Eating spicy foods late at night or drinking coffee on an empty stomach are just two of the bad habits that can negatively affect your gut.
Gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are just a few of the many discomforts and symptoms that are the result of an unhealthy gut. Although you may have tried taking digestive enzymes, antacids, avoiding carbs, and taking probiotics, your belly is still in distress, and it may be because of the following five bad habits.
1. Eating Too Many Healthy Foods
Beans, lentils, nuts, beets, cauliflower, apples, blackberries, and other healthy foods that are high in fiber and nutrition are beneficial for many people—but not for those with digestive sensitivity. Carbohydrates are not easily digested, and if too many are left partially digested, they can ferment and turn into bacteria. Once fermented intestinally, you may experience pain, diarrhea, gas, constipation, and bloating. A moderate amount of high-fiber foods will produce a smooth move, but too many high-fiber foods can wreak havoc on the intestinal tract.
Blackberries and raspberries can be toxic to the digestive system in some people. Photo courtesy of stocksnap.com
2. Happy Hour and Night Caps
Those after-work, weekly trips to the local bar or nightclub may sound like fun, but too many drinks can not only harm your liver, it may also harm your gut. Alcohol is very acidic and can eat away at the lining of your stomach and slow down the muscle movements in your gut. Alcohol also relaxes the esophagus and can cause heartburn.
Eating spicy foods too late at night may not agree with our gut. Photo courtesy of stocksnap.com
3. Your Addiction to Caffeine
Most Americans love a good cup of coffee. We start off the day with our morning java, have an afternoon pick-me-up, and then sometimes wind down the day with an evening slow sip of decaf. It seems that every year another coffee study comes to light. Drink two cups of coffee a day for health, drink five cups of coffee to improve health, coffee is good for your heart, coffee is not good. By now, we are all confused, and don’t know what to believe. But one thing is for sure—one should never drink coffee on an empty stomach.
According to healthambition.com, “Many of the compounds in coffee like caffeine and the various acids found in coffee beans can irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine. It’s known to be a problem for those suffering from ulcers, gastritis, IBS, and Crohn’s disease, and doctors generally advise patients with these conditions to avoid coffee completely.”
A cup of coffee on an empty stomach is not a good idea. Photo courtesy of stocksnap.com
4. Your Fast-Paced Lifestyle
Having a very active lifestyle can also affect digestion if we are not getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep-deprivation increases stomach acid, which slows down digestion. Partying until dawn, eating late at night, and working a stressful job can all lower the good bacteria in our digestive system and cause gut distress.
Did you know that the gut requires 7-8 hours of restful sleep in order to function best? Photo courtesy of stocksnap.com
5. Not Getting Enough Exercise
When physical activity is placed on the back burner and we skip the gym, this slows down the motion of the digestive tract. Exercise helps circulate waste matter from food that has accumulated throughout the day from meals. Studies show that physical activity improves and increases healthy gut bacteria called flora.
Not getting enough exercise and being a couch potato will add to digestive problems. Photo courtesy of Youtube.com
In addition to breaking these five bad habits, you can take the herbs parsley, ginger, and black pepper to improve stomach gas and bloating in your gut.
Do you have any recommendations? Tell us in the comments!