Will your actions immediately after eating food affect the way your body processes it?

Answer by Steven Fowkes:

Digestion is autonomically regulated. If parasympathetic dominant (calm, relaxed, passive, with harmonic heart-rate variability), digestion is enhanced. If sympathetically dominant, digestion is impaired and possibly aborted (exercise-induced or stress-induced vomiting).

Taking a stroll in a safe neighborhood or park after eating minimally impairs diestion. But exercise is a strong sympathetic influence, and acute fear is powerfully sympathetic. Walking through a minefield would seriously impair your digestion.

Napping and watching comedy is very parasympathetic.

Driving a car and watching the news is is sympathetic.

Each step in digestion plays a role in its efficiency.  If you do not chew your food well or secrete saliva with amylase, the starch-degenstive burden will pass to your intestine and colon. This favors fungal species over bacterial species in your microbiome. If you do not secrete sufficient hydrochloric acid (HCl) or take an antacid or acid blocking drug, the protein-digestive burden will be passed to your intestine and colon. Read the label of side effects of acid blockers and proton-pump inhibitors to see these maldigestion issues.

Lack of parasympathetic vagal tone also inhibits peristalsis, which increases risks of constipation.

So what you do after eating is just as important as what you do during eating (chewing, smiling, talking, tasting, smelling, social sharing, etc.) and before eating (growing the food, buying the food, storing the food, food prep, cooking, etc.).

Will your actions immediately after eating food affect the way your body processes it?

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