Caring for Your Stomach and Preventing Disease

October 29, 2018
If you're experiencing stomachaches, constipation, or have excessive gas, it may be a sign that you need to change how you're treating your stomach.

Your stomach is located in the center of your body, where many of your vital functions originate. It processes the food that you eat and even has a say in your mood, your energy levels, and your happiness. Do you want to know more about how to care for your stomach and prevent stomach disease? Read on in today’s article.

How can you know if your stomach isn’t functioning properly?

Aside from being an aesthetic issue, having a trim belly is actually good for your health. Also, if you keep your stomach in good shape, you’ll feel better. As the saying goes, “good health starts in the stomach.”

On the other hand, if your stomach isn’t working properly, you’ll feel a change in your mood, become tired, have dull skin, and you’ll probably start gaining weight. All of this is because your body is having trouble getting rid of the toxins and wastes that have accumulated in your bloodstream.

Anatomical image of a stomach

Other signs that you need to make a change in how you treat your stomach include:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Pasty mouth
  • White tongue
  • Stomachache
  • Swollen belly
  • Excessive gas
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Burping
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion

All of the above signs could indicate that you have a problem somewhere in your digestive system. So, if you suffer from one (or more) of these symptoms, it’s important that you start the appropriate treatment to help your stomach recover.

What influences the health of your digestive system?

A person with a hand on their stomach because they are having stomach problems

Once you’ve determined that something is wrong with your stomach, the next step is to start watching what you eat. Sometimes you might not realize that you’re eating foods that are harmful to your health, and you continue eating them. As a result, these are the cause of most stomach problems, including pain, swelling and bloating, gas, and constipation.

Eating dairy products

The biggest culprits are whole or unpasteurized milk and strong cheeses. More so, all dairy products sit “heavy” in your stomach. Some people believe this is due to artificial ingredients that are added to them.

However, others argue that the reason is as mammals, we become lactose intolerant after we finish breastfeeding. Regardless, the fact is that most people don’t feel well after eating dairy.

This is because our bodies lack the enzyme that’s required to digest it, and it “sticks” to the lining of the intestines. Furthermore, this causes inflammation to occur in the stomach, along with gas, indigestion, and the accumulation of toxins and fat.

Give this a read: Non-Dairy Foods Rich in Calcium 

Poor eating habits

A woman overeating and eating many unhealthy foods

If you can only make it an hour or two without eating, you snack all the time, or you always have candy or gum on hand, it may mean that you have poor eating habits. Also, this means that your stomach never gets a chance to rest because it’s working all the time. Even more, it causes discomfort, indigestion, poor nutrient absorption, and aches.

Combining foods that shouldn’t go together

We’re not saying you can’t eat certain foods at the same time, but there are particular combinations to watch out for. Nutritionists say that it depends on the person, but in general, eating carbohydrates and protein in the same meal isn’t recommended if you’re having stomach problems.

To digest carbohydrates, your stomach requires an alkaline pH, while digesting protein requires acids. This means your stomach has to work extremely hard to digest these. So, it’s best to consume them separately – one during lunch and the other at dinner, for example.

Not drinking enough water

A bottle and glass of water

No doubt you’ve read that you need to drink at least two liters of water a day. This isn’t an arbitrary amount. If you don’t consume enough water, it causes heavier digestion and difficulty going to the bathroom (constipation). Still, try not to drink more than one glass of water during your meals to avoid diluting the stomach’s pH and making digestion more difficult.

We recommend reading: Find Out How to Improve Your Health y Drinking More Water Every Day

Overcooking your food

Sure, some foods can’t be eaten raw, but sometimes people overcook their food. This strips it of its nutrients and can actually harm your stomach. Try to eat more raw foods (fruits and vegetables), no matter whether it’s summer or winter. Juices and smoothies can help satisfy your hunger, giving you nutrients while avoiding the perils of cooking.

Eating too much red meat

A variety of raw, red meats

Red meat lacks the fiber that’s essential for healthy bowel movements. That’s why people who consume too much red meat experience colitis, hemorrhoids, constipation, and diverticulosis. Remember that your stomach has an oblong shape and a very long intestinal tract. Due to that, the food remains in the body for a long time before it’s eliminated.

All this increases the toxins that accumulate in your bloodstream. So, if you must eat red meat, do so with a fresh salad that’s full of vegetables, and try not to eat it more than twice a week.

Tips for caring for your stomach

Woman bending over holding her stomach due to stomach pains

  • First of all, drink teas made with medicinal herbs like chamomile, anise, and mint.
  • Get more exercise to stimulate your intestines.
  • Eat more fiber from whole grain foods.
  • Avoid irritants like alcohol, coffee, and vinegar.
  • Chew slowly and enjoy each bite of food. Don’t eat in a hurry, and finally cut your food into small pieces.
  • Avoid eating when you’re angry, nervous, or anxious.
  • Thorning, T. K., Raben, A., Tholstrup, T., Soedamah-Muthu, S. S., Givens, I., & Astrup, A. (2016). Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? An assessment of the totality of scientific evidence. Food & nutrition research, 60, 32527. doi:10.3402/fnr.v60.32527
  • (1934). THE DIGESTION OF BEEF PROTEINS IN THE HUMAN STOMACH. The Journal of clinical investigation, 13(2), 193-207.
  • Heterocyclic amines: Mutagens/carcinogens produced during cooking of meat and fish. Sugimura T, Wakabayashi K, Nakagama H, Nagao M.
  • Genotoxicity of heat-processed foods. Jägerstad M, Skog K.
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