Did you know that while it is ‘recommended’ to eat something sweet after a meal, actually the opposite is true? Ayurveda specifically advises against consuming sweets after meals because it takes longer to digest sweets. Consuming sweets before meals is also recommended because it activates the digestive juices, which helps the rest of the meal to get absorbed easily.
Sweets are made of heavy, difficult-to-digest ingredients such as sugar, ghee, milk, refined flour and hence take the longest time to digest. Having a dessert after a meal slows down metabolism, which is a major contributor to many disorders like obesity, hypothyroidism and PCOS. It can also cause acid reflux, causing digestive problems such as bloating, acidity, and gastric blockage.
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According to Ayurveda, sweet-tasting foods should be consumed first when digestive strength is at its peak at the beginning of a meal. That makes it easier to consume sweet-tasting foods such as sugar, rice, wheat, etc. If consumed last, the coating of sweets on the tongue and teeth, known as ‘mukha upalep’, is also bad for dental health.
Ayurveda advises beginning your meals with sweets for improved digestion and nutrients. The six tastes of ayurveda — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent must be eaten in the same order. Unlike other tastes, the sweetness of a flavour immediately awakens our taste buds. Eating sweets initially encourages the production of digestive juices and progression of stomach-related emissions; it also aids your taste receptors and speeds up the digestive process.
From now on, remember to pick that sweetmeat off the plate first, followed by the other dishes. It will not only be a healthier choice to make but also take care of your sweet craving right at the beginning of your meal!