Maintaining a Healthy Digestive System This Holiday Season

Posted by on 11/26/13 9:15 AM

Maintaining a Healthy Digestive System This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving this week and New Years just around the corner, eating tends to become a priority rather than a necessity. Sure, the dinner and deserts are delicious. And honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a second serving of stuffing or another slice of pie?

However, as great as the food may be, it’s not worth the discomfort that may cause you to leave the party early. Here are a few tips on what foods you can avoid to improve digestion.

Firstly, foods that are high in fat are no friend to people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Fatty foods cause constipation and can easily cause diarrhea. Avoid foods like butter, cream cheese, and red meats. Instead, substitute with extra virgin olive oil and try adding lean meats and fish to your diet.

If fatty foods should be nixed to improve digestion then it should be no surprise that fried foods will make the list as well. Fried foods flow through the body in the same way fatty foods do. They move through the digested track either too quickly or too slowly. This results in diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.

You may be surprised to learn that many healthy foods can contribute to digestive problems as well. For example, despite containing nutrients our bodies need, citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits should be avoided because of their high acidity.

You should also limit spicy foods such as chili peppers because they can trigger acid reflux symptoms. Low calorie sweeteners, such as those people frequently turn too when dieting, can also cause stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. Stay clear of them if trying to improve digestion.

Dairy is another culprit. Certain types of dairy, such as milk, have high quantities of lactose, which can worsen symptoms even in those who do not suffer from lactose intolerance. Too much milk can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Try switching to almond, soy, or coconut milk instead. These substitutes will still allow you to get your daily intake of calcium without the symptoms. Also, stick to harder, aged cheeses, because they contain minimal quantities of lactose.

Other liquids that can cause digestive issues include alcoholic beverages and caffeine. Alcohol has no nutritional value and damages the lining of your stomach as well as your liver. And although coffee may be a savior for early morning wake ups or late-night shifts, it too can cause or worsen diarrhea. Certain teas, sodas, and chocolates that have caffeine should also be avoided. So, when offered that Irish coffee at desert, save yourself from regretting it later and turn it down as it contains both caffeine and alcohol.

By avoiding the foods and beverages listed above your digestion will improve! Try sticking to foods that are high in fiber and add probiotics to your diet. Lastly, stay hydrated, exercise, and try eating several smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large meals and your digestion will improve in no time!

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