13 Healthy Foods That Are Difficult to Digest

Digestion breaks down food into absorbable molecules for energy. Some hard-to-digest foods can cause discomfort and bloating.


Beans are a great source of protein and fiber but have complex sugars that our body can't digest, leading to gas. Soaking beans overnight makes them easier to digest.


Broccoli's high fiber and raffinose can cause digestive issues like gas and bloating. Steaming or cooking it softens fibers and breaks down raffinose for easier digestion.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic and onions are common in many cuisines, but their high sulfur content may lead to digestive issues like heartburn and bloating.

High-Fat Foods

Fatty foods like fried dishes and fatty meats take longer to digest. Opt for leaner meats and limit intake of fried and fatty foods for easier digestion.

Dairy Products

Dairy products contain lactose, a sugar hard for some to digest. Lactose-free or low-lactose options like almond milk, lactose-free dairy are better for lactose intolerance.

Spicy Foods

Spicy food's fiery sensation is due to capsaicin in chili peppers. It can cause digestive system irritation, discomfort, indigestion, or acid reflux.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients but contain phytic acid that can bind to minerals, making absorption harder. Soaking or sprouting can reduce this and aid digestion.

Fruits With High Pectin Content

Apples, pears, and peaches have high pectin and their skins have insoluble fiber, potentially causing digestive issues. Peeling these fruits can aid digestion.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds, rich in healthy fats, can be tough to digest due to their hard shell. Soaking or roasting can help soften them, aiding digestion.


Coffee offers an energy boost but contains caffeine and compounds that irritate the stomach, causing digestive issues. Limiting coffee or choosing decaf can help.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, found in diet drinks and sugar-free items, may cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people due to digestion issues.


Excessive alcohol consumption irritates the digestive system causing stomach pain, diarrhea, and acid reflux. Limiting alcohol or choosing lower-alcohol options helps prevent this.

Acidic Foods

Highly acidic foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar can trigger heartburn and acid reflux. Eating them in moderation or with non-acidic food can lessen discomfort.

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