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Debunked: The 9 Most Common Digestive Health Myths

A happy and healthy tummy is the goal of everyone.
 
When your stomach feels good, you feel good, which is why it’s imperative to understand your digestive tract and how to best take care of it. There’s a great deal of information out there to sift through and some of it may not be accurate. Listed below are nine of the most common digestive health myths — we discuss and debunk them so you don’t have to! Take the tips for digestion and leave the rest.

Myth #1: Eating Spicy Foods Causes Ulcers

Like your food with a little heat? Don’t sweat it! Spicy foods do not cause ulcers, but they just may agitate already existing ones. Most ulcers (sores in the stomach lining) are the result of an infection from the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Certain pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen can also bring about ulcers. If you are experiencing symptoms of an ulcer such as burning, heartburn, or bloating, contact your doctor for treatment.

Myth #2: Eating Nuts Causes Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is a condition in which pouches in the colon wall become inflamed and infected. In the past, it had been thought that eating nuts, corn, popcorn, or foods with small seeds (like strawberries) caused Diverticulitis as the food would get stuck in the colon wall pouches. Myth! New studies show ingesting nuts, corn and seeds do not increase the risk for Diverticulitis and people with a high-fiber diet are at a lower risk for the condition.

Myth #3: Eating Beans Makes You Gassy

Beans may be a magical “fruit,” and have a bit of a bad rap. Turns out, they don’t make you as gassy as many tend to believe. They’re a terrific plant protein to add to your diet and boast many health benefits including:

  • Providing a source of fiber and Vitamin B
  • Reducing cholesterol
  • Lowering blood sugar levels
  • Increasing healthy gut bacteria
Actually, dairy is one of the main culprits of gas. Especially as people age and have more difficulty processing the sugar in lactose.
 

Myth #4: Smoking Helps Ease Heartburn

Smoking is not good for anything! In actuality, smoking can increase heartburn because nicotine relaxes the muscle at the top of your stomach that prevents acid from refluxing back into your esophagus. Increased acid reflux means intensified heartburn.
 

Myth #5: Constipation is Caused by Aging

People are at increased risk of constipation as they get older, but you cannot specifically point to aging as the cause of constipation. The elderly are often associated with constipation for a few reasons. One, they’re often on medications that slow their digestive system. And two, their physical activity generally decreases which can cause constipation. Age itself is not the cause. 

Myth #6: Avoid Fiber if You Have Loose Stool 

A common gastro question is how fiber helps digestion. Fiber actually works two ways, 1. by helping prevent stools from being too hard and 2. helping prevent stools from being too loose.

How does this work?

Fiber either pulls the water from the colon to loosen stool or absorbs fluid in the intestine to firm the stool. Don’t avoid fibrous foods if you have an upset stomach or loose stool, because a high-fiber diet or snack can actually help you in both scenarios.

Myth #7: Load Up On As Many Probiotics As You Can

Probiotic is a super-buzzy health term. But, do you know what probiotics do?

Ultimately, probiotics help with the bacterial balance in your gut which supports your overall health. Instead of reaching for just any probiotic food or supplement, you should make sure it contains the targeted and recommended probiotics that are best for you.

Myth #8: Eating Before Bed is a No-No

When trying to manage your health and your weight, it’s less about when you eat and more about how much and what you eat throughout the day. For some people eating before bed may actually help them fall asleep faster, however others have more difficulty falling asleep when they have not finished digesting their food. If you suffer from heartburn for example, you may want to avoid eating two to three hours before bed to reduce agitation.

Myth #9: Meat Takes Longer to Digest Than Vegetables

Meat and vegetables actually take about the same amount of time to digest. What is true, however, is that foods that are high in fat can slow the digestive process.

Understanding these tips for better digestion can help improve your lifestyle and overall health. There are a lot of steps you can take to keep your tummy healthy including incorporating a monthly digestive tract cleanse into your routine. Consider Detoxify’s Polisorb for an effective and safe way to cleanse your digestive tract of unwanted toxins and substances — before they can create discomfort.

Resources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430566/
https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-pick-the-best-probiotic-for-you/

Created by Nawiconfrom the Noun Project