Read more about food to know which foods you should avoid. If your digestive system has been giving you a tough time lately, you’ve undoubtedly already considered your diet. Or maybe you’ve written it off as something else. Possibly one of the most ignored problems with digestion is how your diet disturbs your mood and your gut function, which can also impair your digestion and send it to a halt. The brain and the gut are directly linked. What you eat affects not just your stomach and hunger levels, but also your attitude, vigor, and your mental focus. If a food makes you anxious, tired, or even moody, it can also disrupt the way your digestion works. Some foods also contain certain properties that the body simply doesn’t favor to have to digest. The more work your body has to do to filter out something it doesn’t like, the worse your digestion will feel, and the more your temper and motivation will even suffer. Here are some common dietary wrongdoers that are thought to impair digestion for many people. Artificial Sweetener If you like to cut calories by adding artificial sweetener instead of real sugar to your coffee, you may be disturbing your digestion and increase inflammation in your body. In general, sweeteners which are partially digested have a major impact on the GI system and can lead to bloat, gas, and diarrhea. Chocolate Your odd cravings may affect more than just your waist. The caffeine contained in chocolate may cause heartburn and IBS symptoms in people prone to digestive disorders. What’s more, like caffeine, chocolate is also a diuretic, which can result in loose stool or diarrhea. If you need to content that craving, choose dark chocolate. It consists of polyphenols that can slow GI function and increase water absorption to avoid diarrhea. Processed Foods In addition to the danger of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and leading to weight gain, refined carbohydrates, like white bread, soda, and potato chips, move rapidly through the digestive tract and can result in bloating, cramping, and other GI issues. Spicy Food Whether we’re talking hot curry or spicy Buffalo chicken wings, foods that give your taste buds a run for their money can also cause heartburn, particularly if you eat them close to bedtime. Fresh Fruit & Veggies Conventional knowledge says that reaching for nature’s bounty in the produce aisle is the best way to stay healthy. And while fresh produce should always be included in a healthy diet, processing raw fruit and vegetables can be difficult for people with sensitive GI systems. Raw produce has high amounts of insoluble fiber, which moves speedily through the intestinal tract and can result in loose stool, diarrhea, gas and bloating. Greasy or Fried Foods Foods high in saturated fat, like steak (certain cuts, for example, rib-eye, are fattier than others), French fries, and ice cream, are tough for the body to digest and can make you feel really full and increase your chances of acid reflux. Coffee This energy hero can quickly turn out to be your GI tract’s worst enemy. In fact, nearly 40 million people in the United States refrain from drinking coffee – or as much coffee as they would like – because of stomach irritation. Coffee doesn’t just wake up our mind, it also kindles acid production in the stomach, which can cause inflammation and result in heartburn and GERD. In addition, caffeine acts like a diuretic, which can cause dehydration and, ultimately, constipation. Acidic Foods Even if you have the best intentions, many healthful fruits and vegetables, like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and tomatoes, may upsurge your risk for acid reflux and GERD due to their acidity. Removing acidic foods from your diet is the best way to decrease your risk of heartburn. Follow this guide carefully while planning your diet and watch out for the foods mentioned above. Nevertheless, if you still want to eat these fruits and vegetables every once and awhile, don’t do it on an empty stomach, which will only increase the chances of irritation and inflammation in your digestive tract. Preparing a healthy and balanced diet will always help you as long as you eat the right kind of food, in the right amounts at the right time.