Food & Nutrition

Which Foods to Avoid with Acid Reflux and Digestion Issues?

21-Day Tummy, the classic diet book from Reader’s Digest, tells you which foods are harming your digestion and which foods will improve it.

What common foods are good and bad for your belly?

Man Suffering From Stomach AcheNattapol SritongcomShutterstock/Shutterstock

Foods containing rapidly fermentable carbohydrates called FODMAPs feed bacteria in your gut and may be responsible for gut inflammation, gas, bloating, and other uncomfortable tummy troubles. Cutting back on foods that contain FODMAPs will help improve your digestion, eliminate GI problems, and lead to weight-loss.

Watermelon: Avoid

Board with juicy watermelon slices on wooden background, top viewNew Africa/Shutterstock

This lovely summer treat isn’t as harmless as all the water it contains. Watermelon is high in fructose, fructans, and polyols, which are FODMAPs. Remember, the more the FODMAPs, the more potential for tummy trouble.

Fermented foods: Enjoy some, avoid some

Bowl of homemade granola with yogurt and fresh berries on wooden background from top viewbaibaz/Shutterstock

Some fermented foods are good for your tummy; others can create problems for certain people. Fermented foods include wine, cheese, vinegar, miso, yogurt, sauerkraut, and pickles. In yogurt, milk is combined with bacterias that break down some of the lactose, so what remains may be easier for your stomach to process. So fermented foods such as yogurt are often considered “probiotic foods” that are good for your gut. Look for dairy products that are low in lactose and your digestion should be A-OK. These are the best probiotic foods for your gut (besides yogurt).

Pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, and almonds: Avoid

Assorted mixed nuts in bowl on wooden table. Top viewetorres/Shutterstock

Most nuts are good for your tummy, but pistachios and cashews are high in fructans and GOS, both FODMAPs. Hazelnuts and almonds are a little higher in FODMAPs than some other nuts so eat them in limited quantities (10 nuts or 1 tablespoon nut butter per serving). Steer clear of almond milk, which is made with large amounts of almonds.

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