One of the most common fitness mantras that you hear is eating as soon as you wake up. When you eat in the morning, it is important to remember that your body has been fasting for at least six hours. Ideally, the stomach takes about 3-4 hours to become empty. This is when the food is digested and the nutrients have been absorbed into the body.
Now, what you eat when your stomach is empty can affect digestion to a large extent. While some foods will actually enhance metabolism and help your body get nourished, others can wreak havoc on the entire digestive system.
The lining of your stomach is extremely vulnerable when you are on an empty stomach. And, there are some foods that will irritate this lining leading to adverse effects like heartburn, flatulence or stomachaches.
Since your breakfast is the most important meal of the day, what you eat when you wake up should be given considerable thought. For example – starting your day with a nutritious Breakfast Cereal can be an ideal choice. But, whether you are eating 15 minutes after waking up or are able to sustain for a few hours after waking up before you eat, there are some foods that you must avoid entirely when you are on an empty stomach.
Here is a list of seven foods that you should never eat when your stomach is fully empty:
1. Tomatoes: There is no doubt that tomatoes are extremely healthy. They are also a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts as a source of vitamins and several nutrients. Tomatoes are also high in water content. While they may seem like the perfect health food, tomatoes when eaten on an empty stomach may not be as good for you as you would imagine.
While the nutritional content of tomatoes is high, when they are consumed on an empty stomach, they can increase the acidity in your stomach significantly. This puts a lot of pressure on the lining of your stomach, leading to severe stomachaches.
For those who already suffer from acid reflux or ulcers, eating tomatoes on an empty stomach can be very dangerous. When they are cooked and combined with other foods, tomatoes are not as harmful. However eating only tomatoes, or eating them raw as soon as you wake up can make you very uncomfortable.
2. Citrus Fruits: When the stomach is empty, it is already filled with gastrointestinal fluids that are acidic in nature. Acid reflux is caused when these fluids travel all the way up the esophagus to the mouth. This will leave a bad taste in the mouth and can also make you severely nauseous.
Adding more acidic foods to the stomach when it is empty will only increase the chances of acid reflux. Remember, you are at maximum risk of acid reflux when your stomach is empty. So, avoiding citrus fruits that contain citric acid is highly recommended. They not only lead to irritation in the stomach, but may also leave you feeling uncomfortable.
Citrus fruits are great in the morning when you eat them later in the day. They are loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. The benefits of all these nutrients increase when you combine them with alternative sources of breakfast. This is one of the reasons why orange juice along with your regular food is recommended. However, citrus fruits as soon as you wake up or even juices made from these fruits can be very harmful to the lining of your stomach.
3. Bananas: Most people make the mistake of eating a banana first thing in the morning. It is believed to be good for you simply because it is a heavy fruit that satiates hunger immediately. Bananas are a classic example of how the healthiest foods can cause more harm than good when eaten incorrectly.
When you begin the day with a banana, the level of magnesium in your blood can spike suddenly. Magnesium is essential for the body but is actually harmful when you are on an empty stomach.
If you do want to eat a banana in the morning, combining it with other foods is a good idea. That is why people eat cereal with bananas as breakfast. The best way to include banana in your morning meal is to eat a good breakfast and then eat the banana as a snack.
4.Puff pastry or short crust: Craving for something delicious when you are on an empty stomach is quite natural. However, the truth is that any continental breakfast such as a croissant or Danish is not a healthy option when you are on an empty stomach. Avoiding any baked item altogether is the safest bet.
These foods contain yeast in a large quantity. The yeast can irritate the lining of your stomach. The immediate result of this is that you will have flatulence and will end up feeling bloated. This is very inconvenient when you have a whole day’s work ahead of you. These foods, although known for being popular breakfast items, are great evening snacks and can be enjoyed with a good cup of coffee instead.
5.Spices: When you consume foods that are spicy, the immediate result is that the lining of the stomach or the gastric mucosa is irritated. This increases the production of acids in your stomach. The result is flatulence, bloating, acid reflux and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Instead, the consumption of spices should begin only after you have had a good, healthy breakfast. There are some spices like garlic that actually aid digestion. They are best when reserved for heavier meals like lunch. These spices aid digestion by stimulating acid production in the stomach, which is essential to break the food down. They have the same effect even when the stomach is empty, making you feel heart burn and in some cases, extreme stomach pain.
These foods are also pungent in nature, which can lead to indigestion. That way, all the meals that you consume, as the day progresses will not be digested properly, leaving you feeling very sick.
6.Carbonated Drinks: In general, carbonated drinks are bad for you. It does not matter what time of the day you consume them. The first thing that you should know about carbonated drinks is that they are very high in sugar. This can put a very high load on your pancreas. The organ is just recovering from the fasting period and a sudden surge in blood sugar can shock it.
In fact, it is best that you avoid any sugary drinks and opt for fresh fruit juices instead, on an empty stomach. The sugar from the fruits is in the form of fructose. This can be a challenge for the liver to break down when you are on an empty stomach. You must entirely avoid aerated drinks because they contain processed sugar. It is also advised that you avoid smoothies that are too sweet.
In addition to this the acid in the carbonated drinks can mix with the acid in your stomach. The result is that you will end up feeling nauseous or may even have a bad case of acid reflux. Cramps are also common when you consume carbonated drinks on an empty stomach.
7. Tea and Coffee: It is a very common practice to consume coffee or tea as soon as you wake up. It is certainly very tempting to set a pot of coffee to wake you up after a good night’s sleep. However, the tannin and the caffeine in these beverages stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This leads to gastritis in most people.
In addition to that, drinking tea and coffee in the morning can slow down digestion for the rest of the day. The result of this is that you end up feeling bloated and can even experience irritable bowel syndrome. When you consume too much coffee or tea, it will lead to constipation and vomiting in some cases.
Some things one can eat on an Empty Stomach
When you are choosing foods for an early morning breakfast, opt for something that will not put a lot of pressure on the stomach. There are several options that are highly beneficial.
If you wish to start your day with a fruit, choose kiwi, watermelon or apples. These fruits are loaded with fiber and contain natural enzymes that are helpful in increasing your metabolism and give you a good start to the day.
Oatmeal is another great option for an empty stomach. Its high fiber content improves digestion. You can even add fruits to your bowl of oats. Especially fruits like bananas that are not recommended to be consumed by themselves make a great choice with oats.
Foods that are packed with protein are also perfect for an early breakfast. This is one of the reasons why eggs are such a popular breakfast item. Eating foods that are rich in proteins as soon as you wake up will also benefit you when you are on a strict exercise routine. They promote muscle recovery and keep you satiated and active all day long.