Whether we are aware of it or not, we all have our routines after eating a sumptuous meal, a ritual of some sorts. Some of these habits are gradually formed by nurture or taught by our elders.
When asked why we do such things, we all have our reasons — whether they are based on scientific fact or simply from myths or total ignorance, which was handed down from one generation to the next.
However one thing is for sure. We need to optimize our digestion and make most of the nutrients we consume and what you do after a meal has a significant effect on the process of digestion and metabolism of food.
The right time to eat fruits
Now this is often debated by many. Some say that it is best to eat fruits an hour after a meal, some claim to consume them with meal, and some an hour or two before meals when the stomach is empty.
This mainly depends actually on your tolerance. Fruits contain simple sugars such as fructose and they are easily digested.
But if you can’t tolerate fructose to some degree, your body can’t digest them easily after and would cause gas formation.
Green Tea — before or after?
Green Tea contains polyphenols and tannic acid which both bind protein and iron, thus preventing the body to absorb them, especially drinking them while eating.
Green tea is a powerful herb with lots of antioxidants, but drinking it at the wrong time is a waste. It is recommended to drink green tea an hour or more after meals. Not in the morning with an empty stomach for this will cause stomach upset, and not on night that will cause insomnia because of its caffeine content.
Taking a walk
Taking a walk after a big buffet is common practice, especially if you feel so full and bloated. Good idea! This is not bad at all. Walking or strolling will help burn calories, aid your metabolism, and stretch dormant muscles.
This is better than lying on the sofa or sleeping directly after eating which promotes fat gain, heart burn, snoring, and possible sleep apnea.
But don’t overdo it to avoid acid reflux. A 10-minute walk after a meal is ideal.
Smoking after a meal — never a good idea!
Smoking is totally not good for your health – cancer, lung problems etc. No known good effects of smoking after eating have been reported. Smoking after eating is simply formed out of habit and as early as possible, it is best to get rid of it.
Taking a shower after a meal, is it ok?
Your stomach requires enough blood to digest and absorb food. If you take a shower, your body temperature will have a slight decrease.
To compensate, your blood needs to move towards your skin and away from your digestive system. The cooler your body becomes, the slower it wants to do essential metabolic functions like breathing, pumping blood and digestion.
Wait around 30 minutes after your meal, then have your shower.