Indigestion can be a real pain—literally! If you struggle with issues like heartburn, acid reflux, and bloating, it can be frustrating for several reasons; not only is it uncomfortable, but it may also be difficult to discover the source of these issues . Most times, though, it comes down to your diet and your eating habits. This is especially true when it comes to how you start your morning. As it turns out, your breakfast can set the tone for the whole day, including the state of your digestive system. There are several mistakes health experts say you should be wary of for this reason.
To discover the worst breakfast mistakes you should steer clear of if you want to avoid indigestion, we spoke to registered dietitians Trista Best of Balance One Supplements and Bill Bradley, CEO of Mediterranean Living. Find all of their insight below!
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1. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach
If you regularly start your morning with a cup of joe for that much-needed caffeine boost before you even have a bite to eat (or even worse, if you use coffee as a meal replacement) health experts warn that’s one major reason you may be “This habit increases the production of acid in your stomach, which could irritate the lining of your stomach and result in indigestion and heartburn,” Bradley explains.
But isn’t just the high acidity of coffee that can cause these issues. Caffeine can also take a toll on your body. “Caffeine reduces the secretion of bile and gastric juices and results in the difficulty of digesting other foods you eat,” he notes. Yikes! Of course, we’re not saying you should cut coffee out of your diet altogether—just make sure you eat some food with it.
2. Skipping breakfast
You know what the say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is true for so many reasons—including the fact that, as Bradley warns, failing to get some food in your stomach first thing in the morning may lead to uncomfortable indigestion.
Providing your body with nutritious, filling food is essential to ensuring everything in your stomach stays under control. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of excessive stomach acid. “When you don’t eat breakfast, the acid secretion of gastric acid in the stomach increases and attacks your stomach lining, leading to indigestion and abdominal pain,” Bradley warns. So don’t forget to grab a bite, no matter how much you’re rushing!
3. Eating a high-fat breakfast
Just as you should never skip breakfast in the morning, it’s important to be conscious of the type of foods you’re putting into your body. Starting your day with a high-fat meal can also wreak havoc on your stomach and lead to indigestion.
“Typical breakfast foods are relatively high in fat and consuming multiple at one sitting can lead to indigestion, among other concerns,” Best shares, citing sausage, bacon, fried eggs, fatty cheeses, and milk as a few of the most common culprits. “High fat foods digest more slowly and the addition of your digestive system slowing down while you sleep can cause bloating and indigestion as a result,” she says. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to this issue: Stick with lighter, low-fat breakfasts such as oatmeal or a bowl of fruit. That way you can provide your body with the energy it needs to get through the day without running into painful bloating and indigestion. Perfect!