Gut health is an essential part of overall wellbeing, and it's important to be aware of the foods that can trigger issues. While there is no single food that can guarantee good gut health, there are certain foods that can cause problems for some people. Acidic foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, salad dressings, and soft drinks can lead to heartburn, while wheat and onions can cause irritable bowel syndrome. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage can also cause stomach discomfort due to their high fiber content and acidic sugars.
It's best to cook these vegetables rather than eating them raw. Fermented foods are often considered probiotic options, but they can actually worsen gut health in people who follow low-FODMAP diets. Coffee isn't as harmless as it seems either; artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin (a.k.a Equal, Splenda and Sweet'N Low) can alter intestinal bacteria and cause all kinds of gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Dairy products such as low-fat organic yogurt can have beneficial effects on the gut by improving the natural flora of the gastrointestinal tract, but it's important to check that carrageenan doesn't appear in the ingredient list.
Chocolate can also cause digestive symptoms such as heartburn and stomach discomfort, especially for those with a disorder. Fried foods are also difficult to digest and should be avoided. It's important to be aware of the potential triggers for bowel symptoms and to pay attention to how different foods affect your body. Eating old or raw foods can also cause food poisoning, cramps, or other problems if they enter the system.
Everyone's body is different, so it's important to pay attention to how different foods affect your gut health.