The 10 Worst Foods That Cause Digestive Problems & The 10 Best That Improve It

The 10 Worst Foods That Cause Digestive Problems & The 10 Best That Improve It

Are you experiencing some stomach problems lately? Turns out, a lot of what you're eating might be the culprit behind your recent digestive issues! To help you get over those cramps, bloating, gas, or whatever you might be dealing with, we want to share with you 10 of the worst foods you should be avoiding because they're known for causing digestive problems, and 10 of the best foods that might help solve your problem.

1. Fried and Fatty Foods

It's ideal that you cut back on fried and fatty foods if you're dealing with digestive problems because they're extra hard for the stomach to digest, leading to potential heartburn and indigestion. They slow down the overall digestive process, leaving fats to linger longer in the stomach than you'd want.

Erik-Mclean-Ubtrdqwubzc-Unsplash (1)Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

2. Dairy Products

For anyone who is lactose intolerant, you're fully aware of the battle you have every time you eat dairy. Satisfying that ice cream craving is a tough one! Dairy products can lead to digestive problems such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. This is because lactose intolerant individuals lack the enzyme lactase, which is necessary to properly digest lactose, the sugar found in milk.

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3. Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain a high amount of refined sugars, trans fat, and artificial additives, all which can disrupt the digestive system. From bakery items found in grocery stores to your favourite processed snack foods, they might be contributing to any bloating, gas, cramps, or other discomforts you've been facing.

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4. Spicy Foods

While not everyone is as sensitive to spicy foods than others, eating too much spicy food can actually trigger digestive problems. It can cause irritation to the digestive tract in some individuals, leading to heartburn, indigestion, and in some cases, even diarrhea. Probably not things you signed up for when you ordered that extra hot curry.

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5. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like sorbitol can cause digestive problems because they don't get fully absorbed by the body. The result is an unfortunate one - it can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea, especially in people with a particular sensitivity to these compounds.

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6. High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Found in many processed foods and beverages, high-fructose corn syrup can be difficult for some people to digest. It introduces natural bacteria into our body, which throws off the balance and can create digestive issues such as gas and bloating.

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7. Beans and Legumes

Although beans and legumes are high in fiber and protein, they also contain something called oligosaccharides, a type of sugar that some people can find hard to digest. As a result, they're known for causing some unpleasant digestive issues like gas, cramping, and bloating.

Shelley-Pauls-T4X660Okiys-Unsplash (1)Photo by Shelley Pauls on Unsplash

8. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are high in fiber and other nutrients, but can cause digestive problems because they're more difficult to digest (they contain the same indigestible sugar as beans!). This can lead to some unpleasant stomach issues like gas and bloating. 

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9. Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages are often a big culprit for people's digestive problems. Drinking these caffeinated beverages stimulates the digestive system, leading to an increase in bowel movements. For some people, this can be more extreme, leading to digestive discomfort like diarrhea or acid reflux.

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10. Alcohol

Alcohol can be a very dangerous food affecting your digestive tract; it can cause a lot of irritation and lead to issues like acid reflux, heartburn, and even stomach ulcers. It can also disrupt the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, leading to even more digestive problems.

Kelsey-Chance-Tah2Ca Bl5G-UnsplashPhoto by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash


1. Ginger

Ginger has always been highly regarded for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to ease nausea and vomiting. It can also promote smooth muscle contraction in the intestines, helping to move food through the digestive system more effectively. So the next time you're dealing with digestive issues, try drinking some ginger tea or incorporate more ginger into your meals.

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2. Yogurt with Live Cultures

Yogurt that contains probiotics can help maintain the balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut, helping to improve your gut biome. Don't underestimate this simple benefit - this balance is crucial for healthy digestion and definitely helps to prevent issues like diarrhea and bloating.

Tiard-Schulz-Zt3Jbpd6Afg-UnsplashPhoto by Tiard Schulz on Unsplash

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains a great source of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that aids in digestion by helping to regulate your bowel movements. It can also absorb water which helps to soften stool and makes them easier to pass. If you're dealing with digestive issues, it's time to prepare a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast!

Olga-Kudriavtseva-S8J1Dlrroo0-Unsplash (1)Photo by Olga Kudriavtseva on Unsplash

4. Bananas

Bananas are easy on the stomach and are full of good nutrients that can help you restore normal bowel function, especially if you have diarrhea. They're also high in potassium, which is a good idea for you to replenish since a lot can be lost during bouts of diarrhea or vomiting.

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5. Apples

Turns out an apple a day does keep the doctors away! Apples are a good source of soluble fiber, specifically pectin, which can help improve diarrhea symptoms and maintain a healthy digestive system. 

Shelley-Pauls-I58F47Lrqym-Unsplash (1)Photo by Shelley Pauls on Unsplash

6. Peppermint

Peppermint has been shown to relax the muscles of the GI (gastrointestinal) system, which can help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea. Peppermint oil capsules or peppermint tea are often used for this purpose.

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7. Lean Meats

Because fatty meats and fried foods are so much harder for your body to digest, give your stomach a well deserved break by eating more lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish. These meats provide essential proteins without putting too much strain on the digestive system.

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8. Whole Grains

Whole grains, like brown rice and quinoa, are high in fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber helps keep the digestive system flowing by contributing to regular bowel movements.

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9. Sweet Potatoes

Rich in dietary fibers that are known for improving digestion and gut health, sweet potatoes can work wonders. It's great that they also contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals that also support your overall health! But to make things even easier on your digestive tract, you can soften these up into a mash so it'll cause even less strain.

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10. Fennel

You may not have expected to see this food on this list, but fennel is known for its amazing ability to help relax the gastrointestinal tract and reduce bloating, constipation, and gas. Fennel is also being studied for its effects of stimulating bile production, which is very important for digestion and the absorption of fats.

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