If you’re having tummy trouble, you’ve joined a very big club. Experts say that nearly all of us eventually develop some sort of digestive problem. That’s because, as we age, our stomachs produce less of the enzymes needed to break down food which means, food can hang out in our stomach longer, and produce more gas. The fix? Avoid the 5 foods that’re hard on the gut:  

  • #1: Sugary drinks. More than 1 in 3 people suffer from fructose intolerance. The symptoms are similar to lactose intolerance – and can include bloating, gas, stomach pain, and depression. So, lay off the sodas.

  • Another food that causes heartburn: Chocolate. The tasty treat contains a chemical called theobromine which relaxes the muscle at the bottom of your esophagus which allows acid to gurgle back up – also known as acid reflux - especially when you’re lying down. 

  • Then there’s: Coffee. Compounds in coffee can irritate your stomach lining and it doesn’t matter whether it’s regular, or decaf.

  • Another problem food: Tomatoes. 

  • Gastroenterologist Dr. Gerald Isenberg says tomatoes stimulate the production of stomach acid and anything that increases acid production, can cause heartburn.

  • The final heartburn-causing food: Anything fried. Dietician Kathleen Brooking says fried foods take longer to digest. So, they just sit in your stomach producing gas.

If you quiver at the thought of life without chocolate, coffee, pizza, and French fries, there are two things you can do to prep your stomach for the occasional treat:

  • First, eat more raw foods. All foods contain enzymes that can improve digestion. But, cooking destroys the enzymes. So, start your meals with a salad or a handful of raw veggies. 

  • Also: Skip the ice. Digestive enzymes work best at body temperature so, icing down your drinks keeps food in your stomach longer.