7 Foods To Avoid If You Get A Lot Of Stomach Aches, Because Your Diet Matters
Everyone has experienced a debilitating stomach ache at least once, but some people happen to experience abdominal pain much more than others. Avoiding certain foods that can cause stomach problems can seem drastic, but if you're one of these people who constantly experiences tummy troubles and aren't sure why, this should be your first step. The most common causes of abdominal pain include indigestion, food allergies, and food intolerance, so the link between what we consume and how your stomach feels is pretty clear.
"A constant stomach ache can be caused by a number of different factors, including stress and an unhealthy lifestyle," says nutritionist Ashvini Mashru, MA, RD, LDN to Bustle over email. "It can also be a sign of medical condition, and in that case it is necessary to visit with a medical doctor. Identifying the cause of regular stomach pain can be achieved by eliminating various possibilities."
As is the case with most health issues, a diet high in junk food can definitely exacerbate stomach problems, but there are a variety of other, unsuspecting foods that can cause your stomach to turn. If you're someone who frequently experiences stomach aches, consider removing these seven foods from your diet to see if they make an impact on how you feel.
"Most beans contain sugars called alpha-galactosidase, which belong to a group of carbs called FODMAPs," says Mashru. "For healthy people, FODMAPs simply provide fuel for the beneficial digestive bacteria and should not cause any problems. However, for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome, another type of gas is formed during the fermentation process. This may cause major discomfort, with symptoms like bloating, flatulence, cramping and diarrhea."
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Although vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are filled with essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, they commonly cause gas and bloating due to their high-fiber content and presence of FODMAPs.
"Spices have the tendency to lead to acidity, and they could also lead to stomach inflammation if consumed in excessive amounts," says Mashru. "Moreover, spices can worsen the presence of ulcers, even if they are not the direct cause of ulcers." However, not all spices are bad for the body such as cinnamon, which can help control several body conditions, including digestion. Avoid spicy foods such as hot sauce or peppers, which can cause irritation to the stomach lining.
You may be surprised to know that at least 65 percent of the population is lactose intolerant, meaning they have a reduced ability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk. "If you’re lactose intolerant, dairy can cause major digestive problems," says Mashru. "Symptoms include bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea."
5. Sugar Alcohol
"Sugar alcohols are used to replace sugar in sugar-free foods and chewing gums," says Mashru. "Common types include xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol. They tend to cause digestive problems, since they reach the large intestine unchanged where the gut bacteria feed on them.
"Garlic contains fructans, which are FODMAPs that can cause bloating," says Mashru. "Allergy or intolerance to other compounds found in garlic is also fairly common, with symptoms such as bloating, belching and gas." However, cooking the garlic may reduce these effects.
Coffee is highly acidic, which can irritate the lining of the stomach and cause abdominal pain. The caffeine in coffee can also cause your stomach to produce excess stomach acid, which can cause cramping of the abdominal muscles.
Having stomach aches is one of the most uncomfortable ailments there is, so if you suffer consistently, consider changing your diet to tackle the problem.
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