Dos and Don’ts after a Meal

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Tea or Coffee: NO. A cup of tea or coffee post lunch/dinner is a common practice in many homes. Cut it as it affects your digestion. Tea leaves have acid which hardens the protein making it difficult for your body to carry out digestion. Tea also has polyphenols and tannins, that cling to the iron in your food. Thus iron doesn’t get absorbed by your body. It is especially bad for women and kids who need more iron.

Ginger Tea: YES. However ginger tea according to Ayurveda is a good thing to have post meal. It improves digestive fire, works as a stimulant for digestive enzymes, speeds up the process of digestion, and provides relief from gas and stomach cramps. Boil ginger with some water to make yourself some ginger tea!

Don’t Sleep or Slouch Post Meal: Those of you who hit the bed straight after dinner are in for some bad news here. Whether it’s a quick nap or a longer one, or even slouching for that matter, the fact is that bending or sleeping position slows down your digestion. Lying on your back or side (any sleeping position, i.e.) causes the digestive juices to go down your oesophagus. Reason why many of us experience that heartburn!

Walk: YES. A slow walk or strolling for about 25-30 minutes post meal is good for digestion and also helps those on weight losing spree. Please don’t walk immediately post meal.  Wait for 25-30 minutes before taking a stroll; giving some time to your system to absorb the food.

Best Yogic Posture to Improve Digestion: The best solution is to sit in Vajra-asana (yogic posture) for 30 minutes post meal. It is possible to do this at home or in the office.

Different foods get digested at different speeds. Fruits are quicker to digest compared to meals, hence it is advised to eat fruits an hour or two before meals. Fruits are a healthy snack to munch on to when you feel hungry between meals.

Water during Meal: NO. Avoid drinking too much of water after or between meals as water dissolves in your digestive juices, which makes breaking down of food difficult. Taking small sips during meals is okay.

Bathing Post Meal: NO. Don’t bathe before meal; it is bad for your digestion.Bathing increases body temperature and blood gets pulled to the surface of your skin etc.  When our digestive system doesn’t receive enough blood, it affects the speed & quality of digestion.

Workout Post Meal: NO. Same goes for exercise post meal. To digest food your body needs energy and if you invest this energy in exercising, it will slow down digestion. People experience nausea, cramps, or even diarrhoea if they adopt wrong habits on day-to-day basis.

Stress: No. When you’re stressed, the central nervous system blocks blood supply to your digestive system, reduces secretion of enzymes required for digestion and affects the contractions of your digestive muscles. So many disturbances create a chain reaction of problems; from spasm in oesophagus, nausea, diarrhoea to constipation. Therefore it is advised that we should eat our meal at peace.

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