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10 Foods To Eat And Avoid On An Empty Stomach For Better Digestive Health

10 Foods To Eat And Avoid On An Empty Stomach For Better Digestive Health

Eating is vital to our health and well being. We eat to live. When you consume your foods, in some cases, is just as important as what you are consuming. Eating all the right foods but at the wrong time is counterintuitive and an exercise in futility.

The goal in healthy eating is not just eating foods that are good for you and avoiding the bad. It is learning your body and figuring out how to optimize the food that you do eat. This means learning how to improve your digestion and to maximize absorption of the key nutrients your body needs.

Eat these 4 foods on an empty stomach:

1. Fresh Fruit

Fruit is an incredibly healthy food group: packed with vitamins, nutrients, fiber and water. Incorporating fruit into your diet, the proper way, allows your digestive system to reap more powerful benefits through vitamin intake and improved digestion. Starting your day with fruits helps you detoxify your system, supplies you with a great deal of physical energy, can aid in weight loss and provide the needed energy and focus for other life activities.

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The simple sugars contained in fruit need time to be completely absorbed by your body. When fruits are eaten alone and when your stomach is empty, all of the nutrients, fiber and the simple sugars contained in the fruit can be more easily processed. According to prevailing research, this is the ‘proper way’ to benefit from eating fruits.

2. Oatmeal, Buckwheat and Cornmeal Porridge

Eating oatmeal first thing in the morning or on an empty stomach has several advantages. First it provides a coating on the lining of the stomach which prevents irritation from your bodies naturally occuring hydrochloric acid (HCL). Oatmeal also contains soluble fiber which aids in digestion and lowers cholesterol.

Buckwheat and cornmeal porridge also stimulate digestion while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They remove toxins and heavy metals from your intestines and create a satiated feeling for a longer period of time.

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3. Honey

Honey helps to awaken your immune and digestive systems. Honey has been shown to help with “lazy bowel syndrome,” and other stomach issues. It also acts as a cleaning agent by ridding the body of harmful viruses and bacteria.

4. Eggs

Eggs are extremely good for you and provide a myriad of health benefits whenever they are consumed. What makes them the perfect food to consume on an empty stomach is the fact that they make you feel full longer. Studies have shown that when eggs are eaten in the morning, the total amount of daily calories consumed decreases and eggs also aid in fat reduction.

These four foods will improve your overall health, aid in digestion and are excellent breakfast foods!

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Along with knowing which foods we should eat, we should also be aware of foods we should avoid eating when our stomach is empty. Eating the wrong foods at the wrong time can wreak havoc on your insides.

Avoid these 6 foods when your stomach is empty:

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes, although packed with nutrients and high amounts of Vitamin C, also contain high levels of tannic acid which increases acidity in the stomach and can lead to gastric ulcers. Save the tomatoes for dinner salad.

2. Yogurt

The primary reason to avoid putting yogurt on an empty stomach is because the benefits of  the lactic acid bacteria found in yogurt is rendered ineffective due to the high acidity of stomach acid. Therefore you gain very few of yogurt’s health benefits when consumed first thing in the morning.

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3. Processed Sugar

We all are aware that too much sugar is bad for you. But did you know that the sugar added to most processed foods–such as high fructose corn syrup and other such sweeteners have the same effect on the liver as drinking too much alcohol? The sugar that is found naturally in fruits is counteracted by it’s fiber but copious amounts of fructose–especially on an empty stomach, overloads the liver and can lead to liver damage. Skip the breakfast donuts, guys…

4. Bananas

Bananas are one of the best known diet foods. It satiates, assists in relieving constipation and is considered by some health experts to be a super food. However, bananas contain high amounts of magnesium and potassium which can lead to an imbalance of magnesium and potassium in blood if you eat bananas on a completely empty stomach. Bananas are a prime example of eating the right food at the wrong time.

5. Tea and Coffee

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach increases acidity, which in turn causes heartburn and indigestion throughout the day. Drinking tea on an empty stomach can suppress the secretion of gastric juices and reduces bile and acid in the stomach which aid in the overall digestion of foods and is essential to the process of secreting excess cholesterol from the body.

6. Alcohol

With no food in the stomach, alcohol travels straight to the bloodstream. Once alcohol is in the bloodstream, it’s quickly distributed throughout the entire body, causing the blood vessels to widen and result in temporary feelings of warmth, temporary decrease in pulse rate, as well as blood pressure. It travels through the stomach, kidneys, lungs, liver, and then to the brain. It doesn’t always take long for this to happen either; about 20 percent of the alcohol a person drinks passes through the stomach and reaches the brain within a minute. Having food in the stomach decreases the rate in which alcohol travels through the bloodstream, slows its effects and minimizes the damage it causes to the organs.

Research is definitive; when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Good health begins with being conscious about what we put into our bodies and learning how to fully optimize those good food choices.

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Denise Hill

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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