To ensure good health, one needs to exercise discipline when it comes to their meal timings and habits. Improper digestion can lead to a host of health issues, which is why knowing what to eat and consuming the food mindfully — while also being aware of just how much to eat — is crucial.
According to Nidhi Sharma, the founder at Half Life to Health — an online nutrition and fitness platform — it is also important to know some dos and don’ts before and after a meal so that one can meet their nutrition goals.
“It is common to make mistakes, and one may not realise they are actually unhealthy practices. Many people have a set of adopted practices with respect to food, but now is the right time to unlearn those unhealthy practices,” she says.
The expert mentions the following things that must be avoided after having a meal; read on.
* Avoid taking a shower immediately: Post meal, blood surrounds the stomach to help with digestion and when you take a bath, the body temperature changes. To bring the body back to its original temperature the blood diverts to the skin surface from the stomach surface leading to impaired and slow digestion.
* Avoid exercising: Vigorous exercise right after a meal can disrupt the digestion process. It may cause nausea, stomach/abdominal pain and lead to vomiting, causing acid reflux.
* Avoid sleeping or taking a nap: The urge to lie down after a meal is quite common. This causes the digestive juices to rise up, causing severe heartburns; a person may wake up feeling full after a meal.
* Avoid drinking a lot of water: It slows down the digestion process. Drinking excess water dilutes the stomach acid and impairs digestion. Most Indian meals contain enough fluid in the form of gravies, dals, sambhar, chaas, etc. The salads have high water content, too.
* Avoid activities that involve bending forward; it can cause acid reflux.
* Avoid eating fruits post a meal, as it can reduce the absorption of nutrients from the fruit.
* Avoid drinking tea/coffee: They contain some phenolic compounds that interfere with absorption of certain nutrients like iron from the meal.
* Avoid alcohol consumption or smoking: Though they are harmful for the body, having them after a meal increases health risks.
According to the expert, these are the activities that one can do after a meal:
– Keeping yourself mobile, but without doing anything intense. It’s important to be active, but not overdo it.
– Consuming half-a-cup of warm water to break down food and digest it. It can especially help people with digestion issues or if they are having meals very late.