A good lifestyle will help keep your body fit and healthy. As important as breakfast is, dinner is key too.
Dinner provides the body with essential nutrients it needs to function while you’re asleep. A light, healthy dinner will help you enjoy a sound and restful sleep. Plus, dinner is a meal that gets you to interact with friends and family as everyone is more likely to have dinner together.
People often ignore the importance of a healthy meal before retiring for the day, or they make poor choices for their dinner menu. Your dinner must include salad, soup and a simple side dish.
Health experts recommend having dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed. Eat in moderation and avoid caffeinated drinks or alcoholic beverages at dinner.
Moreover, there are many things you need to do—or not—before and after eating dinner for optimal health. Here are a few of them :
Say No to Fruits
Fruits are a healthy addition to your diet but right after dinner, it is an unhealthy habit to eat fruits. That’s because it gets difficult for your body to properly digest them after dinner. Plus, fruits contain sugar which is likely to keep you tossing and turning in bed.
It’s much better to have your fruits thirty minutes before eating dinner. If you’re diabetic, be careful when picking out fruits as sugar content in some fruits could increase the blood sugar level .
Do Not Loosen Your Belt
If you feel the need to loosen your belt during or after dinner, then you’ve over eaten. Loosening your belt after a heavy meal can lose abdominal muscles and make your belly bulge.
It’s therefore important that you eat, paying attention to portions so you do not need to loosen your belt. Plus, dinner should be light so that digestion isn’t slowed down.
Wear Loose Clothes
If you’re having dinner at home, wear comfortable clothes as tight clothes can put pressure on your abdomen, contributing to heartburn. If you’ll be eating out, keep this in mind.
Loose clothes will also help you sleep better while tight clothes may raise your body temperature and disturb your sleep.
Drink Warm Water
Drink a glass of lukewarm water thirty minutes before a meal to aid digestion. Plus, a glass of water will keep you satiated and prevent Overeating.
You can sip a little water during your meal to help with swallowing. Avoid drinking too much water too as it could impair digestion.
After dinner, wait for at least one-half hour before drinking a glass of warm water. The warm water will help break down the food and aid digestion. That way, your body will absorb the necessary nutrients.
Do Not Sleep Immediately
After enjoying dinner, lots of people would be tempted to go to bed right away. However, this is not healthy. Lying down after a meal could slow down the process of digestion. It may also make you feel bloated and lead to heartburn.
Wait for at least two hours before going to sleep. During this two hour period, you could choose to do the dishes, go for a walk, prepare your stuff for the next day or spend time with family. Simply do something other than diving into bed after a meal.
Take a Short Walk
After dinner and before going to bed wait 30 minutes and then go for a walk. There is no need for an hour-long walk. You can simply enjoy a short 15– to 20–minute stroll in or near your house.
Walking is good exercise for your whole body. It will help you digest your food and prevent bloating and upset tummy . If you do not like walking, keep a pet to inspire you to walk after dinner.
Avoid Heavy Exercise
Heavy exercises late at night are not a healthy option. It prevents the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for our sleep and wake cycles. Thus, affecting our ability to fall asleep.
It’s best to carry out light exercises like walking.
Plus, your body will be trying to digest your dinner, leaving you feeling sluggish and lethargic during heavy exercise. It also increases the chance of getting stomach pain or cramping.
Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth thirty minutes after eating is an ideal oral habit. It will help neutralise your mouth’s pH and remove plaque so that your teeth is kept clean and healthy.
You must also brush for 2 minutes. Brush each section of your teeth for 30 seconds – top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and good quality toothpaste. Plus, brushing at night will help prevent dragon breath the next morning.
Do Not Smoke
If you smoke, you may be tempted to smoke some cigarette right after dinner. We suggest you resist this urge. Smoking is definitely a harmful habit, but after a meal, you could develop heartburn if you smoke. This will relax your lower oesophageal sphincter.
Plus, it worsens symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well as ulcerative colitis (a stomach ulcer). Smoking also has a huge negative effect on colon muscles.
Did you know that cigars contain as much as sixty carcinogens which increases your risk of developing cancer? Plus, they contain nicotine which is highly addictive. It could also disrupt your sleep cycle.
Avoid Taking a Shower
Taking a bath right after eating dinner may seem like an innocent or even proper thing to do, but it disrupts the process of digestion. Digestion requires a lot of energy and a good amount of energy flow toward the stomach .
But what happens when you get a bath right after having dinner is that your temperature decreases slightly.
We suggest you get a bath thirty to forty-five minutes after any meal before bathing. If possible, get a bath before dinner instead and then put on a light outfit.