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How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health

The key to avoiding headaches, bloating and other annoying pains could be the food you eat. Learn how to change your eating habits and feel amazing every day.
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Suza Scalora

When you're constantly plowing through mile-long to-do lists and putting out family fires (the kids are fighting...again; the dog left you a "present" in the living room; you're out of OJ), it's easy to blame stress for whatever ails you. But consider pointing a finger at your breakfast, lunch or dinner first. Many health problems, from exhaustion to head pain, are caused by the foods we eat—even nutritious options. Look for your symptoms here, then follow our expert advice to eliminate whatever has your body feeling down.

STOMACH DISCOMFORT

The Trigger: Too much fiber eaten too fast

Get your recommended 21 to 25 grams a day and you can lower your cholesterol, improve digestion and increase weight loss. (Plus, your doctor would be so proud.) The new crop of high-fiber yogurts, protein bars, drinks and even ice creams may seem like a priceless convenience when it comes to hitting that number. Unfortunately, they can make you clutch your stomach in despair. They're packed with a type of fiber called inulin. In small amounts these products are fine, but it's all too easy to scarf down too much inulin too quickly, which can cause bloating, stomach cramping and gassiness.

The Fix: Slowly increasing your consumption of fiber and getting it from whole foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes will be kinder to your digestive system than pumping up your intake through artificial sources. Try these five great natural sources of fiber:

Navy beans 19 grams per cup

Lentils 16 grams per cup

Artichokes 10 grams per medium choke

Whole wheat spaghetti 6 grams per cup

Pears 5.5 grams per medium fruit

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