Food is either your friend or your enemy. Especially when it comes to digestive health. Regularly eating unhealthy foods that harm your digestive system can lead to severe long term consequences. If you aren’t prioritizing your gut health, you will most likely come to regret it when you have to spend an hour in the bathroom every day. You only have so many games to play on your phone to keep you occupied in there. Cut out these harmful foods to have a great poop life and a healthier digestive system. Think of what you can do with all of that extra time!
Deep-fried, double-fried, extra fried. Fast food restaurants cater to the love of fried food and specialize in takeout bags dripping in grease. Yes, those fries may be delicious, but what are they actually doing once they hit your digestive tract? You may not want to know the answer. That greasy, shining pizza, or double-stacked burger that you just inhaled is going to spend a long time struggling through your digestive system where it will treat you to acid reflux and heartburn along with diarrhea, and gas. Is it really worth it? Cut out fried, fatty foods, and cook with a healthy plant-based oil such as coconut.
Ah, processed food, the catch-all term that covers a multitude of food groups and can be defined in a few simple words. Damaging junk. Though it may seem harsh, those chips, crackers, cookies, that you love so much do absolutely nothing for your body. Even worse, they can actually cause damage and hamper the proper functioning of various systems. Because these foods are not useful for fuel or storage, the body simply dismisses them and wants to dispel them as quickly as possible. That rapid movement through the intestines leads to gas, cramping, and bloating. Unless you want to pack on weight and experience digestive discomfort along with it, ditching processed, fatty foods is one of the best decisions you can make for your body and health.
Though not exactly a food, alcohol deserves mention on this list due to the absolute havoc it can wreak on your digestive system. Overconsumption of alcoholic beverages has long been connected to diarrhea, cramps, inflamed stomach lining, and discomfort. It can also contribute to gut-inflammation, liver damage, heartburn, acid reflux. Research shows that even drinking in moderation could harm your digestive tract. If you are struggling with a sensitive stomach or are trying to recover healthy intestines, it is probably a good idea to stay away from this popular drink.
Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener found in many types of gum and other “sugar-free” foods. It has been shown to cause diarrhea and contribute to increased gas and bloating. Diet and sugar-free foods are often loaded with several other harmful sweeteners and chemicals as well, so it is usually best to avoid foods that have sorbitol or sugar-free on the label.
Milk and cheese are two of the biggest culprits of digestive upset. Because dairy products are high in lactose (a particular type of sugar), many people experience difficulties digesting large amounts of this popular food group. In fact, 65% of the world population is lactose intolerant, with many people not even realizing it. Lactose intolerance can lead to diarrhea (or constipation), gas, bloating, and stomach pain. Keep track of your digestive upset, and if you believe you may be lactose intolerant, cut out cows milk and cheese for a few weeks and see how to feel. Almond or coconut milk may be a healthier option in the long run. Yogurt will still be fine to eat since it doesn’t contain any lactose and actually provides many benefits to your gut health.
Citrus and other acidic foods
While most of the time, citrus fruits are incredibly beneficial, providing critical B and C vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper, they may not be the best choice if you are trying to balance and soothe an upset digestive tract. The increased fiber and acidity in these fruits can lead to abdominal cramps and an irritated stomach lining. Other acidic foods that may upset your stomach include tomatoes and carbonated beverages.
Food to promote digestive health
While there are many foods in the standard American diet (SAD) that can disrupt your digestive tract, there are also a number of whole foods and veggies that can make it flow and function better. Here are a few of or favorites:
- Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Whole grains