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Wholesome nutrition is vital for our physical and mental wellbeing. The fast-paced nature of our lives makes it hard to delve into the food habits—especially when it comes to the choices we make when we are on an empty stomach.
Breakfast is usually the meals we have on an empty stomach and it is not just about eating healthy food. The goal is also to understand how to optimize the food we eat to improve digestion and maximize the absorption of key nutrients. Therefore, to help you make informed choices, we bring to you five foods you must avoid on an empty stomach:
For many of us, fruit juice is a staple in our diets. However, on an empty stomach, fruit juice may put an extra load on the pancreas. And the sugar in the form of fructose in fruits can negatively affect your liver.
While it appears to be a healthy choice, as per research by University of Toronto’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, when juicing fruits, some of the healthy fibre is lost as juice extractors separate the juice from the fibre-rich pulp and skins. That loss of fibre in fruit juices may result in spiking the blood sugar relatively more than when we eat the actual fruit, causing issues such as diabetes or high cholesterol.
Citrus fruits like guava and oranges may increase acid production in your gut, increasing the risk of gastritis and gastric ulcers. And the heavy dose of fiber and fructose in such fruits can slow down your digestive system if eaten on an empty stomach.
Unfortunately, this elixir of life if consumed on an empty stomach can lead to acidity as it stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the digestive system, which may cause gastritis.
Consuming fermented milk products such as yoghurt on an empty stomach makes the lactic acid bacteria present in the yoghurt, ineffective due to high acidic levels of the stomach. Moreover, due to the high acidic levels, the stomach produces hydrochloric acid, which leads to acidity.
The raw vegetables used to prepare salads are perhaps a better choice for lunch. Raw vegetables are full of fibre, which may put an extra load on an empty stomach, causing flatulence and abdominal pain. Tomatoes, for instance, contain tannic acid, which, in contact with gastric juices in the stomach, could cause stomach irritation.
It is important to be cautious of not just what you are eating but also when you are eating. So while a number of your favourite staple morning foods might not be the best choice, there are still various alternatives that you can consume on an empty stomach that will also help you pivot from your established morning food habit. Be it fruits such as watermelon, composed of 90% water or low calorie and nutrition-rich porridge—the variety available is both healthy and delicious.