We are always asked which foods are good for digestion, and which one’s should be placed on the avoid eating list.  Our breakdown is as follows

High-fat and fried food

Worst

Both high-fat and fried food can overwhelm the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. High-fat food also can result in pale-colored stool, a phenomenon called steatorrhea, which is essentially excess fat in the feces. A lot of people with irritable bowel syndrome need to stay away from foods high in fat, she says, including butter and cream because they can cause digestive problems.

Chili peppers

Worst

This staple of spicy cuisine can irritate the esophagus and lead to heartburn pain.

Dairy

Worst

You need calcium in your diet, and an easy way to get it is from dairy products such as milk and cheese. But, for the lactose intolerant, these can cause diarrhea, gas, and abdominal bloating and cramps.

If you’re lactose intolerant, staying away from dairy is probably your best bet.

Alcohol

Worst

Alcohol relaxes the body, but, unfortunately, it also relaxes the esophageal sphincter. This can lead to acid reflux or heartburn.

Drinking also can inflame the stomach lining, impairing certain enzymes and preventing nutrients from being absorbed, Anderson says. Too much alcohol can cause diarrhea and cramping, but unless you have a gastrointestinal disorder, moderate amounts of alcohol shouldn’t irritate the digestive tract.

Berries

Worst

Berries are good for your health, but ones with tiny seeds can be a problem for people who have diverticulitis, or pockets that develop in the intestine (usually the large intestine) that become inflamed or infected.

Chocolate

Worst

A 2005 study suggested that chocolate may be a problem in those with irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation.

Coffee, tea, and soft drinks

Worst

Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages not only over-relax the esophageal sphincter, which keeps stomach acid confined to the stomach, but they also can act as diuretics, which can lead to diarrhea and cramping, Anderson says.

Corn

Worst

Fiber-rich corn is good for you, but it also contains cellulose, a type of fiber that humans can’t break down easily because we lack a necessary enzyme.

Our evolutionary ancestors were probably able to break it down with bigger, stronger teeth, Anderson says. If you chew corn longer, you can probably digest it just fine, she says. But wolf it down and it may pass through you undigested, and cause gas and abdominal pain.

Yogurt

Best

You have trillions of bacteria in your gut that help you digest food, and yogurt contains some types of these healthy bacteria. (Although not all yogurts have them—check for “live and active cultures” on the label.)

Kimchi

Best

Kimchi is a Korean favorite usually made with cabbage, radish, or onion, along with lots of spices. The main ingredient is usually cabbage, which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.

And cabbage is a type of fiber that’s not digested, so it helps eliminate waste, keeping bowel movements regular, Anderson says. Sauerkraut is good for the same reasons.

Lean meat and fish

Best

If you’re going to eat meat, go for chicken, fish, and other lean meats—they’ll go down a lot easier than a juicy steak.

And lean meats and fish have not been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer like high-fat red meats have.

Whole grains

Best

Whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oats, and brown rice, are a good source of fiber, which helps digestion.

Fiber also can help you feel full and lower cholesterol, but it can cause bloating, gas, and other problems in people who quickly ramp up their intake—it’s better to take it slow when consuming more. And wheat grains are a no-no for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Bananas

Best

Bananas help restore normal bowel function, especially if you have diarrhea (say, from too much alcohol).

Ginger

Best

This spice has been used for thousands of years as a safe way to relieve nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, loss of appetite, and colic.

But it’s best to consume it in moderation. High doses of ginger can backfire; more than 2 to 4 grams per day can cause heartburn.