We all get stomach aches here and there, but if you're someone who is always prone to tummy trouble, it might be time to take a look at your diet. Certain foods are particularly bad for your digestion, and if you're eating these frequently, your body might not be feeling so great. Keeping your digestive system healthy can not only improve your nutrient absorption and eliminate your stomach problems, but it can also help you feel more energetic and less weighed down.
If you suffer from digestive problems, you're not alone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 60 to 70 million Americans are plagued with digestive problems. "Digestive issues can stem from several places including a stressful lifestyle, sensitivities, and as a sign of a serious chronic condition," says Guiding Stars dietitian Allison Stowell, M.S., RD, CDN of over email. But if you don't have these troubles, it could just be the foods you regularly eat that are making your stomach turn.
Luckily, changing your diet can help improve these unwanted symptoms. If you have stomach problems or are just trying to improve your health, consider cutting down on these eight foods that are the worst for your digestion.
Coffee is delicious, and it can really help with those slow mornings, but unfortunately it's not the easiest thing on your digestive system. According to Livestrong.com, coffee tends to worsen stomach aches, increase fluid loss, and make food move through the digestive tract too fast. Not everyone reacts the same to coffee, but if you find that you have some stomach issues after a few cups, you might want to consider cutting back.
2. High-Fat Foods
"High-fat foods can be uncomfortable too because they remain in your system for a long time," says Stowell. Foods that are high in fat, especially fried foods or heavy meats, can also cause problems with acid reflux, according to the Huffington Post.
3. High-Fiber Foods
Raw fruits and vegetables high in fiber are definitely healthy for you, but for some people, they can be difficult to digest, causing bloating and gas. "High-fiber foods without adequate hydration can lead to constipation," says Stowell. Drink a lot of water with your high-fiber meals, be sure to balance with other food groups.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
You might think you're making the right choice when it comes to using a sugar substitute instead of the real thing, but this can wreak havoc on your digestive system. "Sugar alcohols, which can have a laxative effect, are very troublesome for some people," says Stowell. In fact, 75 percent of adverse food additive reactions reported to the FDA come from aspartame.
5. Refined Carbohydrates
Processed, refined carbohydrates are not only nutrient-deficient, but they can cause a drastic spike and drop in your blood sugar, which can not only affect your basal metabolic rate, but can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, according to SFGate.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, 65 percent of the population is lactose intolerant. This means it's not uncommon for many people to experience abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea from dairy products.
7. Spicy Foods
Sriracha is certainly delicious, but hot sauce and other spicy foods aren't exactly easy on your stomach. Capsaicin, the chemical in peppers responsible for its spicy flavor, can irritate the lining of your stomach, causing pain and discomfort.
Refined sugar, especially fructose, can cause flatulence, bloating, pain, and other gastrointestinal symptoms, according to a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Fructose is not easily absorbed by the body, which can lead to these problems.
Everyone's body is different, so see what foods work for you and what doesn't.
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