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When hunger strikes, you tend to eat or drink whatever is available at any time of the day. Filling your empty stomach is your priority.
But have you ever wondered if the food or drink you are consuming is healthy for your empty stomach?
What is an empty stomach?
An empty stomach means you have not eaten any food recently or in a long time. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you can consider your stomach empty 2 hours before eating or 2 hours after eating.
20 Foods to Avoid Eating on an Empty Stomach
Be aware that some foods and drinks are not advisable to eat on an empty stomach, and here is the list.
1. Spicy foods.
Avoid eating chili peppers, jalapeños, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce when your stomach is empty. Spicy foods may increase the production of acid in the stomach lining and cause stomach irritation and indigestion.
2. Cold beverages.
Some people like to have an iced coffee or juice, especially when the weather is warm. But drinking cold beverages when your stomach is empty may irritate your stomach and may cause bloating. Preferably, drinking warm beverages before eating can help improve blood circulation and stimulate digestion.
3. Citrus fruits.
Eating citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, citrons, and tangerines may increase gastric acid production. It may lead to heartburn, gastritis, or ulcer.
Drinking coffee when your stomach is empty may cause acid reflux and trigger Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A study shows that coffee stimulates gastrin release and gastric acid secretion. Coffee also prolongs the adaptive relaxation of the proximal stomach, suggesting that it might slow gastric emptying.
5. Green tea.
Generally, drinking green tea is healthy. But drinking it on an empty stomach may cause acidity. Green tea contains a high amount of an antioxidant called Tannins, which may increase stomach acid and result in nausea, headache, or stomach irritation.
You will gain little health benefits if you eat yogurt on an empty stomach. The stomach acid kills the lactic acid bacteria present in the yogurt, making it lesser beneficial. Lactic acid improves the nutritional value of food, controls intestinal infections, improves digestion of lactose, controls some types of cancer, and controls serum cholesterol levels.
Sweets are one of the foods you need to avoid eating on an empty stomach. Eating sugary foods will increase your insulin level and may harm your pancreas and liver. It may also affect your mood and may trigger depression and anxiety.
8. Raw vegetables.
Eating raw vegetables on an empty stomach may cause flatulence and indigestion for some people. Uncooked vegetables have fiber contents that may require more work to digest. They are also rich in amino acids that may cause heartburn and stomach irritation.
Avoid eating pastries on an empty stomach as it contains yeast that may cause bloating and stomach irritation. Pastries also have processed sugar that may cause liver disease when consumed excessively.
Pears are rich in vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin c, calcium, and magnesium. It is also rich in antioxidants. It is advisable to eat pears after a meal and not on an empty stomach as it contains insoluble fiber that may irritate the stomach lining.
If eaten on an empty stomach, the tannic acid from the tomatoes may cause discomfort. It may cause an increase in stomach acidity and may lead to acid reflux and stomach pain.
People love cereals because they are easy to prepare. But you need to know that they contain a large amount of sugar that may increase your insulin level. Eating a bowl of cereal can be filling, but it will make you crave for snacks after a few hours.
There are numerous health benefits when you eat a banana every day. But be aware that banana is acidic and may cause stomach irritation if you consume on an empty stomach. It is also high in natural sugar that may temporarily boost your energy. But it will also quickly drain your energy, making you feel tired and sleepy. Banana on an empty stomach may also increase the magnesium in your blood and may cause cardiovascular ailment.
14. Carbonated Drinks.
Generally, drinking carbonated drinks are unhealthy. They contain a high amount of sugar, which may elevate blood pressure and increase the risk of diabetes. Sodas are also acidic, which may irritate the stomach lining and lead to indigestion, gas, or stomach pain.
Cucumbers are hard to digest, the same as the raw vegetables. It is advisable to eat cucumber in between meals. Cucumbers are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. They are also low in calories that can help you lose weight.
Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will intensify its side effects in your body. Eating beforehand will slow down the absorption of the alcohol from the stomach to the small intestine, where it is absorbed into your bloodstream. When there is food in your stomach, it will prevent you from feeling drunk quickly.
Pizza is one of our favorite comfort food. But try to avoid eating it on an empty stomach as most frozen pizzas are high in calories, sugar, and sodium. They contain unhealthy ingredients like preservatives, refined flour, sugar, and grease.
18. White bread.
You will find white bread in most households. Some people prefer to eat white bread than rice. You must know that it contains unhealthy ingredients such as refined flour and additives that may cause health issues. Excessive consumption may lead to diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain.
19. Processed meat.
Processed meat like ham, bacon, and salami was classified as carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organization (WHO). Eating processed meat may cause Colorectal cancer, which is the development of cancer from the colon or rectum. Also, a new study shows that eating processed meat increases heart disease risk.
20. Canned soup.
Not all canned soups are unhealthy. Some canned soups contain a high amount of sodium. Excessive intake of sodium may lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Practice healthy eating habits.
You can enjoy eating and at the same time, not compromise your health. Make changes to your eating habits by being smart and mindful of what you eat. Eating a healthy diet will improve your health and make you feel good about yourself.
You may also read 10 Healthy Foods You Should Eat on an Empty Stomach.