Avoid Eating This Popular Dessert If You Have An Upset Stomach

Eating junk food, eating too much of one food, or indulging in too much drink will eventually cause your stomach to rebel. Whether it's gas, stomach cramps, acid reflux, or nausea, an upset stomach can have you doubled over on the couch for several hours. You can take an antacid or drink ginger ale, but sometimes you just want to roll on your side and wait it out.

Sometimes a delightful dessert plate will be wafted in front of you, and your sweet tooth says, "Why not?" Lighter desserts might not worsen an upset stomach, but richer ones could have you running to the toilet. If you have heartburn or acid reflux, certain ingredients in desserts could create even more acid. Even though chocolate isn't acidic, certain chemicals in chocolate relax the muscles in your esophagus. That can result in more stomach acid crawling up your esophagus and exacerbating an upset stomach.

Other reasons to avoid chocolate if your stomach is sick

Chocolate might also cause acid reflux. More processed chocolate confections have a lot more sugar and saturated fat. Your digestive system produces bile to process the fat in your food, which could make your stomach feel acidic. You'll also find potential allergens, such as nuts or soy, that could trigger symptoms. Chocolate also has theobromine, which can stimulate your body like caffeine. Eating too much chocolate could make you feel nauseated, especially if you choose chocolate that's high in theobromine, like dark chocolate (Can too much chocolate kill you? Here's what we know).

Because 40 grams of a milk chocolate bar can have 3 grams of lactose, eating twice that can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms in people with lactose intolerance. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) might also want to steer clear of chocolate. The sugar itself isn't great for your gut, and milk chocolate has lactose that could aggravate bloating or cramping. Having IBS makes you much more susceptible to the potential gut irritants in food.

Foods to eat and avoid when your stomach is sick

Rather than reaching for chocolate when your stomach is sick, reach for foods like ginger or yogurt to soothe your symptoms. Whole grains like oatmeal might not make for a dessert like chocolate, but they will also help absorb the excess stomach acid. Nuts and seeds have the same effect. If acid reflux is a common problem for you, swap out foods high in saturated fat and opt for lean proteins and healthy fats from avocado and olive oil. Beans are also a great source of protein that can ease acid reflux.

If you find your stomach is sick often, take a look at some of the other things you might have eaten. Acidic foods like tomatoes, pineapple, and vinegar-based dressings will make your stomach feel sour. Peppermint, alcohol, and caffeine also relax your esophagus and can worsen acid reflux. Spicy food, onions, and garlic might taste great on your palette, but they also irritate your esophagus or cause excess acid production.