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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

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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