If you suffer digestion problems, the best way to conquer them is to start eliminating some foods that could cause digestion problems for you. Sadly, if you’re a healthy eater, then many of these will be foods you’ll be sad to see go, but trust me here! As a health food nut, I can tell you that you can still eat plenty of delicious foods that are healthy while avoiding foods that could cause digestion problems. Many of these foods are commonly known to be unhealthy for digestion, but a few may surprise you. Remember to avoid these foods that might cause your tummy to become upset so you can enjoy your food again!
Broccoli is well known as one of the worst foods that could cause digestion problems because it is a cruciferous veggie. Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts, contain certain components that promote bloating, gas and even pain, if you’re extremely sensitive. Broccoli is such a health food star, but if you’re sensitive, definitely avoid it to prevent you tummy from rumbling away. Cooking broccoli seems to help a little, but if you’re really sensitive, then avoid it altogether and go with a simple to digest food like spinach, celery or carrots instead.
Soy in whole form, is a very healthy food if you don’t have thyroid issues or an allergy. Yet, it can be incredibly hard to digest because soy beans are a legume. Legumes are a starch and a protein combined, so they take a very long time to digest since proteins and starches digest at different rates in the body. Soy is very bloating for people who are sensitive to legumes and beans because it also contains carbohydrates that tend to ferment in the gut, causing issues. Avoid it altogether and if you’re craving endamame, go for some sugar snap peas which are a little easier to digest.
Along with legumes, beans are another huge no-no if you have problems with digestion. Beans contain the same problems that legumes like soy do. Yes, they are very healthy for you, but for someone with digestion problems, they are a nightmare in disguise! The saying that your body gets used to them isn’t always true for people especially sensitive, so if they make you hurt, don’t eat them! Try eating seeds instead of beans for a great source of plant protein. Seeds like chia, flax and hemp are all very easy to digest and just as healthy.
You may already know dairy can cause digestive problems, especially if you’re lactose sensitive. Lactose is the sugar in dairy that many people can’t digest. The protein casein found in cottage cheese, milk and other sources of dairy also causes problems for people. Avoid dairy altogether if you have stomach issues, or try eating yogurt, which is a little simpler to digest since it contains probiotics that eat up the lactose and aid in digestion.
Like broccoli, cabbage is one of the best foods for you, but it also one of the worst for bloating. I love cabbage, but can’t eat it whole and raw. Try finely chopping it up in a salad, or eat it in the form of sauerkraut, which is fermented cabbage. I love sauerkraut and the tangy, zesty taste is one of my favorite ways to eat cabbage. Because it is fermented, it is digested much easier, and will do wonders for your stomach due to the probiotics. Avoid raw cabbage leaves, however, which can be hard for your body to process.
6. Coconut Milk
I think coconut is probably my favorite food aside from chocolate! Yet, coconut milk is actually very hard for the stomach to digest in individuals sensitive to fats. Many people don’t digest fats well, and coconut milk is full of healthy fats. Processed coconut milks also contain many additives like carrageenan that can cause stomach pain and gastrointestinal issues. I prefer to use almond milk brands without carrageenan since almond milk is much easier to digest.
7. Red Meat
You may already know that red meat isn’t the best food for you, but it is also one of the worst if you have digestion problems. It takes an incredibly large amount of time to digest, and because it is an animal source of protein, it is very acidic to the body, which can hurt your stomach. Try fish instead, which digests seamlessly in the digestive tract.
Apples have been rated one of the foods richest in antioxidants. They are also rich in Vitamin C, fiber and water. Yet, if you have a testy tummy, apples are not your friend hun! Apples and pears both contain the sugars fructose and sorbitol in high amounts. This will cause gas and bloating, along with pain, especially fast in those sensitive to these sugars. Anyone on the FODMAPS diet or an IBS diet will do best to avoid these and eat fruits such as berries or citrus fruits that are much simpler for the body to process.
9. Refined Bread
The bread industry has caught up with our world’s need to eat healthier, and you can find any gluten-free, vegan, and even dairy-free bread you want on the shelf these days at the supermarket. Yet, no matter what the bread doesn’t have, remember it is still a refined food, even if it is whole grain. Bread is very hard to digest, and grains are in general. Refined grains are even worse for someone with digestion problems, because of the sugars and yeast used in the making of bread that can cause bloating, weight gain, and even constipation for people extremely sensitive. If you’re looking to eat bread in a healthy way, try Ezekial bread, or another sprouted grain bread. These breads are unrefined and still contain the living whole grain as it was meant to be eaten. Better yet, just have a bowl of oatmeal instead!
If you have digestion problems, try avoiding these foods to see if you notice any difference. These are some of the most common foods that are the worst for gas, bloating and a healthy digestive system, even those that contain healthful properties. What foods cause you digestion upset?