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Today, almost everyone is aware that the food we eat can be either beneficial or a burden to our health, although many choose not to act on this knowledge. This is especially true of our gut health, where dietary impacts will be first experienced.
So, setting aside the influences on general body health, an unhealthy diet can cause digestive discomfort and ill-health. Sometimes, over-indulgence in specific inputs that are perceived as being ‘healthy’ can have unwanted effects on our gut health.
Let’s take a look to see whether your diet is causing you some digestive problems and if you can relate to any, it may be time for you to make some serious changes.
Are You Eating Too Many ‘Healthy’ Probiotics?
Probiotics are excellent for digestive health, however, too much of a good thing is no help at all. Foods that serve as sources of probiotics such as yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods must be eaten in moderation. If you eat too many probiotic foods, the population of bacteria in your gut can become unbalanced.
This will then result in digestive problems. Make it a habit to eat them in small quantities. Monitor your body’s response, as everyone is different. If you are experiencing unexplained bloating and diarrhea, try cutting back on intake.
Do You Drink When Eating?
Drinking plenty of water is definitely beneficial to your health, there’s no denying that. However, don’t drink with your meals. If you do you may cause bloating and gas. Drinking water while eating leads to the dilution of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, which causes inefficient digestion.
Do You Eat Bran To Stop Constipation Problems?
There are times when doctors recommend bran to people who have constipation. The bran is an insoluble fiber that fills the stomach and stimulates bowel movement.
However, this advice may not work for everyone, especially people with slow transit constipation or STC. This condition is characterized by the slow passage of waste through their large intestine.
A person with STC is more likely to suffer from excessive gas and bloating if they consume bran. This is because if they eat insoluble fiber such as bran, their digestive system will have to work harder. This causes more stress on their digestive system.
As a consequence the gut becomes more irritated as it works harder to get rid of the bulking agent, the bran.
Research shows that a significant number of people suffering from IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome have been found to be hyper-reactive to anything that irritates the gut, such as bran and other types of insoluble fiber.
Other Foods that Can Cause Digestive Problems
Legumes contain compounds that have been found to irritate the digestive system. For example, peanuts contain aflatoxin and lectins, while soy has phytoestrogens. If you are having issues with your gut health reduce all kinds of legumes for a while.
There are some dairy products that are considered healthy for the gut, and others that aren’t, so if you are having digestive issues your dairy consumption could be the culprit. Start choosing fermented dairy, such as grass-fed kefir and acidophilus yogurt. Reduce milk consumption.
Sugar consumption provides a conducive environment for bad bacteria to multiply in your gut. This can adversely impact your metabolism and immune responses. An overgrowth of bad bacteria also promotes inflammation. If left unabated, this may lead to symptoms of an autoimmune-inflammatory response.