8 worst foods for digestive health

This time of the year is a time for travel, celebrating with friends and family and simply having a jolly good time. However, you must be cautious and pay attention to the types of food that you consume especially if you are one of the 70 million Americans who suffer with a digestive disorder such as acid reflux, constipation, and diarrhea; just to name a few. The following 8 foods are bad for your digestive health.

Chocolate: If chocolate is that “sweet tooth” that you indulge in, proceed with caution; it has caffeine which can trigger digestive symptoms like heartburn. It is also a diuretic and can cause loose stool and diarrhea.

Processed Food: Processed foods are foods that are not in their original state, they have been refined. These foods pass very quickly through the digestive system and can lead to cramping, bloating and gas. The low nutritional content, high fats and calories can cause weight gain and increase blood sugar levels. Potato chips, soda, white rice, and white bread are examples of processed foods.

Acidic Fruits: Even though eating fruits and vegetables are healthy; fruits like oranges, limes, grapefruits and tomatoes are high in acid and may cause acid- reflux. Eating these foods on an empty stomach will make the acid reflux even worse.

Fried or Greasy foods: are known by gastroenterologists to be on the worst food list, because they are generally unhealthy, high in calories and fats and also very difficult to digest. Fatty steak (rib-eye), French fries and any deep-fried foods are a few of the well-known offenders that can trigger an acid reflux episode. Research shows that these foods can relax the valve between the stomach and sphincter. The relaxation of this valve allows acid to flow backwards into the esophagus, and results in a really bad case of heartburn.

Coffee: Coffee, although not a food, is such a popular beverage that it is worth mentioning here. According to the American Chemical Society, coffee has so irritated the stomach lining, that 40 million Americans have stopped drinking it. Coffee stimulates acid production in the stomach, which can cause inflammation and consequently heartburn. Also, the caffeine in coffee acts as a diuretic and the end result in dehydration and constipation.

Spicy Food, Chili Peppers: It is really a treat to eat foods that are spicy because of the unique flavor that spice adds to our food. The down side to eating spicy chicken wings, jerk chicken or hot curry chicken is heartburn or acid reflux. Spicy peppers added to your food can also burn you esophagus. When eaten close to bed time spicy foods can cause more severe digestive problems.

Artificial Sweeteners: One of the main reasons that artificial sweeteners are used is because of the belief that they are lower in calories. However, your digestive systems suffer when these sweeteners are substituted for natural sugars. Artificial sweeteners have ingredients that increase inflammation and cause diarrhea, gas and bloating, especially sugar alcohols which are only partially digested.

Alcohol: must be included here even though it is really not a food, but because it is use by so many. Even if you drink in moderation, alcohol can cause acid reflux or heartburn by relaxing the sphincter muscle allowing acid to flow back into the esophagus. Over indulging in drinking alcohol can cause cramping, diarrhea and can also inflame the lining of your stomach.

Conclusion: Eating healthy on a daily basis or incorporating healthy foods into your diet can be very challenging. This article provides eight foods that should not be included in your daily food consumption especially if you have digestive issues. Remember to eat healthy, drink lots of water and have a great holiday season and a happy and healthy New Year.

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