There are things we should not do immediately after meals if we cherish our health. Some habits are dangerous and can impact our health negatively.
Our diet and lifestyle play a huge role in the state of our heath and this includes what we do after a meal.
In this post, I will be giving a list of destructive habits to avoid immediately after meals and reasons why you shouldn’t do them.
8 Things To Avoid Immediately After Meals
1. Don’t drink water immediately after meals
Drink water 30 minutes before you eat and not after meals. This will prevent over-eating, make you eat less, and allow your digestive juices and enzymes to do their work.
But when you eat meals and take water during meals or immediately after meals, you dilute your digestive juices and digestion becomes inefficient.
It will also dilute your digestive enzymes and make it more difficult for your body to absorb all the nutrients from your food. So, take water 30 minutes before meals or 1 hour after meals.
If you are choking, just sip a little water to help you but don’t drink a large quantity of water during meals.
Also, avoid alcohol before eating as it slows down digestion and burn food less efficiently. However, you can take green vegetable juices and smoothies with your meals because these are liquid foods.
2. Don’t go to bed immediately after meals
Eating and going straight to bed is not a healthy habit. Even though you feel sleepy after a meal, try and take a walk. If you go to bed immediately after eating, your food won’t be well digested.
You will end up feeling full after a nap because your food was not well digested. The human body digests food well when in an upright position (vertical) and not horizontal.
Also, sleeping can make the digestive juices flow from your stomach into your esophagus. This can cause burning in the inner layer of your esophagus.
You should only sleep when your food is digested. Take your dinner three hours before bedtime. Your dinner should be your lightest meal of the day. Studies have shown us many dangers of eating and going straight to bed.
This one here Links eating and going to bed with strokes. The researchers noticed that it increases one’s risks of stroke by 66%. If you wait 20 minutes after a meal before going to bed, you reduce your risks of stroke by 10%, the longer you wait, the lower your risks of stroke.
The benefits of sleep are even amplified when we sleep on an empty stomach.
3. Don’t drink tea after meals
Teas are acidic in nature and taking them after meals can affect your digestion. It will make digestion very slow and this, in turn, can cause bloating and other discomforts.
Tea also inhibits the absorption of iron.
If you just consumed a protein-rich food, taking tea immediately after that can harden the content in your digestive tract. Taking tea after meal is a habit for most people, they feel restless if they don’t take a cup of tea after meals.
You can take your tea an hour before meals and not immediately after.
Well, if you can’t stop this, why not take green tea after meals? This is a healthy alternative to tea and it helps your digestive system absorb nutrients better.
4. Don’t smoke after meals
This is a common habit among smokers but it is very destructive. After meals, the nicotine in cigarettes binds with oxygen in the blood easily and the absorption of nicotine in the blood is increased.
Oxygen is also less available for digestion.
This, in turn, can increase your risks of cancer, especially that of the lung and bowels.
5. Don’t take fruits after meals
Fruits are healthy, but taking them with meals or after meals can cause indigestion. This, in turn, will cause acidity. Fruits are easy to digest with the exception of dates and bananas, but they stick together with meals when eaten together.
So don’t combine them with meals or vegetables, eat fruits one hour before meals. If you eat fruits with meals, they will stick together and ferment in your colon.
Besides, fruits need different enzymes for digestion. So take them alone.
6. Don’t bath after meals
This might look like the best thing to do, especially during summer or heat season in Africa but it is not healthy. When you eat, the flow of blood to your digestive system is increased to help the process.
Digestion needs increased blood flow and heat.
Taking a shower/bath right after meals will reduce your body temperature and channel the increased flow of blood to your arms, legs, and skin to moderate your temperature leaving just little for your digestive system.
So, don’t take a bath immediately after meals as it will make your meals difficult to digest.
7. Don’t engage in heavy exercise after meals
Exercises are good and they have many benefits but doing it right after a meal will increase your body temperature and also blood circulation.
This will affect the digestion of food and you will feel sluggish after your workout. If at all you must exercise, just take a walk and this will boost digestion.
8. Don’t brush after meals
Oral hygiene is good and brushing the teeth is one way to take good care of our oral health. However, doing this after a meal has a negative effect on your enamel.
When you eat food, the acids in them stick to your teeth and your enamel is at its weakest state. Wait for at least one hour before brushing to give your body time to correct this high level of acids.
And also remember to eat only to the extent that is comfortable. Don’t overeat, because that has consequences. You know you didn’t overeat when you don’t have to lose your belt after meals.
Habits are difficult to break but it is possible, with determination, you can break all these destructive habits.
Get our quick meal guide here to help you practice healthy eating habits.