Foods That May Be Causing Gut Issues You Didn’t Know About
Jul 21, 2023
Food is meant to nourish and sustain us, but certain foods can have a negative effect, causing symptoms such as nausea, bloating, gas, and discomfort. For some people, these symptoms may mimic those of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). If this sounds familiar, don’t fret because this article will delve into some of the common foods that could be triggering these gut issues, and we'll discuss ways you can alleviate your symptoms.
Let's start with something sweet.
Impact of sugar on the gut
They say revenge is sweet for a reason and it certainly feels that way when your body is punishing you for eating something you otherwise enjoy.
Refined sugars are typically found in processed foods such as desserts, candy, and soda. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, overconsumption of sugar can alter your gut microbiota, leading to dysbiosis, which can trigger symptoms like bloating and discomfort.
For individuals who experience gut discomfort after consuming sugary products, reducing the intake of high-sugar foods like desserts, sodas, and processed foods can be beneficial. Instead, opt for natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables. Better still, if you need a sugar fix, turn to actual fruit because the fiber is really good for your gut.
Sugar is a tricky one to avoid because food product manufacturers lace their products with vast quantities of sugar, so it is important to read the labels and minimise overconsumption of these products.
How processed foods can cause gut issues
Processed foods are another significant culprit. These foods often contain high levels of salt, fat, and sugar, and they are usually low in fibre, which is essential for gut health. Diets high in processed foods can negatively affect your gut bacteria, leading to symptoms similar to IBS.
Processed foods are known to be causes of inflammation in the body because they contain so many unnatural ingredients. A healthy tip is to consume meals with as few ingredients as possible because that is a sure way of ensuring that your diet is natural and healthy. Sauces can be an exception, but be mindful of those high in sugar, salt and additives. Check the labels and opt for those boasting natural, and preferably organic ingredients. They may cost you a little more, but your gut will thank you for it.
Alternatively, try making your own sauces from scratch. It works out cheaper, often tastes better, and you can be sure that everything that goes into it is healthy and natural.
Overall, we suggest keeping processed foods to an absolute minimum.
Nightshade vegetables and their impact on sensitive tummies
Nightshade vegetables sound mysterious and insidious, but you are very familiar with them.
These include tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, and aubergines. While they are generally healthy, some people experience gut discomfort after consuming them. This is thought to be because these vegetables contain solanine, a natural pesticide that some people find difficult to digest. If you are sensitive to these ingredients, it indicates a potential underlying issue that may be corrected by balancing your gut microbiome.
These ingredients are otherwise healthy and they are packed with nutritional goodness, so we don’t want you to miss out on them because of a sensitive tummy, especially if you are predominantly on a plant-based diet. JUVIA users report being able to enjoy these foods and many more when they have a shot of JUVIA with their meals.
Gluten, a common cause of discomfort
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s a hot topic right now with many food manufacturers making gluten-free alternatives. That’s because individuals with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, experience inflammation in the intestines, resulting in symptoms such as gas, bloating, and diarrhoea. This has been extensively documented in the medical literature, for example in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
While there are many gluten-free products to choose from, they tend to be more expensive than the regular options and it is surprising how many items gluten can be found in, including sauces.
Filling your shopping trolley with gluten-free products can easily add an extra 20-30% to your total weekly shop, which is not ideal for those with big families or who are living on a budget. Some products are more than twice the price when compared to the gluten alternative. It may be cheaper and easier to deal with the problem at sauce, oops, we mean source, and that’s where JUVIA steps in.
Rather than paying more to remove gluten, spend less to enjoy those foods with JUVIA. You will need to take JUVIA continuously for 6-8 weeks to rebalance your gut, but after that your symptoms will be at worse minimised, but for most, they are eliminated entirely. So long as you continue taking JUVIA with your meals, you will be free to eat as you please.
Please note that JUVIA is fine to take for people with gluten intolerance, but is not suitable for people with Coeliac disease (allergy to gluten).
How caffeine can cause a range of gut issues
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, and chocolate. Many can’t start their day without a dose of caffeine to liven them up, and some drink coffee throughout the day to maintain focus. While caffeine can help to keep us alert, it can also stimulate bowel movements, sometimes leading to discomfort and loose stools. A study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology confirmed the laxative properties of caffeine.
Coffee itself does not pose an issue, in fact, it contains a number of nutrients and compounds like phytophenals that are actually beneficial to your gut flora, but caffeine does stimulate the intestine. This can be a good thing every now and again because it is healthy to keep things moving down there. One way of looking at it is like a flowing river. If the water stops flowing, the water can become stagnant and filled with nasty bacteria. Nonetheless, like anything, moderation is the best policy, especially because it can cause discomfort for some people. That said, if you drink more than two cups of coffee a day, it may be time to reach for the decaf and pay close attention to your overall caffeine consumption.
Remember, caffeine can be found in fizzy drinks like cola, and chocolate. Tea also has caffeine, so your consumption can add up throughout the day if you’re not careful. Let’s not forget that caffeine disrupts sleep and poor sleep can also impact your gut health because of increased levels of cortisol. You are also more likely to consume sugary snacks after a night of poor sleep, so caffeine can have quite the knock-on effect if you leave it unchecked.
As a nation we like to indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two and there is some evidence that red wine has health benefits, but like anything, the difference between poison and medicine is your dose. Unfortunately, most people consume far more alcohol than is necessary to gain any benefit and are likely to cause more harm than good.
Alcohol consumption can disrupt the gut. According to a review in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, alcohol can alter the gut microbiota and increase intestinal permeability, leading to a range of gut symptoms from gas to diarrhoea. Overall, alcohol is quite harsh on the body and your liver works hard to eradicate it. The additional stress can take its toll on your body and any cortisol released in response to that stress and inflammation is likely to disrupt your gut health.
We are not saying that you should give up alcohol entirely, but your health would very much benefit from reducing your alcohol intake to a minimum.
Artificial sweeteners, are they better than sugar for your gut?
Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are not a great alternative to sugar as they are another potential gut disruptor. A study has demonstrated that artificial sweeteners like saccharin can negatively affect gut bacteria, leading to glucose intolerance, a risk factor for a range of more serious conditions.
Natural sugars are always best and they are typically found in fruit. Honey is a good alternative and so is JUVIA. They are great as toppings for desserts, yoghurts and in cereals. Remember, though, you cannot heat JUVIA because it will cease to work, so always pour JUVIA onto cool foods.
Dairy products and gut health
Many individuals have a dairy intolerance, specifically to lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lactose intolerance can cause a range of digestive symptoms including bloating, diarrhoea, and gas.
We have already highlighted the potential negative effects of sugar and lactose is no different. You can of course buy lactose-free milk, but perhaps consider a non-dairy alternative. Oat milk, rice milk, and almond milk are not only nutritious, they are also delicious and do not have the negative health effects of dairy. Just make sure to choose a brand that does not contain a lot of artificial sweeteners, sugar, or preservatives.
There are also several non-dairy cheese products and desserts. This market has really developed over the years, so you will be spoilt for choice. JUVIA goes really well with dairy-style products, especially yoghurts and milk. It provides the natural sweetness that you crave and you will look forward to enjoying it every morning.
Cruciferous vegetables and your gut
Finally, raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage, while packed with nutrients, can cause gas and bloating in some individuals. This is due to their high fibre and complex sugar content that can ferment in the gut, according to the Harvard Health Letter. These class of vegetables rank highly on the FODMAP score, so should be eaten sparsely, if you are sensitive to them, or better still, have a shot of JUVIA just before eating them so you don’t have to worry about bloating and discomfort (assuming you are passed the gut balancing phase of 6-8 weeks).
You don’t need to suffer in silence or indeed suffer at all. Here at JUVIA we are all about making your life better, one day at a time.
Here are some useful tips to help you on your way.
- Try our elimination diet to help you understand what your body reacts to
- Try a gut rebalancing formula, like JUVIA
- Increase your fibre intake gradually to improve digestion and gut health
- Increase your intake of a diverse range of fruit and vegetables to balance out your gut
- Increase your water intake to aid digestion and to regulate your stools (poo)
- Exercise moderately and frequently to stimulate your gut and intestinal movements
- Create a healthy sleep routine
- Practice mindfulness like meditation, yoga and being present in your day-to-day life
- Chew your food more thoroughly to break down food particles into manageable chunks
- Get professional advice from a medical professional about your specific reaction to foods
Remember, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have an existing health condition. Also, keep in mind that everyone's body responds differently to various foods. What may cause discomfort in one person, may not in another. It's crucial to listen to your body and identify what foods work best for you. By paying attention to what you eat, you can take a big step towards improving your gut health.
Team JUVIA believes that everyone should be able to enjoy their favourite foods without the worry of negative consequences and discomfort. That’s why our plant-based product has been formulated to break down the starchy carbohydrates before they make their way to the gut, leaving your gut and tummy feeling great and well, as they should be.
If you haven’t tried JUVIA yet, order some today and see how quickly you notice the difference.