If you love food, then it can be utterly heartbreaking when you start to suspect that your body might not be reacting well to some of the ingredients you truly love. If you’re dealing with cramps, gas, bloating, or stomach pain, you might be intolerant or your diet might just need a little adjustment. Let’s look at how you keep loving food even when it seems like that relationship isn’t always reciprocated.
Learn the usual suspects
Everyone should know that some foods are more likely to cause gut problems than others. You might love the occasional spicy meatball, for instance, but indulging in spicy or fatty foods too often will at the very least lead to indigestion. Carb-dense foods that are low in fiber can really slow the digestive process, as can excess fructose and artificial sweeteners.
Get specific with your approach
Sometimes it’s not about the overall diet but about the particulars of what exactly you’re eating. It might be painful to have to say goodbye to an ingredient you love, but you need to narrow down what foods are bringing out what reactions. A diet and symptom diary helps you narrow down the list. You might discover that your body just doesn’t react very well to certain vegetables, or you might discover something with broader impacts like an intolerance to gluten or dairy products.
See if something more serious is going on
It might not just be down to the food but what else is going on in your body. Sometimes, you don’t need to eat much at all for irritable bowel syndrome to play up, for instance. But treatment for irritable bowel syndrome can also clear up many of those symptoms, leaving you free to occasionally indulge in the ingredients you love without fear of too much reprisal. Again, you still need to learn if you have any trigger foods worth avoiding in future. IBS isn’t curable, but it is highly treatable, so don’t feel like it’s going to forever spoil your love of food.
Encourage that gut health
Good IBS treatment also takes into account the balance of probiotics and prebiotics in your stomach, but you should be doing that anyway. There are a lot of probiotic foods like miso and sauerkraut that can promote the presence of healthy bacteria that keep your digestive system working well. But the most widely available probiotic food is Greek yogurt. There are plenty of Greek yogurt recipes to incorporate it into your diet, too. You can have breakfast fruit and yogurt bowls, dinners like pasta with yogurt sauces or sides like Greek yogurt egg salad.
Most of the time, dealing with recurring gut health issues is more about individual foods you might better avoid. But sometimes it’s about broader aspects of your lifestyle, such as the balance of bacteria in the stomach, or a long-term condition you’re going to have to deal with from now on. Hopefully, the points above help you change your cooking and eating habits so that you can love your food without your body fighting it all the time.