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You May Not Know These 8 Foods Are Harming Your Digestion

You May Not Know These 8 Foods Are Harming Your Digestion

When you find yourself battling digestion issues, the first thing to evaluate is your diet. Many times, a simple adjustment in food intake can help regulate your digestion without adding synthetic medications to your daily routine. Review the following list of foods to see if what you’re eating might be harming your digestion.

1. Frozen Dinners

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    Any time there is a high concentration of fat and salt but low fiber content, such as in frozen dinners and preserved meals, you’re more likely to experience digestion difficulties. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should ingest approximately 25-38 grams of fiber daily. Diets that primarily include heat-and-eat frozen meals can lead to digestion problems, as the nutrient content compared to fresh foods is low.

    2. Dairy Products

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      Of all food groups, dairy is perhaps the least conspicuous when it comes to fat. After all, dairy products have healthy aspects also, like the healthy bacteria found in yogurt or the calcium content of milk. Unfortunately, the fat found in most dairy products can negatively impact digestion. A 2013 study published in the Annals of Translational Medicine explored the relationship between a high fat diet and digestive health. Researchers found that individuals with high fat diets experienced digestive disturbances more frequently than those on a balanced diet.

      3. Chocolate

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        Despite it being one of the most prized foods in the world, chocolate is blamed for causing digestive problems in individuals. Along with black tea and bananas, chocolate is believed to hamper proper digestion and cause intestinal discomfort, according to a 2005 study published in European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Particularly for individuals prone to irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive disturbances, consuming chocolate is not recommended.

        4. Salty Snacks

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          Like processed foods, salty snacks can sap your body’s ability to remain adequately hydrated, particularly if you’re not consuming enough water throughout the day. When not balanced with plenty of fluids, chips, nuts, and salty crackers can inhibit maintenance of internal sodium levels, affecting your digestive system’s ability to efficiently process food. According to a 2003 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, even mild dehydration can impact digestive health. Offset the negative digestive effects of salty foods by drinking at least 64oz of water daily.

          5. Sweets

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            Whether you’re a fan of cookies, cakes, or pies, sweets can compromise your body’s ability to digest foods properly. The reason is threefold; sweets usually have high carbohydrate counts, low fiber, and a high fat content. Combined, these attributes can result in irregular bowel movements and digestive discomfort, according to the National Institute on Aging.

            6. Unripened Bananas

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            Bananas

              Bananas are packed with nutrients, portable, and affordable, making them one of the most consumed fruits in the world. Unfortunately, failing to have patience during the ripening process can lead to severe digestive health issues. According to the Digestive Health Institute, unripened bananas contain resistant starch, which impairs the digestive process. Avoid harming your digestion by waiting until bananas are yellow with hints of brown on the skin.

              7. Fatty Red Meat

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                Overeating any food can be detrimental to your health, but eating fatty red meat in abundance can lead to serious digestive problems. Specifically, the fat content in red meat, when disproportionate to fiber intake, can slow digestion and lead to intestinal discomfort. Because red meat is generally thick and sinew, proper digestion takes longer to occur, potentially impacting regularity according to Harvard Medical School.

                8. White Bread and Pasta

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                tofu-alfredo-with-vegan-meatballs-and-garlic-bread

                  Eating white bread and pasta may not affect digestion right away, but the relative lack of fiber in each can impact your digestive health. According to Harvard School of Public Health, substituting pasta and white bread with whole grain bread and pasta increases intake of dietary fiber, which is proven to enhance digestion.

                  Eat Healthy to Avoid Digestive Problems

                  To keep your digestive system in tip top shape, drink water, eat fresh foods, and limit intake of sugar and fat. But, don’t feel like you can’t enjoy food! Eat what you like in moderation while balancing your diet with high fiber, nutrient-rich foods.

                  Featured photo credit: Soulful Spoon via soulfulspoon.com

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                  Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                  Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                  If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                  1. Breathe

                  The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                  Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                  2. Loosen up

                  After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                  Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                  3. Chew slowly

                  Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                  Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                  Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                  4. Let go

                  Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                  The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                  It’s not. Promise.

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                  Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                  Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                  21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                  5. Enjoy the journey

                  Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                  Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                  6. Look at the big picture

                  The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                  Will this matter to me…

                  • Next week?
                  • Next month?
                  • Next year?
                  • In 10 years?

                  Hint: No, it won’t.

                  I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                  Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                  7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                  You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                  Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                  8. Practice patience every day

                  Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                  Final thoughts

                  Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                  Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                  Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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