Digestive Health

Chronic Tummy Problems? Avoid These Five Foods.

Black woman holding stomach in pain

From the more traditional snack buffets at work to everybody-bring-a-dish dinners at a relative’s house, you have the chance to sample all kinds of tasty (and unfamiliar) treats throughout the year.

This year’s treats may be more restrained due to COVID-19, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to sample foods beyond your normal fare. Whether you’re trying a new recipe or ordering a holiday dinner delivered from a cool farm-to-table restaurant, you’re introducing your stomach to foods it hasn’t met before.

And sadly, if you have chronic stomach problems, this can lead to tummy troubles. Let’s look at five dishes to avoid if you have chronic digestive issues.

1. Fruit and Veggie Trays

If you have ulcerative colitis,these colorful, healthful choices may not be right for you, as both the insoluble fiber in fruit peels and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower can cause flare-ups.

People with irritable bowel syndrome may also do better by avoiding fibrous fruits and veggies.

Choose delicious stewed fruits instead. A fruit crisp with an oat topping and natural sweeteners can satisfy your cravings without the seeds, peels or gluten.

2. Chocolate

It’s painful to hear, but chocolate can exacerbate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Carob, a type of fruit with a similar taste to chocolate, may make a good substitute.

3. Cheese Balls

If you have Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance or ulcerative colitis, foods containing soft cheeses may cause digestive problems from your tummy to your intestines.

Instead, fill in your snack tray with hard cheeses, which are lower in lactose and may digest more easily.

4. Eggnog

Similarly, eggnog may cause problems both for people with GERD and those who have lactose intolerance. You can purchase lactose-free variants, but if the problem involves the heavy fat content, explore flavorful holiday teas instead.

5. Alcoholic Drinks

From steaming spiced cider as you walk in the door to a hot toddy at bedtime, alcoholic drinks can seem essential to many holiday traditions. However, they irritate peptic ulcers, GERD and many other stomach conditions.

Substitute non-alcoholic drinks, or make sure you’re only lightly drinking. Timing can help, too—a mid-morning mimosa may produce less nighttime heartburn than a nightcap.

Helping you keep life simple and healthy

Trust the experts at Augusta University Health with all of your health and wellness needs. For recipes and more healthy eating tips, browse our healthy recipes.

About the author

Augusta University Health

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.