Gas pain, occasional heartburn or occasional constipation … These are just some of the digestive discomforts that can derail your active lifestyle. Trouble is, most people feel uncomfortable discussing them. But nobody has to suffer in silence. Here are three common tummy troubles you might face. And how to survive them.
Why? Many of the healthiest foods — think broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans — are the most gas-inducing. That’s because these foods contain a type of carbohydrate that goes undigested until bacteria in your small intestine ferments it, causing gas. Certain artificial sweeteners, like sorbitol (found in some gum and candies) can also cause gas. And chewing gum, eating too quickly or gabbing during meals can cause you to swallow air which leads to gas.
The Fix: Fiber-rich foods are full of health benefits, including maintaining bowel health and keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check. Rather than eliminating these super foods, find ways to tweak things so you can enjoy the health benefits without all the gas. Experiment with different food combinations to see if that helps. Some find if they eat fruits alone, or limit high-fat foods, for instance, the gas subsides. Keep a food diary for awhile to see if you notice any patterns. Always presoak beans and cook them in fresh water. Chew your food slowly and keep the talk to a minimum while eating so you don’t gulp air.
Why? When food travels from your esophagus to your stomach, a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens, then closes to keep stomach acid in your stomach. If the LES doesn’t work properly, acid travels up to the esophagus and throat, causing a burning sensation in your upper body, a sour taste in your mouth, sore throat, or even bouts of coughing.
Eating too much, obesity, pregnancy, and constipation can all increase pressure on the stomach and can make occasional heartburn worse. Certain foods and eating too close to bedtime can also trigger a flareup.
The Fix: Try to figure out which foods trigger you. Common culprits include spicy foods, tomatoes and tomato sauce, citrus fruits, onions, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. Eliminate them all from your diet, then add them back in one by one to see what happens. Eat smaller meals, stop smoking, and finish your last meal at least two to three hours before bed.
If you have heartburn more than three times a week for two weeks or more, call your doctor, as it could be a sign of something more serious.
Why? Everyone’s body is different. For some people, going every day is normal, for others, going every few days is totally typical. If you’re going less than you typically do or are experiencing stomach pain or bloating, if your stools are hard or you’re straining to go, you probably have constipation. Age, taking certain medications, hormonal fluctuations, not drinking enough, not eating enough fiber and not getting enough activity can all contribute to occasional constipation.
The Fix: Make sure you’re drinking enough fluids during the day. Six to eight glasses of water is a good rule of thumb. Up your intake of fruits and vegetables and add more fiber into your diet by eating plenty of whole grains and beans. Certain foods can be binding, so avoid cheese, chips, fast and processed foods, and ice cream until you become regular again. Some people find that choosing a specific time of day, usually about 15 to 45 minutes after breakfast, can help them go more regularly. And always use the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.
These simple food fixes can have a big impact on your digestive comfort. For overall digestive health, consider adding PepZinGI® to your daily routine. This unique zinc-carnosine complex delivers targeted nutritional benefits for your digestive system. Plus, it’s drug-free and gentle enough to use every day.*
PepZinGI® works by transforming zinc (an essential mineral critical for digestive health) and l-carnosine (a naturally occurring peptide with antioxidant activity) into a unique zinc-carnosine complex. The complex is highly stable, which means the nutrients stay in your digestive tract for a longer period of time where they go to work helping to nourish and fortify the protective mucous membrane that lines your stomach and intestines.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.