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Eating Right – 10 Things You Should Avoid After A Meal

by | Health & Wellness

Jun 14, 2020

Having a delicious meal is always a pleasant experience. Taking in the right nourishment before your day’s activity can help you be efficient. After a full meal, it is natural to feel sleepy, especially after a large meal. 

Some smokers like to go for a puff immediately after a meal. Others want to have a cup of tea or coffee immediately, thinking it will help them digest the food. 

Many of these habits do you more harm than good. So, you need to know what activities you should avoid in order for you to get maximum nutritional benefits after a meal. 

1. Sleep

Sleep plays an indispensable role in our lives as a human. However, going to bed after a meal can lead to bloating, discomfort, and sleeping disorder. 

Sleeping immediately after a meal doesn’t allow your body the chance to burn calories. Eating a big meal and hitting the couch is twice as harmful as a regular snack. 

Suggestions: Try to avoid going to bed immediately after eating a meal. Better still, try not to eat just before your bedtime.

Many nutritionists advise that it is best to wait about three hours between your last meal of the day before you go to bed. It helps digestion to transpire.

2. Smoke 

Smoking a single wrap of cigarette amounts after a meal is equivalent to smoking five wraps of cigarettes or more. This can increase the risk of colon cancer.  

Suggestions: The digestive system works on the whole body after a meal. It is very active; the nicotine from the cigarette mixes with the oxygen in the blood. 

As a result, the intestine and other internal organs are most likely to be affected due to the outburst of free radicals released due to smoking after a meal. Therefore, steer clear from cigarettes after eating.

3. Drinking of tea and coffee 

These beverages are important when consumed at some specific times and in limited amounts.

Caffeine can act as a laxative and can boost your metabolism. For this reason, caffeine causes contractions in the colon in some people not long after eating.

Drinking tea immediately after a meal is likely to interfere with the body’s absorption because tea contains a high source of tannins, a compound that can hinder iron absorption. 

Suggestion: Instead, drink water. Water is known to aid easy digestion and keep the body in dehydration. According to experts, ladies should drink a minimum of 2.2 liters of water and men 3 liters of water every day. 

Most nutritionists suggest that tea should be consumed at least one hour after or before any meal if you must have tea. 

4. Shower 

Taking a bath after food increases blood flow to every part of the human body, leaving the stomach behind. 

The blood around the stomach flows to other parts of the body during a shower which is bad for digestion. Hence, it leads to problems of indigestions. 

Suggestions: Waiting 30 minutes after a meal before hitting the shower is the best suggestion, but there aren’t any analyses available to suggest an actual timeline. 

5. Citrus fruits 

Different foods digest at different paces. Eating citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits after a meal may cause indigestion and flatulence for someone who has diabetes or acidic digestive-related problems.

Citrus fruits cause an upset stomach because of their acidic content if you eat them right after a meal. 

Suggestion: Citrus fruits have many compounds that help keep your heart healthy. Therefore, eat them first. An hour before a meal or two after a meal is considered ideal for someone who has diabetes or acidic digestive-related problems. 

6. Loosen the belt 

A considerable amount of experts suggest that you don’t need to loosen your belt after a meal; don’t loosen the belt. However, when the need arises, it’s an indication that you have eaten more than necessary, which is a real sense, is bad for your well-being. 

7. Drinking chilled water 

If you drink cold water after a meal, the chilled water temperature will solidify the fats from the foods you have just eaten. Hence, it becomes tough for your body to break down unwanted fats in the food you just consumed. 

Gulping chilled water, especially after meals, results in excess mucus build-up, which forms a protective layer on the respiratory tract. 

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However, when the respiratory tract gets congested, it becomes vulnerable to inflammatory infections. 

Suggestion: Experts highly advise against drinking chilled water no matter how hot the weather gets. It disturbs the normal functioning of the gastric juices and upsets the balance of doshas. 

On the other hand, warm water does the exact opposite as it aids digestion, blends into the body, and help heal any soreness in the throat. 

8. Walking 

Many people suggest that as soon as you finish a meal, the best option is to go for a bit of a walk.

It will be best to wait at least 10 – 15 minutes after a meal before taking a walk. It will help clear your mind after dinner, which is also helpful for managing blood glucose or blood sugar levels.

Eating an early dinner allows your body time to burn off calories before going to sleep. Your body gains weight when you take in more calories than you burn off.

Hence, studies show that going for a walk after a meal can result in an upset stomach, indigestion, and diarrhea.

9. Gym session

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You should avoid going to the gym right off after a meal. Heading to a gym and doing exercises is a great option that helps you be in shape and look awesome. 

However, make it a habit to wait for an hour or two after a meal before starting a strenuous workout. 

The body needs time to digest the food, which requires energy and increase blood flow towards the stomach 

10. Brushing your teeth

I know you would say that it is important to brush your teeth after eating. True. It is vital for dental health. However, it is not the same for all kinds of consumables. 

If you eat acidic food, it is recommended that you wait about 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. 

Consumables with acidic content like orange, grapefruits, and lemons can soften tooth enamel for a time, and brushing after eating them can damage the enamel due to its weakened state.

I hope you find our suggestions on things to avoid after a meal beneficial.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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By Daniels Nanna

Nanna Daniels is a legal practitioner and writer. His practice as a lawyer and a writer is as diverse as his client base. His client ranges from government bodies to banks, private companies in real estate, energy companies, telecommunications to small businesses, families, and individuals. He is a passionate and diligent analyst of family, sports and business concepts, providing in-depth knowledge and analysis. He has covered topics ranging from family, parenting to entrepreneurship.

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