7 Popular Digestive Myths, Debunked

Jan 21, 2015

  • 1

    Is that a Myth or Fact?

    The intuitive leaps of knowledge that seem to come out of nowhere are called “gut feelings” for a reason. Our gut and our emotions are strongly linked. When it comes to what we think we know about our digestive system and its workings, some beliefs are tough to shake. Being able to discern between myth and fact is important and can arm you with the information you need to feel better.

    Image: Getty



  • 2

    It is Easier to Digest Cooked Food

    This myth can drive raw foods proponents crazy. Digestion is the process of breaking down macro-molecules into micro-molecules and being able extract nutritional value, caloric content, vitamins, and minerals. Fact: Your digestive tract is a maestro at this, regardless of you eating food that's raw or cooked. Cooking sometimes makes it easier to attain nutrition, but overcooking can do the opposite, too. It is best to learn about the foods you want to cook and follow the recommended cooking methods to preserve nutrients.

    Image: Getty



  • 3

    It is Better to Eat More Fibre

    It is recommended that you get 25 grams of fibre a day, but you don’t need to go above and beyond this because many can't even reach that goal. Also, if you have a digestive condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you should pay attention to the type of fibre you're eating. Research on 275 patients with IBS published in the British Medical Journal showed that having soluble fibre, like psyllium, instead of insoluble fibre, like bran, translated to fewer IBS symptoms.

    Image: Getty



  • 4

    It is Good to Drink Plenty of Water with Meals

    As long as you stay well hydrated throughout the day, there's no need to drag your water bottle to dinner for digestion help. In fact, if you have acid reflux, you might find that cutting back on the beverages at mealtime improves your symptoms. For others, particularly if you're dieting, drinking a glassful before eating might cut down on calorie consumption. So, pick the strategy that works for you, and ignore this digestive myth.

    Image: Getty



  • 5

    Stress is the Reason behind Ulcers

    Managing stress would stop ulcerous burns from setting your tummy on fire? The cause of your ulcer is more likely to be Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that's had a long relationship with the humans. You're certainly not alone to be infested by this bug, since about half the people on the planet are. It is a leading cause of ulcers as well as certain cancers. Good news: H. pylori can be treated with antibiotics.

    Image: Getty



  • 6

    Colon Cleanses Detox Your Gut

    Whoever tells you that you'll feel lighter and healthier after a colon cleanse, don't believe them. Your body does a fine job on its own. Nobody has 14 pounds of meat adhered to the wall of their colon, as propelled by certain colon-cleanse product. In case you're still tempted: Check with your doctor before trying any cleanses to avoid unwanted consequences, such as dehydration.

    Image: Getty



  • 7

    Meat Stays in Your Stomach Longer Than Vegetables

    Intuition suggests that this must be a digestion fact. After all, meat just feels heavier and fattier than veggies, right? But while it's true that fat can slow the digestive process, meat and vegetables take about the same amount of time to get through your digestive tract. However, if you have certain digestive problems or food allergies, you may find that specific foods trigger symptoms.

    Image: Getty



  • 8

    Always Go to Bed on an Empty Stomach

    Weight management has more to do with how many calories you eat during the day than when you eat them. However, if you have acid reflux it's actually is a good idea to stop eating two to three hours before bedtime, just to cut down on symptoms. And in case you were wondering: Eating before bed does not cause nightmares.

    Image: Getty