Every great meal can immediately turn upside down if your body is not cooperating. Bloating, indigestion, and acid reflux can all occur after a rather satisfying meal. Most of the time, these are caused by overeating. However, there are still instances wherein your body simply wouldn’t digest your food properly. Perhaps it’s triggered by a mistake you frequently do when you’re eating. Here are three eating habits that can prevent proper digestion.

Drinking Ice-Cold Water During Meals

Cold water is a definite solution for quenching thirst especially when consuming particularly dry meals. However, though drinking ice-cold water may seem pleasant at the moment, you’ll regret it once the meal is done.

It is very important to keep in mind that during meals, ice-cold water is better off avoided. If you’ve heard of how ice can tighten the pores, then you should know that consuming ice-cold water has a similar effect on blood vessels. It tightens or constricts your blood vessels thereby preventing your body from properly digesting food and from absorbing nutrients. Additionally, ice-cold water can cause the fats that you consume in your meal to solidify further preventing proper digestion.

Perhaps you’ve heard of how drinking cold water can speed up your metabolism and so you’ve relied on this for every glass of water you drink. You should then know that this belief is based on the mechanism that the body will heat up to regulate your internal body temperature to make up for the cold water consumed. The energy needed for your digestion will instead be diverted to this unnecessary effort to regulate your body temperature thereby distracting your body from digesting food properly. If you want to drink cold water to speed up your metabolism, don’t do it during meals.

Always drink room temperature water to avoid any problems with digesting food. In fact, hot water is recommended before eating to prepare your stomach for a meal thereby promoting optimal digestion. Add a squeeze of lemon in your water to further aid proper digestion or drink green tea before meals to avoid feeling bloated.

Drinking Too Much Water During Meals

Now that you know that room temperature water is recommended during meals, you might make another mistake which is consuming too much of it. Water is actually helpful during meals since it allows your food to move smoothly along your digestive tract. However, too much water will not only cause bloating, but indigestion as well.

To give you a basic idea of how food is digested, picture your stomach. Your stomach plays an important role in digestion. The stomach lining secretes an acidic substance that begins digestion by breaking down the food in your stomach. This substance is called hydrochloric acid or HCl. By breaking down food, your body can then absorb the nutrients from it. Since HCl is acidic, drinking too much water will dilute the HCl in your stomach so it won’t be able to efficiently break down food. Thus, try limiting yourself with just a glass of water throughout the meal and just drink more before or after you eat.

Combining Too Much Starch and Protein In Your Meals

Rice, pasta, tomatoes and bread are all rich in starch while eggs, fishes, chicken, and other meat are rich in protein. Combining both makes a very great meal but too much will cause indigestion as well as acid reflux.

You should know that some food digest faster than others and that’s the problem with combining starch and protein. Starch can be digested much faster than protein which has a relatively slow rate of digestion. However, because you consumed too much of both and they’re mashed up all together in your stomach, the starch won’t be able to move on to your small intestines even if it’s already done digesting. It has to stay in your stomach until the protein is done digesting as well. Because of this, the starch begins to ferment in your stomach and release gas which is what causes you to frequently burp.

The key is to start eating your starch before your proteins. You can still eat both together, just not in huge portions.

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