After a satisfying meal, many of us just want to lay down for the rest of the night and watch a great movie or TV show. But little do we know, this is actually one of worse things you can do after you eat! It’s small bad habits like this that can get in the way of reaching our healthiest potential.
Here are 5 things you should never do after you eat:
Going to sleep right after you eat causing your stomach to burn through the night, which causes discomfort, bloating, and odd sleeping patterns. A study at the University of Ioannina Medical School found that people who waited the longest after eating to go to bed were less likely to have a stroke. With this is mind, the rule of thumb is to not eat at least a few hours before bed.
Unfortunately for some people, smoking is still a thing. While it’s probably one of the most damaging things you can do to your lungs, if you’re going to do it, at least wait a couple hours after eating. This is because the nicotine in cigarettes binds to the excess oxygen that is necessary in digestion, which then allows your body to absorbs more carcinogens than normal. According to studies, smoking right after a meal is the same as smoking ten cigarettes at once. It also increases the risk of bowel and lung cancer.
When we shower, our bodies increase blood flow to reach your hands, legs, and body, which then decreases the amount of blood flow to your stomach. This weakens the digestive system, causing it to become inefficient, which can cause stomach pains.
4. Eat Fruit
You probably thought you could eat fruit at any time, didn’t you? Well, it’s actually best to eat fruit on an empty stomach. This is because fruits require different enzymes to digest, and the simple sugars in fruit need time to be absorbed completely by the body. With nothing else in your belly, you benefit from all the nutrients, fiber, and simple sugars. If you wait until close to or after a meal, however, fruit remains in the stomach for an extended period and rots in the gut. This can cause indigestion, heartburn, burping, and other discomforts.
5. Drink Tea
Drinking eat right after a meal interferes with iron absorption. The tannic acid in the tea binds with protein and iron in our food, preventing our bodies from reaping the benefits of digesting them. This results in an 87% decrease in iron absorption! Low iron can trigger anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells in the blood, which then causes extreme fatigue, weakness, pale skin, chest pain, dizziness, cold hands and feet, brittle nails, and poor appetite.
The next time you eat, make a mental note of the time and be sure to leave some space in between lying down, eating fruit, drinking tea, or showering. Just stop smoking.
Originally appeared on David Wolfe