Nutritionists have compiled a list of the most difficult foods to digest, causing bloating, diarrhea, and some other awkward and, at times, painful side effects. This list includes not only well-known gut abusers, but also some seemingly useful vegetables.
So which foods are the hardest for our stomachs to digest?
1. Chocolate and ice cream
Chocolate contains bountiful amounts of caffeine and oils, while ice cream has milk and animal fats. When combined, these two ingredients become very difficult for the body to digest. The caffeine problem also applies to coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc., so be careful what you’re consuming.
2. Onion and garlic
While both onion and garlic are good for the immune system and have antiviral and antibacterial properties, this fantastic duo is a real pain to digest. They irritate the mucous membrane layer of the stomach and lead to thundering flatulence.
3. Fried food
Fried foods take the most time and resources for the body to process fully. For example, fried meat chunks, like a classic kebab, will get fully digested after about three whole days. But the most taxing thing for the body to process is fatty foods fried in vegetable oil. That’s a double whammy for your gut.
Citric acid contained in almost all juices and fruits irritates the stomach and increases the body’s overall acidity, causing acid reflux and heartburn. Say less, Internet!
5. Beans and legumes
Beans are a natural source of vegetable protein and are very good for your health. But there is another side to this coin. They are rich in oligosaccharides, which take hours to get fully absorbed, causing the buildup up of gases.
Green veggies are universally known for being healthy, but if you’re snacking on raw carrots and tomatoes, be prepared to pay the price. Vegetables are full of fiber which, as you may know, cannot be fully digested by humans. That’s why after eating a healthy salad, you may feel bloated and gassy. But, to be fair, the positives presented by vegetables far outweigh the negatives, so keep it green.
7. Spicy food
Spicy foods are dangerous because they irritate the insides of your stomach, and the body exerts additional effort to neutralize this effect. Doctors generally recommend avoiding spicy foods like hot pepper, garlic, and onions to people with gastrointestinal problems.
8. Processed meat
This category includes all industrial meat products prepared without your participation: canned food, sausages, frozen chicken nuggets, etc. They contain dangerous fats, which cause stomach issues and lead to obesity and heart problems. Not that the meat prepared at home is healthy, but at least you know it’s not filled with nitrates.
9. Chewing gum and sugar-free products
Sugar-free products removed natural sugar, replacing it with xylitol, sorbitol, and maltitol — the “healthy” sugar substitutes. Maybe they are a bit better, I don’t know, but they are only partially digested in the body and cause increased flatulence. Sugar-free chewing gum has another great bonus: the stomach gets sweet saliva and air during chewing, which bloats your stomach even more.