Many people experience problems with digestion with the most common issues being tummy ache, bloating, wind and cramps. Between 12 to 15 per cent of the population is constipated, and one in five has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which causes cramps, diarrhoea and constipation. Anyone who has experienced some form of digestive problems knows how debilitating this could be – you have to cut out a large portion of the foods you’re used to eating from your menu and sometimes even turn to supplements and probiotics to help with digestion of certain food groups.
Foods that cause Digestive Problems
It’s no secret that certain foods are easier to digest than others, and that some are best to be avoided at all times – even if you don’t have digestive problems. These are high-fat, processed foods like fried food, which can overwhelm the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. “The body can only handle so much at one time,” says Jessica Anderson, RD, a diabetes educator with the Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center, in Corpus Christi.
Many people also love spicy food, but it is known to irritate the esophagus and lead to heartburn pain. So it’s best to practice moderation in putting spices in your curry or couscous dish. Martino’s Conventional Flavoured brand carries a Spicy taste variety, which works well with stir-fried shrimps and cannellini beans, and is not too spicy to upset your tummy.
Another common food that causes problems is dairy. For people with lactose intolerance, milk and cheese can cause diarrhea, gas, and abdominal bloating and cramps. However, you need calcium in your diet and a good substitute can be tofu, which goes well with Martino’s couscous and won’t irritate your stomach.
Cutting out or, at least, limiting your intake of alcohol, soft drinks, black tea and coffee is also something that needs to be done as these not only over-relax the esophageal sphincter, which keeps stomach acid confined to the stomach, but they also can act as diuretics, which can lead to diarrhea and cramping. Sadly, freshly squeezed juices are not a good alternative as when you juice fruits – you basically flush out all the healthy fiber, leaving only the fructose (sugar). Opt instead for mild options like green, mint or camomile tea, which are soothing to your gut lining and have anti-inflammatory qualities.
Fiber-rich corn is good for you, but it also contains cellulose, a type of fiber that humans can’t break down easily because we lack a necessary enzyme. For people with gluten and corn intolerances, Martino’s Al Naturale line carries chickpea or rice couscous, 100% organically-cultivated, highly digestible and low-fat. Specifically thought for people with gluten intolerance, yet perfect if you are looking for a light change in your everyday life.
What to eat?
A healthy and balanced diet that helps keep digestive problems under control is rich in vitamins, proteins, minerals, fiber and vitamins. We need 20 to 30 grams a day and we maybe get 12 and most are in processed form, stripped of all the nutrients. Martino’s couscous is created for those who want the best: steaming, first quality grain, unique organoleptic and nutritional qualities for this 100% Italian taste product. It serves as the perfect base for a savoury meal with steamed or roasted vegetables, meat or fish. The fiber in our organic couscous also can help you feel full and lower cholesterol.
If you like to eat meat, go for lean meats like chicken and turkey as well as fish – they are more easily digestible than red meats.
Seasoning your couscous dish with spices can either put additional pressure on your digestive system or stimulate it to function properly. Opt for spices with anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, thyme, cumin, ginger, cayenne and clove. Experiment with their taste and see which one works best with the dish you are preparing – some better complement vegetable couscous while others work well with meaty meals.
What you eat is directly related to what digestive problems you have. Your food can either worsen or improve your condition. Many people eat too much processed food and sugar, and not enough fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Poor eating habits, such as eating too quickly or skipping meals, can also be part of the problem. Many digestive problems can be prevented by eating a healthy, balanced diet and Martino’s couscous is the best place to start.
Have you suffered or suffer from any digestive problems? Let us know how Martino’s organic couscous products have helped you manage poor digestion and stay healthy.