According to a recent report, over 20 million Americans suffer from chronic digestive distress and diseases and this number continues to rise each year. It’s regarded as one of the most serious health problems in terms of discomfort and pain, personal expenditures for treatment, working hours lost, and mortality.
Instead of relying on over-the-counter digestive remedies, first look at your diet. There are many foods that can make you feel uncomfortable after a meal, or even hours later if you are sensitive to them. You might not connect the your digestive distress, stomach cramps, gas or diarrheas with what you ate the day before.
1. Artificial sugars. Researchers have found that fake sugars such as aspartame or sucralose can affect the gut. They can change the good bacteria in your gut and give you digestive issues.
• Artificial sugars are common in diet sodas, but they can hide in other things as well. You can see them in juice, gum, candy, and other sweets. They can also appear in baked goods or processed foods that claim to be low calorie or sugar-free.
2. Carrageenan. Have you ever read the label on a yogurt container and wondered what carrageenan is? It’s a common preservative that often appears in dairy products.
• It’s made from seaweed, but it can affect your digestive system and can cause digestive distress. Some studies claim that it can raise your risk of cancer. Researchers know that it increases inflammation in the gut, so you want to avoid it.
• It tends to appear in milk, yogurt, ice cream, and other common foods.
3. Coffee. You may depend on it to start your day, but does your stomach hate it? If you notice digestive issues after drinking a cup of coffee, blame the caffeine and other additives in it.
• Coffee can cause stomach irritation and dehydration because it acts like a diuretic.
• The caffeine in coffee can irritate your digestive track and make you feel uncomfortable after just one cup. It can also cause heartburn and is an acidic beverage.
• If you’re adding cream, milk, sugar, or syrups to your coffee, then the issue becomes even more complex. Any of these ingredients can cause you stomach pain and bloating. You may want to reduce or eliminate them.
4. Acidic foods. It’s not just acidic beverages that can cause trouble.
• Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus can make your stomach hurt. They’re hard on your digestive system and esophagus. You may experience indigestion and heartburn after eating a tomato or orange.
5. Broccoli and cauliflower. These common vegetables are hard for some people to digest. They’re healthy vegetables, and doctors often recommend them, but they can hurt your stomach.
• The type of sugar naturally found in broccoli and cauliflower is the root of the pain. This sugar isn’t easy for the human body to digest, so it takes time to get rid of it. Meanwhile, it builds up and causes bloating or gas.
6. Ice cream. Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, ice cream can be hard to digest. Researchers believe the combination of sugar, fat, and dairy makes it harder for some people to digest ice cream. You may feel sick or bloated after eating your favorite rocky road ice cream cone.
7. Fried foods. Fried food such as French fries or nuggets that have been cooked in oil at high temperatures can be an issue.
• Fried foods have high fat and little fiber. This makes it more difficult for your body to digest them.
• In addition, the carbohydrate content tends to be high in fried foods, so you can experience gas or bloating.
How would you know what food is troubling your gut? You can eliminate them all for two weeks and then add them back one by one and see if you react. Or, for a fast and accurate way to discover what’s causing your digestive distress, get tested by a Nutrition Response Testing® practitioner