कब और क्या खाएं...? When to eat what?

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India


Ayurveda by experience laid down some principles about healthy eating, For example it was said that when water should be taken during eating:

Pahle pive Yogi

Sath me pive Bhogi, and

bad me pive Rogi.  

Similarly, fundamental items such as  grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are not meant to be eaten at all times of the day. They can either be beneficial or hazardous depending on the time of consumption. For instance, why is it not advisable to have orange juice in the morning and what could be the repercussions of eating a tomato before sleep In this way it  becomes much easier to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy food, it means same food can be good or bad depending on time. We tend to think that we are informed enough when we recognize "empty" calories and beneficial foods that nourish our bodies. However, the reality is that even? Look below for answers.

1.   Oranges : Citrus fruits are packed with vitamins and minerals that can help keep our blood pressure normal, reduce cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, and improve the digestive process. Plus, they taste delicious. While many of us relish having fresh-squeezed orange juice in the morning, it may not be the ideal time or way to consume it... Like Recommended for: snacking between meals Having oranges or drinking orange juice can offer a refreshing energy boost, so they are a great choice to snack on between meals. Yet, having them for breakfast may not be the best idea. Not recommended for: breakfast While we recommend avoiding oranges at breakfast, it should be made clear that we are referring to the consumption of oranges or orange juice on an empty stomach. This may lead to the development of allergies, irritation of the intestine, and the formation of inflammation in the mucosal cells that line the stomach. If you want to eat an orange in the morning, do it sometime after your breakfast to avoid the negative effects of the fruit on the digestive system.

2.    Apples : The apple is one of the most nutritious fruits, and its peel, which should be washed before eating, contains pectin, a polysaccharide that helps regulate the intestines and increases the amount of good cholesterol. Moreover, it bolsters the lining of the large intestine and facilitates the expulsion of carcinogens from the body's cells. Like Recommended for: breakfast Eating an apple in the morning is especially beneficial, as it is rich in fiber and can suppress hunger, allowing for a controlled caloric intake throughout the day. However, it is not recommended to eat an apple for dinner or before brushing your teeth. Not recommended for: dinner (or before brushing your teeth) Apples raise the level of acidity in the stomach as well as that in the oral cavity, which may damage the tooth enamel. Therefore, if you want to brush your teeth after eating, wait about 45 minutes and be sure to drink water. Otherwise, you may damage this important protective layer.

3.    Zucchini: Zucchini  is  rich in potassium and vitamin A, it should be recommended for  dinner. Zucchini is also a good sources of dietary fibre that clean the digestive tract and intestines, so they are recommended for consumption as part of a light dinner before bed,. Not  recommended for: breakfast. When we get up in the morning, we are usually dehydrated and our body needs to regain the fluids it loses during the night. Due to their potassium content, eating zucchini may cause the body to lose fluids, so it is not advisable to consume them during breakfast.

4.  Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in, among other things, lycopene - a natural pigment that acts as an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer, improves the function of the immune system, and reduces inflammation. But if you usually chop a tomato as a side dish for dinner, you should know that this is not necessarily the appropriate time to consume it. Like Recommended for breakfast.  The natural acids found in tomatoes help the activity of the digestive system, intestines, and pancreas and balance the acidic environment of the body. Therefore, it is a great addition to any breakfast in which we "start" the digestive system. Not recommended for: dinner Excessive intake of oxalic acid found in tomatoes has a detrimental effect on the body's ability to eliminate minerals, and can even lead to bloating and make it hard to sleep.

5.  Bananas: Bananas are a fruit that can enhance serotonin levels and consequently affect our mood. Furthermore, they are beneficial for our muscles, aiding with regular bowel movements and even helping with iron levels in the blood, so why not eat them at any time of the day? Like Recommended for: lunch.  For lunch, the dietary fibbers present in bananas can be beneficial for digestion and even help accelerate the emptying of the intestines and avert constipation, which is why they can be a great addition to the daily diet following a full meal. Additionally, they can help prevent heartburn. Not recommended for: dinner Bananas are a food that is known to increase phlegm, so consuming them before bedtime may lead to a disturbing sensation in the throat and respiratory system that will make it difficult for you to sleep. It is also advisable to consume bananas with other foods and not on an empty stomach to regulate the levels of acidity and insulin that rise in the body as a result of their consumption - and this is true for all hours of the day.

6. Yogurt: Yogurt (Curd)is a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamins, and it has the added benefit of containing good bacteria that can help with digestion and the functioning of the immune system. It is best to opt for plain yogurt that only includes milk and friendly bacteria, and not one with added sugar, fruit, or other additives like stabilizers and preservatives. Like Recommended for: dinner Since it is easy to digest, even for those who are lactose-intolerant, adding almonds, nuts, cut fruits, or granola to yogurt can make a healthy, nutritious dinner that will help you sleep better. However, it is not recommended to have yogurt for breakfast. Not recommended for: breakfast Dairy yogurt is quite acidic and not suggested for intake on an empty tummy, particularly if it does not include seeds or nuts to even it out. If you eat low-fat yogurt in the morning or sweetened yogurt with additives, you will miss out on many of its health advantages and begin your day with an ineffective overdose of sugar, so it is preferable to leave off the morning yogurt

7. Legumes: Legumes (Dal) are a vital nutritional basis for a healthy lifestyle. From chickpeas to peas, from mullein to soybeans - they should all be included in our diet. With such advantages, one would think that such a natural and recommended food would be suitable for consumption whenever you want. However, it turns out that there is a time for everything, even when it comes to this healthy food group. Like Recommended: for lunch The dietary fiber in legumes is advantageous for the digestive system and helps reduce blood cholesterol. Alongside their high protein content, they give us the sense of fullness that we all desire during lunchtime. Not recommended for: breakfast Eating legumes in the morning does not diminish their nutritional value, and if they are soaked properly, they won't cause any gas. The main problem with having legumes in the morning is that they can be very filling and make you feel sluggish and low energy. This is why people tend to feel tired after a hearty stew.

8. Sugar:  Reducing the consumption of sugar in our diet is recommended throughout the day, especially if it is white and processed sugar. But for most of us, this is difficult or even impossible. If you feel that you cannot drink your coffee without sugar or avoid snacking on a cookie, prefer to do it at certain times rather than throughout the day. Like Recommended for: breakfast If you consume simple (and not complex) carbohydrates such as those found in white sugar, fruit, honey, and similar foods, your body will secrete insulin from the pancreas and give you a short feeling of satiety and arousal that will last about 20 minutes or so. The advantage of consuming them in the morning is that it is easier for the body to burn calories at this time of the day. Not recommended for: dinner It is not suggested to consume sugar before going to sleep, as this will cause alertness which is not desirable during the night and that can be felt the following morning when the body will be hungrier to replenish the sugar levels that were expended while sleeping.

9. Whole-grain foods: This is staple food, composed of cereals and pseudocereals and is recommended as part of a healthy diet, consisting of foods of the groups Bakery goods, bread. Coarse grains like millets, maize, ragi, barley, and rice are healthier than ultra processed wheat flour (maida).It is recommended for both lunch and dinner. These are generally starchy and the starch is converted in sugar by enzyme action in the body.

10.  Meat:  Meat, especially red and processed meat, has become a food that many are wary of. This is because excessive consumption increases the chance of suffering from various diseases. Despite this, meat also has significant health benefits that include a high content of proteins, zinc and vitamins, and iron, so those of you who do not avoid its consumption due to conscientious or health reasons should pay attention to what is the most suitable time for its consumption during the day.  Meat is recommended for lunch and certainly not for the dinner.  The amount of iron in meat is an ideal source for charging cells and organs in the body with oxygen carried by the hemoglobin in the blood. This oxygen is carried to all parts of the body. The immediate effect of this is a decrease in the level of fatigue that usually attacks us during these hours of the day. Not recommended for: dinner. The digestion time of meat can reach up to 5 hours, so consuming it before bed can damage the functioning of our digestive system and cause a feeling of heaviness that is harmful to the quality of sleep. (The author has his own study and views)