Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More by this author

Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

3 Reminders to Help You Enjoy Life Even When Life Is Tough 20 Simple Ways to Bring Positive Energy into Life Right Now Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself 30 Best Business Podcasts That Help Entrepreneurs Become Successful Day 10 Shocking! Exercise Right After Eating Ain’t That Bad for Health

Trending in Food and Drink

1 17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious 2 8 Best Teas for Weight Loss and Fat Burning 3 10 Brain Vitamins for Enhanced Brain Power 4 25 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Energize Your Day 5 15 Healthy Recipes for Dinner (For Fast Weight Loss)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 9, 2020

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

2. No Motivation

Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

Advertising

This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

Advertising

You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

5. Upward Comparisons

Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

6. No Alternative

This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

Advertising

7. Stress

As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

8. Sense of Failure

People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

9. The Need to Be All-New

People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

Advertising

These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

10. Force of Habit

Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

More on Breaking Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
[2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
[3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

Read Next