“Wow, supper was good,” you keep telling your partner as you settle into your recliner to watch your favorite show. You’re just starting to really get comfortable when it hits you, right in the gut – literally. Your stomach begins twisting, rumbling, as you feel the first stages of a heartburn. You are really getting uncomfortable, starting to question your choice of eating the two bacon-egg deliciously wiped with mayonnaise on top of toasted white bread sandwiches.
If you’re like most people, your diet is probably chock full of foods that aren’t very good for your digestive system. Since the digestive processes fuel the rest of the body, diet obviously affects overall health. While digestive upset can happen to anyone, individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease should be more careful. Digestive irritation can cause internal injury resulting to bleeding which eventually reflect in the person’s stool. To help you avoid possible digestive problems in the future while helping improve your overall health, we have put together a list of some of the biggest culprits amongst the food we commonly eat.
The next time you experience digestive discomfort, maybe it’s time to cut back on some of these gut busters and give your digestive system a break.
1. Processed Foods
Processed foods are simply products that has been altered in any way from its original state. For example, high fructose sugars added to enhance taste, use of preservatives to make food last longer, and even cosmetics to make it look more appetizing – all qualify to have undergone food processing. There are actually hundreds of different ways how food can be processed. Unfortunately, many of these methods can be very bad for digestion and health. Refined carbohydrates present in processed foods has been associated with bloating, constipation, and cramping. It would be very favorable to your health if you can completely take them out of your diet. However, you can’t deny the fact that sometimes it can be difficult to totally avoid their consumption. A good way to reduce processed food in your diet is to take them along with healthy fats to lessen digestive work load.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame have grown in popularity because of their lack of calories. The problem with artificial sweeteners is how they can cause several sorts of health issues, including problems with your digestive system. According to new studies, it has shown that artificial sweeteners negatively affect the intestinal bacteria that normally digest and extract energy from the food we eat. Moreover, the sugar alcohol content can cause inflammation, gas, bloating, and diarrhea for this can only be partially digested. If you’re trying to get healthier by replacing sugar with artificial sweetener you may just be trading one problem for another. There may be artificial sweeteners that can cause lesser symptoms but the best alternative are natural products like agave syrup, yacon syrup, and honey.
Carrageenan is an additive commonly found in foods such as ice cream, salad dressing, soy milk, and cottage cheese. It is a natural product out of seaweed that is usually used for its gelling quality which improves the texture of food. However, the additive has been known to cause digestive problems like ulcer and inflammatory bowel disease. Not only does it inhibit digestion but it has also been associated with malignancies.
4. Fried Foods
This would be something that’s been around for a while. Everybody loves the taste of fried foods, right? Well, even if you do you’d be better off without eating too many fried foods. The grease that comes from frying is the culprit which is actually very hard to digest. High levels of saturated fat found in fried foods can cause heartburn and acid reflux. This happens when it triggers relaxation of the valves that separate the sphincter from the stomach allowing acids to enter the esophagus. French fries, bacon, chicken, and anything else that can be deep-fried probably isn’t the best idea for optimal digestion. To lessen the undesirable health effects brought about by the consumption of fried foods, make use of plant-based oils when cooking.
5. Citrus Fruits
Fruits are generally healthy, right? Yes, in many ways fruits are undeniably healthy. However, for your digestive system, fruits can sometimes wreak havoc if you’re not careful, more particularly citrus fruits. They contain a high level of acidity, which can lead to acid reflux. Fruits such as oranges, lemons, tomatoes, and grapefruit are very high in citrus acid which can cause irritation to your stomach. When eating citrus fruits, make sure to only have them on a full stomach in order to take advantage of its healthy properties while neutralizing the acid content. It will be very beneficial if you can limit the intake of these fruits in your diet.