What foods contain gut irritant?

June 17, 2023 3 min read

What foods contain gut irritant?

There are several foods that may act as gut irritants for some individuals. However, it is important to note that not all individuals will have the same response to these foods, and some people may be able to tolerate them without any issues. Some examples of gut irritant foods include:

  1. Gluten-containing grains: Wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten, a protein that can trigger inflammation in the gut and exacerbate symptoms in people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. (1)
  2. Dairy products: Many people have trouble digesting lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products, leading to bloating, gas, and other digestive symptoms. Additionally, some people may be sensitive to the proteins in dairy products, such as casein and whey. (2)
  3. Processed and high-fat foods: Foods that are high in fat or heavily processed can be difficult to digest, leading to bloating and other digestive discomfort. (3)
  4. Spicy foods: Spicy foods, particularly those containing capsaicin, can irritate the lining of the stomach and cause digestive distress. (4)
  5. FODMAPs: Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) are a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can cause bloating, gas, and other digestive symptoms. FODMAPs are found in a variety of foods, including wheat, onions, garlic, beans, and some fruits. (5)
  6. Alcohol: Alcohol can irritate the lining of the stomach and intestines, leading to inflammation and digestive symptoms. (6)
  7. Coffee: Coffee, particularly when consumed in large amounts or on an empty stomach, can stimulate the production of stomach acid and irritate the lining of the digestive tract. (7)
  8. Artificial sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners, particularly those containing sugar alcohols like sorbitol, can be difficult to digest and cause bloating and other digestive discomfort. (8)
  9. Raw cruciferous vegetables: Raw cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, contain compounds that can be difficult to digest and can cause bloating and gas in some people. (9)
  10. Nightshade vegetables: Some people may be sensitive to nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, which can irritate the gut and exacerbate digestive symptoms. (10)


  1. Elli L et al. Diagnosis of gluten related disorders: Celiac disease, wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Sep 21;21(35):10523-31.
  2. Misselwitz B et al. Lactose malabsorption and intolerance: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. United European Gastroenterol J. 2013 Oct;1(3):151-9.
  3. Simrén M et al. Food-related gastrointestinal symptoms in the irritable bowel syndrome. Digestion. 2001;63(2):108-15.
  4. DiBaise JK et al. Diet and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol Suppl. 2012 Mar;1(1):25-31.
  5. Halmos EP et al. The FODMAP diet: FODMAPs, food, and functional gastrointestinal disorders. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Feb;29 Suppl 1:136-46.
  6. Lu CL et al. Effects of alcohol on gastric emptying and gastrointestinal transit. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010 Jan;34(1):162-8.
  7. Boekema, P. J., Samsom, M., & van Berge Henegouwen, G. P. (1999). Coffee and gastrointestinal function: facts and fiction. A review. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Supplement, 230, 35-39. doi: 10.1080/003655299750025487
  8. Haruma, K., & Kamada, T. (2015). Review article: epidemiology and management of constipation in the Asia-Pacific region. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 30(1), 109-114. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12695
  9. Rao, S. S., & Yu, S. (2014). Fedorak RN. Systematic review: dietary fibre and FODMAP-restricted diet in the management of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 41(12), 1256-1270. doi: 10.1111/apt.12710
  10. Singh, R. K., Chang, H. W., Yan, D., Lee, K. M., Ucmak, D., Wong, K., … & Liao, W. (2017). Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and implications for human health. Journal of Translational Medicine, 15(1), 73. doi: 10.1186/s12967-017-1175-y

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