics are micro-organisms that help in digesting your food when they enter your body. A cup of yogurt at the end of your meal can work more than digestive tablets or antacids.
You can prepare a bowl of salad with freshly cut fruits or veggies or boiled chicken and mix it with a cup of yogurt for your lunch or dinner. For taste, season it with black pepper and fresh herbs.
5. Next meal plan
Holidays are the time when we usually take our diet and restrictions a little easy and often end up eating more at lunch. In such cases plan your next meal tactfully.
Don’t worry if you have eaten too much of calories in any of your meals. Plan your next meal tactfully. But, that doesn’t mean you will go on a fast or skip a meal. It is more dangerous as it can goad you for eating more due to hunger.
You can make your platter with lots of fiber, protein, vitamins, and fluid.
The Monk’s Advice
Our elders have always taught us, that a healthy lifestyle is a key to good health. For maintaining a healthy lifestyle we have given above a list of things that can improve your metabolism and keep your health in a sound condition.
Choose the best advice from the list according to your lifestyle and work on them from today onwards. It may be a little difficult in the beginning to come out of your age-old habits but it will be worth your try!