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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

              Fatty-steak-1000x500

                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 May 22, 2019

                  10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                  10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                  There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                  One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                  In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                  Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                  1. Cat Camel Stretch

                  Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                  Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                  Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                  Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                  2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                  This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                  Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                  The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                  Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                  Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                  3. Jumping Jacks

                  Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                  Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                  4. Abductor Side Lifts

                  Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                  Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                  5. Balancing Table Pose

                  This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                  Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                  ablab

                    6. Leg Squats

                    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                    7. Push Ups

                    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                    8. Bicycle Crunches

                    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                    9. Lunges

                    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                    10. Bicep Curls

                    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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