Digestive Friendly & Not-So-Friendly Foods

Summer is notorious for bringing people together, whether it’s a barbecue, July 4th & July 24th celebrations, birthdays, and even weddings.  You can almost always expect a smorgasbord of foods that may or may not agree with your digestive system. The following is a list of friendly and not so friendly food choices that could leave you partying with your friends and family, or spending the event uncomfortable and aggravated with GERD heartburn or other related concerns.

Worst:

  • High-Fat/ Fried Foods: for many, high-fat foods and fried foods produce acid reflux and heart-burn. This can cause a pale-colored stool called steatorrhea which is excess fat in the feces.
  • Spicy Food: can often cause heartburn pain
  • Diary: Those who are lactose intolerant should steer clear from many diary items because they don’t usually have lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is the sugar in milk. If diary causes gas, bloating, diarrhea, or other GI issues, consult with your primary care provider.
  • Alcohol: This relaxes the esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux and heartburn, especially if combined with spicy and fatty foods. Alcohol can also inflame the stomach lining, impairing enzymes and preventing nutrients from being absorbed.
  • Berries: Berries are a great source of antioxidants, but can cause problems for people with diverticulitis, which are pockets in the large intestine. Seeds can get stuck in these pockets and may cause infection.

  • Chocolate:
    This could cause problems for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and since chocolate contains milk, those with a lactose intolerance could also find gas, bloating and other symptoms after eating this tasty treat.
  • Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks: These beverages can act as a diuretic and can over-relax the esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux and heartburn.

Best:

  • Yogurt: Our GI tract contains trillions of bacteria that help break down and digest food. Yogurt contains some good bacteria to promote a healthy system. Look for products that say “Live & active cultures”.
  • Lean Meat & Fish: Easier for your body to digest than high-fat red meats and is not associated with colon cancer.
  • Whole grains: Americans need 20-30 grams of whole grains, but the average consumption is around 12 grams. Whole grains help you feel full longer and can help lower cholesterol. However, those with Celiac Disease must stay away from the whole grains which contain gluten.
  • Bananas: “A Banana A Day is a Healthy Way” and can restore normal bowel functions, electrolytes, and potassium.
  • Ginger: Ginger can relieve nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, colic, and lack of appetite.

Go forth, and have a healthy and happy gastrointestinal tract through the summer. If you have uncomfortable reactions to foods, but you’re unsure why, call 801-619-9000 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. Granite Peaks can help get you back on track and enjoying your summer without discomfort.

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