13 Foods That Can Increase Your Risk of Digestive Issues

Knowing the link between diet & digestion is key for healthy living. Certain foods can worsen digestive problems. We've listed these foods to improve your diet.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods, rich in capsaicin, often cause digestive discomfort, resulting in heartburn and indigestion due to irritation in the stomach and esophagus.

Fried and Fatty Foods

Fatty foods trigger high acid production causing bloating, heartburn, & stomach discomfort. They also relax the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to acid reflux.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are high in lactose, which many find hard to digest, leading to symptoms of lactose intolerance, such as bloating and abdominal cramps.

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes contain oligosaccharides, a sugar our bodies struggle to digest due to missing enzymes. This results in gas from intestinal fermentation, causing bloating and discomfort.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower are rich in nutrients and fiber, but may cause digestive issues due to a complex sugar, raffinose.

Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated drinks can cause bloating and discomfort due to carbon dioxide. They also have high sugar and artificial sweeteners, affecting gut bacteria balance and causing digestive issues.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are low-calorie substitutes that can affect gut bacteria balance. Some people might experience digestive distress due to them.


Drinking a lot of coffee can stimulate your colon, potentially causing a laxative effect, diarrhea, and it can increase stomach acid, leading to heartburn or an upset stomach.

Processed Foods

Processed foods rich in sodium, fats, and sugars can disrupt digestion, leading to water retention, bloating, discomfort, and potential heartburn.

Excessive Fiber

Fiber aids digestion but overconsumption may cause bloating and discomfort due to our body's inability to break it down. Eating in large quantities can be challenging.


Alcohol harms digestive tissues, prevents nutrient absorption causing diarrhea, gas, and increases stomach acid leading to gastritis. Read more.

Processed Grains

Processed grains are stripped of fiber during processing, leading to potential constipation due to impaired digestion.

Highly Acidic Foods

Acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, & vinegar can cause heartburn & indigestion, especially in those prone to acid reflux & GERD. They relax the esophageal sphincter, leading to discomfort.

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