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10 Foods That Are Hard to Digest

Hard to Digest: 10 Foods That Are Tough on Your Belly

Certain foods are notorious for wreaking havoc on the digestive system. If you suffer from belly bloat, gas, acid reflux, or just general discomfort after you eat, one of the following foods might be the culprit.

  1. Ice cream: Between the high fat and dairy content, ice cream is known to cause major cramping, bloating, and indigestion — especially for anyone dealing with lactose intolerance. For a sweet treat, try one of these dairy-free ice cream recipes that go a little easier on your belly.
  2. Beans: While high in fiber and protein, beans contain oligosaccharide, a type of sugar that is difficult to digest. When this sugar reaches your large intestine, the gas you produce is an unfortunate byproduct. Studies have shown that soaking beans dramatically reduces flatulence for consumers without affecting the nutritional content.
  3. Spicy foods: It's tough to give up spicy foods when you love them, but anyone who deals with gastrointestinal issues needs to steer clear. They are known for irritating the lining of the esophagus and leaving you with an unpleasant heartburn sensation after eating.
  4. Citrus drinks: Citrus drinks can up your vitamin C intake, but all the citric acid they contain can also irritate the esophagus. If you have any reflux symptoms that hinder your digestion, citrus drinks are one of the first things to cut out of your diet.
  5. Fried foods: High in fat and full of grease, it's no surprise why fried foods spell trouble for the stomach. Try baking up favorite fried treats like these mozzarella sticks and chicken wontons. They will go easier on your belly, since they dramatically cut back on the fat and oil content of traditional recipes.
  6. Mashed potatoes: Most mashed potatoes recipes are loaded with milk or cream; the lactose intolerant bunch need to do their best to stay away or find a lighter replacement. When the weather cools off and mashed cravings begin, try this vegan cauliflower smash to satisfy your taste buds.
  7. Chocolate: Chocolate contains stimulants like caffeine, plus it's high in fat. This combination does not support healthy digestion for people who have gastrointestinal issues, but if you're going to indulge, dark chocolate is a much better option than milk.
  8. Raw onions: When eaten raw, onions can distress the stomach by causing gas production. But if you cook up your onions before you eat them, it should take the edge off this issue.
  9. Cruciferous veggies: Nutrient- and fiber-rich cruciferous veggies like cauliflower and broccoli offer plenty of healthy benefits for your system, but they contain a complex sugar called raffinose that's known to cause gas buildup and bloat.
  10. Sugar-free gum: Sorbitol, an ingredient found in many sugar-free gums, can cause a buildup of gas, but even the act of chewing gum can cause your belly to swell. The reason makes sense: you're swallowing large amounts of air as you chew.

Have you cut out foods from your diet in order to improve your digestion?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
JLew1982 JLew1982 8 years
I agree 100% with ice cream being #1..now I feel validated for feeling like crap whenever I eat it.
lorioz lorioz 8 years
These are all foods that I love!
lorenashley lorenashley 8 years
So many good foods are on this list..oh well. I guess I'm going to be constipated.
SU3 SU3 8 years
I can never give up my spicy foods!!
Marci Marci 8 years
I never thought the day would come, but I finally gave up ice cream because it's so problematic to my system and wasn't worth it to me anymore. I've found that I can eat Frozen Yogurt because the cultures break down differently, and so it's nice to be able to have a cold treat like that. But it sure ain't ice cream. :(
Beautifulbarbie Beautifulbarbie 8 years
Yeah, I have heard chocolate and ice cream is.
lovekailua lovekailua 8 years
i had a small from cold stone last year and never again it upset my stomach like never before! :( i love beans m onions, and citrus drinks...figures!
DesignRchic DesignRchic 8 years
I'll never give up ice cream! I don't eat massive amounts either, so I think I'll be fine. It surprises me though, about the foods that are healthy for you like beans, cabbage broccoli, and citrus.
islandbreeze islandbreeze 8 years
Maybe that's why I don't eat ice cream. LoL I love mashed potatoes though.
vsakakeeny vsakakeeny 8 years
I find if I soak raw onions (after I finely dice them), then rinse them off in a mesh colander, they don't upset my stomach. And I don't get onion tongue either.
ccsugar ccsugar 8 years
Yuck that's really gross about the ice cream. I'll remember that next time I want to eat some!
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