Seven Things You Should Avoid Right After Eating

Although many of us are in the habit of going for a walk or taking a nap after eating, the truth is that these are activities that we should postpone so that they don't interfere with digestion.
Seven Things You Should Avoid Right After Eating

Last update: 20 April, 2021

Most people have a few minutes free after eating and use them to practice some habits to distract or relax. These habits have spread over the years among the population and, although some of them are performed unconsciously, they’re not always convenient for maintaining wellbeing.

Although at first they may seem harmless, over time they can lead to the appearance of uncomfortable symptoms or health problems. Considering that many people are unaware of them, we want to discuss them in detail below. Keep reading!

1. Sleep

A closeup of a digital watch with a woman sleeping in the background.

Taking a nap or going to sleep after eating can lead to annoying digestive symptoms. Although for many, it’s a relaxing and necessary habit, it’s essential to take into account that its practice directly affects the digestion process.

Since the body is lying down, the gastric juices don’t completely cover the food in the stomach and, therefore, it doesn’t take optimal advantage of the nutrients. In addition, they can cause discomfort in the esophagus, as their acidic nature causes reflux and a burning sensation.

2. Smoke

It’s no secret that the bad habit of smoking has serious consequences on pulmonary and cardiovascular health.

What some people don’t know is that the risks are even greater when it’s practiced after eating, especially a main meal. This is because nicotine binds to the excess oxygen that’s necessary in the digestive process and, in turn, this facilitates the absorption of carcinogens.

3. Eat fruit

Some may think of fruits as a healthy alternative to complement the main dishes of the day. They’re sweet, versatile, and seem a good option to avoid eating traditional desserts.

However, what few know is that it’s better to consume them on an empty stomach, either after fasting or between meals. This food requires different enzymes to digest well and its natural sugars need more time to be fully absorbed.

When eaten moments before or after a large meal, their remains stay in the stomach longer and can cause indigestion, gas, and other discomforts.

4. Take a shower

A woman rinsing her face in the shower.

Although taking a shower can be relaxing and good for circulatory health, it’s not advisable to do so after eating, as it can cause weakening of the digestive system. It increases blood flow to the hands and lower body, decreasing the amount of blood that should flow to the stomach.

As a consequence, its functions become deficient, which in turn can cause pain, swelling, and heaviness.

5. Drink cold water

The consumption of cold water during and after meals can cause poor digestion of food. It appears to cause clumping of food and, in turn, hinders the process of absorption of nutrients and separation of waste.

6. Drink tea

Although tea is a healthy drink, it’s not advisable to drink it with the main dishes of the day. This food interferes with the absorption of iron, since it contains a substance called tannic acid that binds with protein and this mineral.

As a result, there’s a decrease of up to 87% in iron absorption, which can lead to chronic episodes of anemia. This nutrient is essential for the production of red blood cells in the blood and its deficiency leads to symptoms such as:

  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain
  • Brittle nails
  • Lack of appetite
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Extreme weakness and tiredness

7. Walk or run

A woman running along the ocean shore.

It’s a misconception that exercising after eating is good for losing weight and burning more calories.

While there’s no denying that running or walking is quite healthy, practicing it after eating a large meal can cause indigestion and stomach discomfort. Therefore, we should wait at least 30 minutes after the meal and, if so, it should not exceed 10 minutes.

Do you have any of these habits? If so, make a mental note from now on and try to avoid them so that they do not interfere with your health.

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