Whether a regular occurrence or an occasional discomfort, most people experience the misery of indigestion. We all know the symptoms: abdominal pain, lethargy, bloating and nausea. But what exactly causes indigestion and why is it especially problematic to some?
Healthy digestion happens when there is a balance between the body and the number of bacteria inhabiting the gut. A healthy gut flora strengthens our health and immunity, fuels weight loss and combats depression. Conversely, eating processed foods, taking medications and consuming alcohol disturbs this delicate balance and ultimately weakens our health.
Indigestion can be especially unpleasant for those suffering from chronic diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and diabetes, potentially causing severe abdominal pain and spikes in blood sugar, respectively.
Eating a healthy and nourishing diet helps to restore and maintain a healthy gut and enables your body to thrive. To avoid the unpleasant symptoms of indigestion, eliminate or limit these eight foods from your diet:
1 .Processed foods
The affordability and omnipresence of processed foods make our lives easier. However, instant ramen and frozen dinners can be detrimental to your health if consumed in large quantities. Processed foods contain artificial additives, dyes and preservatives that irritate the gut and prevent the liver from detoxifying.
Milk and milk products are hard to digest because of lactose – a sugar that most adults are unable to digest because of the absence of lactase in the digestive tract. If you find it difficult to eliminate dairy from your diet, try to substitute fresh products with aged cheese, kefir and yogurt. These fermented foods contain far less lactose than milk.
The famous glass of wine with dinner seems harmless and even beneficial to your health. However, consuming alcohol should be limited to special occasions only, as it burdens the liver, preventing it from detoxifying your body. Consumed in large amounts, alcohol can slow down the process of fat metabolism, which can lead to weight gain and obesity.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose and dextrose, can cause inflammation and digestive issues like gas and diarrhea. If you’re trying to cut back on sugar, it is better to reduce your sugar intake than to switch to artificial sweeteners. Alternatively, you can choose a healthier, low-calorie sugar substitute like xylitol or stevia.
5. Carb-Dense Foods
There is a reason why carbohydrates get a bad name. They might be delicious and a staple in many homes, but foods like white rice, pasta, bread and donuts increase inflammation in the gut, leading to weight gain and long-term health consequences.
6. Excessive Raw Vegetables
Vegetables are high in the fiber cellulose which can be difficult for some people to digest. Even though you need fiber for healthy digestion, going crazy with raw veggies can cause an upset stomach.
Cooking vegetables reduces the amount of this type of fiber and makes them easier to digest. However, you don’t have to give up snacking on celery and baby carrots. Just make sure you are consuming them in small amounts.
7. Acidic Fruit
Like raw vegetables, fruits are a great source of fiber and vitamins but should be eaten in moderation. Specifically, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes irritate and disturb the gut flora. They are especially not recommended if you already have diarrhea and indigestion as they may worsen your condition.
Starting the day with a cup of joe is an absolute must for many people. While caffeine can help you wake up, burn fat and relieve constipation, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can lead to excess production of stomach acid and ulcers. Keep in mind that non-herbal tea, decaf coffee, soda and chocolate are also rich in caffeine and should be consumed in moderation.
Pinpoint and Treat Your Food Intolerances with a Food Sensitivity Test and a Personal Diet Plan from Georgia Nutritionists at Optimum Health Rehab
Our team at Optimum Health Rehab strives to encourage the healing and strengthening of our patients’ bodies and minds with proper nutrition. We also have wellness specialists with extensive experience in lifestyle changes and natural approaches to improving digestive health.
The gastrointestinal experts at Optimum Health Rehab understand how difficult it can be to craft the perfect food list and diet plan to satisfy your personal needs. If your diet is causing you discomfort and you don’t know how or where to start, we can help you make long-lasting and healthful changes.Digestive Disorders