You’ve certainly heard lots of myths about what you shouldn’t do after having a meal. Many of these claims are so ludicrous, yet they continue floating around and making people do irrational things.
In order to help you out, I’ve come up with a list of facts and myths about the activities you should avoid after a meal. Here are the most common ones and the manner in which they affect your body.
① Don’t Smoke After Meal
”Don’t smoke after a meal because the bad effect (emphysema, cancer, etc.) of smoking a cigarette becomes ten times worse.”
For many, lighting a cigarette after a meal is the ultimate way to enjoy the food. The truth, however, is that cigarette smoking after a meal will make the negative effects of the cigarettes even worse.
The absorption rate of the body after a meal is heightened. As a result, more of the carcinogen and tar that cigarettes contain will be absorbed by the body. To become healthier, you should consider quitting altogether rather than only after having a meal.
② No Fruits After Meal
”Don’t eat fruits immediately after a meal because this will cause the stomach to bloat with air.”
Most people have heard that eating fruits after a meal can lead to bloating and poor digestion. This statement is NOT true. Researchers have actually found out that fruits can improve digestion.
Some people, however, suffer from varying degrees of fructose intolerance. This is the main reason why they’ll experience bloating and flatulence after the consumption of fruits.
Diabetics need to talk to their physician about the incorporation of fruits in daily meals. Everybody else can consume them safely after a meal unless some bloating is experienced. In such instances, a fructose intolerance will be a reasonable doubt.
③ Drinking Tea After Meal
”Don’t drink tea after a meal because tea is high in acid which will harden the protein and make it difficult to digest.”
According to the common claim, the acidity of tea will make proteins in food difficult to digest.
This statement is false. Tea is rich in tannins, which are acidic in nature. A hot cup of tea, however, can improve digestion, it is a tonic that invigorates the brain, speeds up the circulation, and makes the stomach digest food easier. Avoid iced tea and other cold beverages.
④ Loosening Belt After Meal
”Don’t loosen your belt after a meal because this will cause your intestines to twist and get blocked up.”
The first part of the statement is sound advice, but not for the reason given. Yes, it’s not a good idea to loosen your belt after a delicious family meal. The belt can act as a measure of just how full you are. If you loosen your belt, you will actually end up consuming larger amounts of food. There will be no way of noticing that you’ve eaten enough, which will lead to overeating and a possible accumulation of weight (if you get in the habit of loosening your belt frequently).
The part about intestinal twisting and obstruction is false.
⑤ No Shower After Meal
”Don’t bathe after a meal because this will weaken digestion.”
Some believe that taking a shower immediately after a meal can “weaken” digestion. There is no scientific evidence, however, that taking a shower after a meal will interfere with digestion in any way.
Only strenuous activities will divert blood away from the stomach and redirect it to other body parts. A relaxing bath will have no adverse impact on the digestive process. You should simply avoid showering after a meal if you don’t feel good about it.
⑥ Walking After Meal
”Don’t walk after a meal. The digestive system will be unable to absorb the food.”
It’s an urban myth that you should refrain walking or strolling around immediately after you have had a meal.
Walking is something really beneficial that will help you burn some calories. It will not interfere with digestion by taking blood away from the stomach. Avoid strenuous physical exercises, as well as challenging mental tasks in the minutes immediately after having a meal.
⑦ Don’t Sleep After Meal
”Don’t sleep immediately after a meal because food will not be digested properly and this will lead to gastric infection.”
This claim states that going to sleep immediately after a meal will interfere with digestion, possibly causing infections and other serious gastrointestinal problems.
The first part is correct: it is not healthy to sleep with a full stomach. Doctors will suggest refraining from falling asleep immediately after filling your belly. Habitual sleeping after a meal (whether lunch or a dinner) may increase the risk of accumulating excess weight. The claim about gastric infections is false, but the negative consequences of this habit are easy to understand.
⑧ Don’t Eat After 4 Hours
”Don’t eat again until after four hours or longer because this will make the stomach stretch and grow larger.”
This is not a myth but a sage advice. It is a good idea to wait some time between two individual meals. The more we eat, the larger the stomach grows. Frequent snacks will disable the stomach from digesting the previous meal entirely.
As a result of habitual snacking, many people begin experiencing constant cravings and the desire to keep on eating. Such habits contribute to the accumulation of excess weight and even to obesity.
Do you want to consume smaller amounts of food? You may want to have a glass of water or two before your meal. The liquid will enable you to feel fuller without consuming large amounts, and the trick is rather easy, inexpensive and suitable for almost everyone.