Healthy digestive system: these foods should be avoided

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Across the population, every fourth Austrian suffers from digestive problems at least once a week. What doesn’t sound like much at first is 2 million people. Digestive issues are more common in women than men; 1.4 million women, or almost one in three, experience them. Yet, a healthy intestine is essential. The phrase “making decisions from the gut” is not for nothing. This is based on the connection between the intestines and the brain. These communicate with each other and do so very intensively and, above all, reciprocally. That is why it is also called the second brain or gut brain. It is all the more important to keep the intestine healthy, which you should avoid.

If you suffer from bloating or an unnatural feeling of fullness more often, you might want to eliminate certain foods from your diet:

  1. cereals
    Grains contain a lot of gluten. This can cause a bloated belly or nasty cramps in people with intolerances. In healthy people, the food is broken down into its components primarily in the small intestine, and from there, it enters the body through the mucous membrane. In the case of intolerance, however, the intestinal mucosa becomes inflamed after the absorption of gluten in the area of the small intestine, which can cause the intestinal villi to regress. This means that grains such as wheat, barley or rye should rather be avoided. Alternatively, you can turn to rice, quinoa and oats.
  2. sweetened foods
    Fructose, or fruit sugar, is often used to sweeten industrially produced foods. Gastroenterologist Jaqueline Wolf of the prestigious Harvard University in the U.S. told CNBC.com that about half the population in the country suffers from fructose malabsorption. This means fructose has limited or no ability to be absorbed into the blood from the small intestine and, therefore, ends up in the large intestine, where it causes problems. Fructose is often found in baked goods, yogurt, sodas, sauces or light products.

  1. sugar substitutes
    What can also lead to a bloated belly are sugar substitutes because the body can not break them down. That’s why products like sorbitol, xyolite and erythritol should be avoided. Those who still prefer sugar substitutes should use stevia or monk fruit.
  2. fruit varieties
    Even though fruit is healthy and should be included in the daily diet, some varieties are hard on the intestines. The sweeter the fruit, the higher the risk of having a bloated belly. The reason for this is the high fructose content. As with sweetened foods, it’s hazardous if you suffer from fructose malabsorption. Apples, watermelons, grapes, nectarines, peaches, ripe bananas, plums, raisins and grapefruit are exceptionally high in fructose. However, if you don’t want to miss out on your daily vitamin intake, you can eat blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, tangerines and lemons instead.

  1. vegetables
    In vegetables, the problem culprits are fructans and Galatians, Wolf explains in an interview with the news channel. These are multiple sugars—in other words, carbohydrates. Intestinal bacteria break them down in the intestine, which can lead to flatulence. Asparagus, zucchini, onions, leeks, artichokes, beets, savoy cabbage, fennel and sugar snap peas are the most stressful for the intestines. On the other hand, carrots, melanzani, avocado, green beans, bean sprouts, cauliflower, celery and lettuce are more tolerable.
  2. beans
    “Every little bean makes a sound” doesn’t come from anywhere. This is because beans are a food that strains the digestive system. The reason for this is the raffinose – a type of sugar that the body has difficulty breaking down. The many fibres contained in beans can also cause flatulence. Avoiding black and white beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, and soybeans is better. The situation is different with green beans, black-eyed peas and mung beans.
  1. fermented foods
    Actually, fermented foods are healthy for the intestines because the fermentation process creates many beneficial bacteria for the intestines, as well as vitamins and minerals. This is also proven by a study conducted by the University of Standford. However, increasing consumption of these foods quickly can cause temporary bloating as the microbiome and digestive system adjust. Wolf therefore advises not overeating kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut.
  2. dairy products
    In Austria, an estimated 15 to 25 percent of the population suffers from lactose intolerance, a milk sugar intolerance. In this case, the body does not produce enough lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose in the small intestine. This causes lactose to enter the large intestine. There, it is fermented by intestinal bacteria, leading to flatulence and even abdominal cramps or diarrhea. Products that contain lactic acid, such as curd and yogurt, are more tolerable because they make it easier for the body to digest lactose. Some long-aged cheeses also contain little lactose. These include Emmental, Edam, Gauda and Parmesan. Nevertheless, lactose-free products provide better relief here.
  3. – source: freizeit.at/picture: Bild von Silvia auf Pixabay
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