Foods that May Irritate Your Stomach

Occasionally, most of us will encounter foods that upset our stomachs and digestive systems. If you know which foods to avoid, you can reduce your chances of these episodes, especially if you have a sensitive system. Everyone’s triggers are a bit different, but there are certain foods and drinks that warrant extra caution.


Most people know sugar is bad for you for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is its effect on the stomach. Too much sugar can leave you with cramps and aches or make you feel clammy, shaky, and moody. Be particularly judicious around rich desserts, such as cheesecake or ice cream. Instead, seek out small amounts of dark chocolate, fruit-based sorbets, or angel food cake.


Many Americans are lactose intolerant. For those who aren’t, over-consumption of milk can cause a rumbling stomach, increased urgency, and overly soft or watery bowel movements. Drink orange, cranberry, or grapefruit juice at breakfast instead of milk. If you’re already lactose intolerant, ask your doctor about substituting soy, almond, or rice milk in your diet.

Acidic Foods

Fruits such as tomatoes and lemons are good for you, but they contain acid that may affect your stomach if you eat them too much. For example, if you find your stomach cramping after a spaghetti dinner, the marinara may be to blame. Be careful with these foods if your stomach is sensitive, and avoid canned or processed versions. Take steps like making your own lemonade or spaghetti sauce or buying organic strawberries at the local market.

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