Is it true that chewing gum cannot be digested by the body? Should you do a bowel wash to cleanse the digestive system? As it turns out, these two are just a small example of the many myths surrounding digestion.
Some myths that many people believe may not have a big impact on your body. However, there are also misconceptions regarding the digestive system that you should avoid.
Myths about the digestive system
The digestive system plays an important role in converting the food you eat into energy.
If there is a disturbance in the digestive system, food processing and absorption of nutrients can certainly be affected.
Sometimes, some digestive problems can occur due to habits or wrong assumptions that you can do it everyday.
In order to keep digestion healthy, here are various myths about digestion that you need to know.
1. The intestines can’t digest chewing gum
Have you ever accidentally swallowed a piece of gum? Basically, you cannot swallow the chewing gum.
Its chewy and sticky form also often makes people think that chewing gum will not be digested.
The body can’t digest chewing gum, but swallowed gum doesn’t stay in the stomach forever.
Your bowel movements will move the gum toward your anus and expel it through the stool.
2. The more fiber consumption, the better for the body
According to the Nutritional Adequacy Ratio (RDA), adults should ideally consume 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
Fiber is important for digestive health, but the suggestion to eat as much fiber as possible is a myth.
Excessive consumption of fiber can cause other digestive problems, such as flatulence, stomach cramps, and flatulence.
So, if you want to eat more fiber, make sure you increase your intake gradually.
3. Avoid high-fiber foods during diarrhea
There are two kinds of dietary fiber, namely soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Although both are equally good for digestion, insoluble fiber may not be suitable for dealing with diarrhea because it can stimulate bowel movements.
In contrast, research in the journal Nutrition Today shows that soluble fiber can absorb excess water in the stool.
So, you can still eat high-fiber foods when you have diarrhea, but choose ones that are rich in soluble fiber, for example:
- carrots and
4. Eating lots of nuts causes flatulence
Many believe that peanuts are one of the gas-producing foods that cause flatulence.
This myth is not entirely wrong because peanuts are rich in raffinose, which is a type of carbohydrate that increases gas production in the digestive tract.
Even so, peanuts are not the largest gas producer. Compared to nuts, there are other foods that cause bloating more often, such as apples, onions, milk and dairy products, and high-salt snacks.
5. Lifting heavy objects can cause a hernia
There is an assumption that hernias usually occur in people who often lift heavy objects.
This turns out to be a myth because most hernias arise due to muscle weakness that occurs long before hernia symptoms such as lumps appear.
Other factors that can weaken muscles include age, injury, and surgical incisions.
Lifting heavy objects is not a cause of hernia, but rather a factor that can aggravate an existing hernia.
6. Washing the intestines can clean the digestive tract
The benefits of colon cleansing are perhaps one of the most well-known digestive myths.
Colon washing is a method to clean the digestive tract that can be done in two ways, namely by consuming detox products or colon hydrotherapy.
Although not harmful to healthy people, colon washing is not recommended for people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis.
The reason, washing the intestines can worsen diarrhea which is a symptom of these diseases.
7. Stress causes peptic ulcers
Some people believe that stress is the cause of peptic ulcers, but this is a myth.
Stress can indeed aggravate gastric disease, but peptic ulcers themselves are due to infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.
H. pylori attacks the protective lining of the stomach so that the stomach is more easily eroded by acid.
Stress makes gastric acid production also increase. This is why stomach pain symptoms tend to get worse when you are stressed.
8. Raw vegetables are healthier
Many people think that raw vegetables are better for digestion, but unfortunately this is a myth.
Not everyone can eat raw vegetables, especially those who have diseases of the digestive tract.
Raw vegetables can trigger the production of gas that causes flatulence. In addition, it is easier for the intestines to digest and absorb nutrients from cooked vegetables.
So, it is better for you to cook vegetables before consuming them.
9. People with lactose intolerance should avoid dairy products
People with lactose intolerance should limit their consumption of milk and dairy products, but that doesn’t mean they should avoid it altogether.
Everyone who has lactose intolerance has their own “safe” limit. For example, there are people who can eat yogurt and ice cream without a problem, but will experience diarrhea if they consume milk.
To make sure which dairy products are safe for you, try consulting your doctor.
There are many myths about digestion circulating in the community. Some of them are harmless to the body, but some can have an impact on your digestive health.
In order to maintain digestive health, make sure you adopt a healthy diet and drink enough water.
If you experience symptoms of indigestion, consult a doctor to get the right treatment.