By Tamsin Brown • 21 April 2022 • 16:45
Five foods to avoid if you have digestive troubles. Image: © Vyacheslav Argenberg / http://www.vascoplanet.com/, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Certain foods can cause stomach pain, heartburn and bloating, but do you know which? Read on to find out five foods to avoid if you have digestive troubles.
Stomach pain, heartburn, bloating and gas can all be symptoms of poor digestion. Not all foods are digested equally, and some may be more difficult for our bodies to break down. Chewing slowly and being more mindful of the act of eating can help us to have better digestion, as eating too quickly or while doing another activity is likely to lead to discomfort or drowsiness. Read on to find out five foods you should avoid if you have digestive troubles.
The trans and hydrogenated fats and additives in fast food are among the worst foods for your digestion, not to mention the other common and dangerous problems they cause, such as high cholesterol. These fats are often found in processed snack foods, readymade meals, sausages, pastries, chocolates, cakes and even certain dairy products. Foods high in trans fats are quite heavy on the stomach, and regular consumption can lead to abdominal inflammation, acid reflux and stomach pain.
Milk and dairy products
Dairy products are one of the best natural sources of calcium. However, lactose is difficult to digest. Those who are lactose intolerant may experience severe pain, diarrhoea and bloating and should opt for plant sources of calcium such as green vegetables. Soya milk, almond milk and cashew milk are all great sources of calcium, but look out for added sugars.
Hot chili peppers
In small quantities, hot chili peppers can be beneficial to health, as they contain capsaicin, an antioxidant substance that also helps to prevent blood clots. However, for those who tend to suffer from digestive problems, it is best to avoid them as they can be very irritating to the stomach. Excessive intake of spicy food is linked to problems such as gastritis, ulcers, heartburn, irritation of the oesophagus, stomach pain and pH alterations of the stomach.
Among the worst foods for digestion are processed meats, especially red meat, as they have undergone a series of processes in which they have lost their nutrients and acquired more bad fats and other substances. Many types of meat have a large number of chemicals added to them to keep them looking fresh for longer which can cause serious digestive problems and metabolic disorders. Their intake is linked to chronic constipation, inflammation and an excessive accumulation of toxins in the blood.
Although technically not a food, alcoholic beverages were too important to leave off this list. They inflame the mucous membrane that protects the stomach and can sometimes cause irritation of the digestive tract. Because it takes time for the body to metabolise alcohol completely, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may occur until the process is complete. Excessive consumption may also compromise the work of some enzymes and nutrients.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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