Nowadays many people are cautious about what they eat. However, do you know when to eat specific food also matters? Eating certain foods at appropriate times throughout the day helps you get the maximum health benefits from your diet, writes Ann Wairimu
1. Water your body at the right time
Drink water first thing after waking up to help activate your internal organs. Your circulatory system needs fluid to get rid of stubborn free radicals and residue from burned calories used during the night’s metabolism. Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Drink one glass of water before taking a bath to help lower your blood pressure.
It would also make you fill fuller. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients. If you’re hungry between meals, pour yourself a tall glass of fresh drinking water first to see if you’re dehydrated.
Sometimes people think they’re hungry when they’re really just thirsty. Drink one glass of water an hour before bedtime to replenish any fluid loss that can occur during the night.
Following vigorous exercise, you may need to drink water to replace fluids lost through perspiration and urination. Be sure not to drink too much water too quickly or you could get stomach cramps.
2. Don’t take fruits as dessert
It’s recommended not to eat fruits for dessert as they start fermenting in the stomach while waiting for their turn to be assimilated. The most suitable time to have a fruit is morning: it should be the first food of the day and eaten on an empty stomach.
This way it’s processed easily and empties the stomach for the next food. All fruits except for citrus ones can be eaten in the morning (bananas, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, kiwi, and mango). Wait for at least half-an-hour before eating some other food.
3. Eat salad before meal
Consuming a low calorie salad at the start (before 15 minutes) of a meal can reduce your calorie intake and help you to get a perfect body shape.
4. Take milk at night
Drinking milk at night is helpful in inducing blissful sleep. This is the time when your body needs to wind down and switch from being active to calm and relaxed. As the body rests at night, it also recovers and heals from the day’s wear and tear.
5. Remove meat from your dinner plate
Meat takes up to five hours to digest. Eating this product right before going to sleep can hurt your digestive system. The best time to have meat is lunchtime.
6. Eat healthy fats at breakfast
If you are consuming foods high in fat, aim to consume them at breakfast or mid-morning. Some healthy options include nut butters and protein-rich eggs. Avoid eating large quantities of fatty foods at night as it takes around two to four hours for fat to digest. So, if you eat fat too late in the evening, your body won’t have as much time to utilise this energy before storing it.
7. Eat chocolate in the morning
Eating a few pieces of dark chocolate for breakfast provides the body with antioxidants, which reduce aging and are good for your heart. It also protects the skin against harmful UV rays. It reduces stress, promotes satiety, lowers the desire to eat something sweet and suppresses energy intake.
8. Eat potatoes in the morning
They act as fuel to start your day and make your body retain water. They also lower blood cholesterol and are rich in minerals. Avoid them at dinner time as they are rich in calories.
9. Eat protein and carbs after work out
Take protein and carbs in a ratio of 2:1 to 4:1 within 45 minutes after working out. After a workout, the body tends to repair and build your muscles. For this, you need protein, which provides essential amino acids needed in this process. And since the glycogen stores are depleted in your workout, you need to replenish this by eating carbs. You can take yoghurt with fresh fruit and almonds, or a slice of toast with a banana and peanut butter.
10. Go bananas at lunchtime, not dinner
Bananas contain high amounts of fibre, which is good for improving digestion and curing heartburn. However, eating bananas for dinner can disrupt the digestive system and may lead to mucus production.