Did You Know?
Digestion begins even before we eat something, because when we see, smell, or even think of some tasty food, the saliva begins to form in our mouth, which is the initial step in digestion.
Habits form our lifestyle, and the lifestyle determines our living -- healthy or unhealthy. Habits are plenty in number, and they vary from one individual to another with respect to time and manner. While bad habits are bad at all times, some good ones may also become harmful in particular situations. The intention here is not to scare you about your habits, but to make you aware about certain things that never go well with certain situations. This brings us to our main point, i.e., what should not be done after eating. Our digestive system is strong enough to take in whatever we eat and digest it properly, absorbing all the essential nutrients, but at the same time, it is also pretty sensitive and cannot perform its function if obstructed by anything. Hence, here are a few things that should be avoided when you finish your meal.
Things to Avoid Immediately After Eating
*Please Note: People with a sensitive stomach are more susceptible to the things mentioned in the following sections than others.
Brushing Your Teeth
I agree to the fact that brushing your teeth before bedtime is a must in a healthy routine. However, brushing your teeth right after dinner, or after every meal for that matter, is extremely harmful for your teeth. Brushing after eating will scrub away the layers of enamel on the teeth. Furthermore, when you eat or drink acidic foodstuff, or those with a lot of sugar, it's even more dangerous. To protect the teeth enamel, wait for at least 30 minutes, and allow the mouth to produce sufficient saliva to neutralize the acidity of the food that soften the tooth enamel.
Drinking Too Much Water
It is true that a person should drink 8 glasses of water every day to stay healthy. However, gulping it down right after eating something, or even during meals may disrupt digestion. Too much water after or during the meal might interfere with the natural levels of acid and bile that are essential for proper digestion. Furthermore, drinking cold water might slow down digestion and cause cramping in sensitive people. Try to resist drinking water for at least an hour after a meal, and avoid drinking it while eating.
Digestion requires a large amount of blood and more blood is concentrated in the digestive tract. Consequently, the brain is temporarily deprived of sufficient blood, resulting in lack of concentration. Also, because of satiation you tend to feel sleepy, and driving with sleepy eyes is never safe. Hence, don't force yourself to drive soon after you've had a meal. Take a break, let the body perform its natural functions, and after an hour or two, think of driving.
Going for a Walk
Although walking a hundred steps after eating is healthy, doing it immediately after a meal is not. Doing so will make it difficult for the digestive system to absorb the nutrients from the food. Furthermore, the blood will flow towards other organs, like legs, hands, etc., which will leave the digestive tract with an insufficient amount of blood flow that is needed for proper digestion. Also, some people might feel dizzy or nauseated if they walk soon after consuming food.
Going to bed right after taking a meal will lead to improper digestion and several other gastrointestinal problems. The sphincter that is above the stomach will open up and allow the acid to run back into the esophagus and damage it. Furthermore, such a habit will also make you gain more weight. Hence, wait for an hour or two, and then take a nap.
Smoking is bad for health at all times and so is it after a meal. The blood circulation in the digestive tract after eating is on the rise and several harmful cigarette ingredients are absorbed during this period, which cause damage to the important organs, like the liver, brain, and blood vessels.
Many of us have this habit of taking a sip of tea just after lunch or dinner. However, ensure that you get rid of this habit as early as possible because it's really unhealthy. The tea leaves contain a very high amount of acid that obstructs the protein content in the food from getting digested. The best time to consume tea is at least one hour after eating.
Taking a Bath
If you take a bath after eating, the blood flow towards hands, legs, and body increases. Thus, the amount of blood will decrease around the stomach area, thereby weakening the digestive system and causing slow digestion. Therefore, either take a shower before your meal, or wait for at least 1-2 hours till the consumed food is digested.
After we eat, all the blood flow and the organs involved in the process are concentrated for the process of digestion. If you exercise after eating, it will affect the body's metabolism by decreasing the blood flow and causing difficulty in digesting the nutrients from the food. Wait for at least 2-3 hours after eating, and then begin with your workout.
Consuming fruits at any time during the day is good except consuming them immediately after a meal. Eating fruits right after your meal may fill the stomach with air and cause bloating. They will also take time to reach the digestive tract, disturbing the entire process of digestion. To prevent your stomach from indigestion and other digestive problems, plan your consumption of fruits before or after 1-2 hours of a meal.
If you avoid doing all the above-said things after eating, it will definitely make your digestion easy, and you will probably be at a lower risk of any digestive problems. Give ample time to your body to adjust to the changes that you are making in the daily routine, and see the difference.