Understanding the Role of Diet in Gastrointestinal Health
posted: Jul. 06, 2023.
Diet plays a huge role in how you feel, especially regarding your gastrointestinal system. It’s easy to eat junk food, but it’s not so easy for your body to digest it. There are some healthy foods which can cause problems too. Your gastroenterologist is an expert in the role diet plays in your gastrointestinal health.
What You Need To Know About Diet and Gastrointestinal Health
First, let’s look at how your GI system works. Digestion begins with chewing, so you need to chew your food thoroughly, because enzymes in saliva mix with the food and help you digest it. Next, the food passes into your stomach, where it is broken down further, and nutrients are distributed to your body's systems and organs. The digested food continues down your intestines and into your colon, where waste products are excreted from your body.
So, what foods are bad for your digestive system?
- Red meat and high saturated fat foods
- Dairy products, if you are lactose intolerant
- High-sugar foods, which can lead to inflammation throughout your body
- Raw vegetables and legumes can lead to bloating, gas, and other issues
Foods that are good for your digestive system include:
- Nuts, seeds, and whole grains
- Foods that are high in fiber
- Water-rich foods like soups and broths
- Lean proteins like turkey and fish
- Cooked vegetables
It’s best to eat smaller meals throughout the day because they are easier to digest. Also, avoid eating a large meal before you go to bed because the digestive process slows down when you sleep. Not everyone can eat every food. If you have food allergies, you will react differently to certain foods. Common food allergies include:
- Dairy products
Chronic diseases affecting the gastrointestinal system can complicate what you can eat. If you have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other GI conditions, it’s important to visit your gastroenterologist regularly.
Want To Know More?
To learn more about the role diet plays in gastrointestinal health, talk with your gastroenterologist today.