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Best Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

What Are the Best Foods to Aid Digestion?

Best Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

When your stomach fails to digest food, it can damage the nerve which regulates the digestive system and prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning properly. When this happens, the undigested food can ferment and lead to bacteria growth, and lead to several health problems. How to improve digestive system and ensure good health? What food can you take improve digestion?

The digestion process is an intricately choreographed ballet during which your body performs the many steps needed to break down the food you eat and unlock the vitamins, minerals, calories, fats, and proteins you need — and then efficiently clean sweep the rest. Most people don’t contemplate these inner workings unless they’re not going smoothly, but you can proactively take steps to avoid problems. One of the easiest digestive health tips is to fuel up with foods good for digestion.

Digestion is the process your body uses to break down food into nutrients. The body uses the nutrients from food for energy, growth, and cellular repair. But when your digestive process goes awry, whether from overeating or eating foods that disagree with you, you need to review the rules of good nutrition again.

The digestive tract plays a vital role in your health, as it’s responsible for absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste.

Unfortunately, many people suffer from digestive problems like bloating, cramping, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation for a variety of reasons.

Certain conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Crohn’s Disease, diverticulitis and heartburn, can put you at risk for more severe digestive issues.

A weak and suffering digestive prowess is a problem too common among millennials. It all goes to our diets as we are having less and less fiber and more and more junk and highly processed foods. Acidity, bloating, constipation and nausea are everyday problems. Though there are many supplements available in the market shelves that will relieve you of these discomforts, the ideal way to correct them is through diet. Add the following foods to your everyday diet in order to get your digestive system back in order.

There are many reasons why we might have tummy troubles from time to time. From minor gastrointestinal infections to food intolerances to more serious diseases, digestive conditions can affect millions of people around the world. Fortunately, as food must pass through our digestive tract there are many things we can consume to help our gut along the way. These best foods for digestion, which are commonly available at most grocery stores, are comforting and very delicious!

This process helps derive nutrients from food, such as minerals, fats, calories, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates, which are then dispensed to the body and utilized for growth, energy, cellular repair, and other body functions.

Not until you experience even a small problem involving the digestive tract are you made aware of the sophisticated and delicate nature of the digestive process.

We often hear people complain of pain in the stomach caused by undigested food. Most times, the pain subsides within a day or two. But what causes the food to go undigested? Indigestion is usually caused due to functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract. Indigestion is also caused by certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors. In order to keep indigestion at bay, add the following foods to your everyday diet in order to get your digestive system back in order.

Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

Turmeric

Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

Turmeric is a highly anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer spice to consider adding to your pantry. One of is main constituents, called curcumin, can help protect the gastrointestinal lining, positively impact gut bacteria and shows promise as a treatment for many gastric disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer.

Due to its strong flavour, start off consuming small amounts of turmeric (about 1/8 tsp) and work your way up. It’s a great spice to add to teas, dairy-free elixirs and dairy-free nut or seed milk.

Whole Grains

Whole grainsWhole grains are rich in fiber, specifically insoluble fiber, which acts like a scrub brush in the intestinal wall. Moreover, fiber absorbs water, making the stool soft and also adding bulk to it. These effects ensure regular bowel movements, therefore preventing constipation.

Whole grains such as oats have high amounts of beneficial nutrients, including phosphorus, thiamine, copper, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E.

Whole grains are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation in the stomach.

Barley, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat, bulgur, farro, millet, spelt, and teff are some whole grains you can incorporate in your diet.

Nuts, seeds such as chia seeds, vegetables such as fennel, and beans are also sources of insoluble fiber.

Add in more whole grains gradually to your diet to allow your digestive tract to adjust. It is also recommended to increase your fluid intake as you increase your fiber intake.

Banana

If you have a digestive problem, your thumb rule must be a banana a day to keep the problem at bay. Bananas are very effective in treating gastric problems as they are helpful in restoring bowel function and can help treat diarrhoea. They are rich in electrolytes and potassium which help in restoring good digestive health.

Spinach

Spinach an excellent source of fiber that helps to improve digestion. As mentioned before, fiber adds bulk to the stool and quickens its pace through the digestive tract. Spinach is also an excellent source of nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, and folate. Magnesium helps relieve constipation by improving the muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, research has also shown that a specific type of sugar called ‘sulfoquinovose’ found in Spinach and other leafy greens fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria, thereby promoting digestion.

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, are excellent sources of fiber, as well as nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. Research shows that leafy greens also contain a specific type of sugar that helps fuel growth of healthy gut bacteria.

“Eating a lot of fiber and leafy greens allows you to develop an ideal gut microbiome,” says Lee, referring to the trillions of organisms that live in the colon.

Yogurt

Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented, typically by lactic acid bacteria.

It contains friendly bacteria known as probiotics, which are good bacteria that live in your digestive tract and can help improve digestion, keeping your gut healthy.

While probiotics naturally occur in your gut, boosting your intake through foods like yogurt can ease digestion.

Probiotics can help with digestive issues, such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea. They have also been shown to improve the digestion of lactose, or milk sugar.

However, not all yogurt contains probiotics. When shopping, be sure to look for “live and active cultures” on the package

High-Fiber, Low-Fat Beans Are Good for Digestion

High-Fiber, Low-Fat Beans Are Good for Digestion

Fiber — it’s the unseen essential product in foods good for digestion. Guidelines say women should get 25 grams of fiber every day. Beans are a perfect high-fiber, low-fat food, serving up about 19 grams of roughage per cup.

Good news for those worried about flatulence from high-fiber foods: Research published in Nutrition Journal showed that people had less gas than they thought they would when upping black-eyed peas consumption. Only half of participants reported any increase in gas at first and, by the end of the first week, that number had dropped to just 19 percent, making eating black-eyed peas a digestive tip you can live with.

In addition to most dried beans, peas, and lentils, other good foods for digestion that have a high fiber content are whole grains, raspberries, and artichokes, among many other fruits and vegetables.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are one of the best foods for digestion as they are rich in probiotics, which introduce favourable bacteria into the gut and help to fortify the intestinal lining. There are many different probiotic strains which have been studied for their ability to benefit inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and gastrointestinal infections caused by pathogens. As 70 percent of our immune system is found in gut tissue, fermented foods can also help to boost immunity.

The fermented foods we love include:

  • Pickles and Fermented Vegetables
  • Dairy-Free Yogurt
  • Miso
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Water Kefir

Fermented foods are straightforward to make at home once you learn the basics, and homemade versions allow you to control exactly what goes into your ferments – especially the type and amount of sugar. It also ensures you are actually cultivating probiotic cultures through true fermentation (as opposed to vinegar-based options, which are tangy but don’t contain probiotics).

Peppermint

Peppermint is efficient as the first-line treatment for an upset stomach and it relieves indigestion and the discomfort associated with eating a heavy meal. It also helps in relieving nausea.

Peppermint oil may also be a potent therapy for IBS. While the safety and short-term efficacy of this treatment method have been determined, studies on its long-term use and effectiveness are yet to be conducted.

You may consume peppermint in the form of tea with your breakfast. You may also add one or two drops of peppermint oil to a glass of hot water and drink it up once or twice a day.

Soothing, aromatic peppermint may help ease indigestion as well as some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint oil can be included in many recipes or even tea, but more often is taken as a coated supplement. Digestion tip: Taking peppermint oil for at least four weeks has been shown to significantly reduce IBS symptoms. It appears to work as an antispasmodic, smoothing out and relaxing the bowels.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is well known to play a crucial role in reducing inflammation in the intestines. Studies have shown that Omega-3 taken with plenty of fiber, probiotic foods, and a healthy diet can progress the diversity of the gut microbiome. Put simply, fish-oil is a stool-facilitating nutrient that promotes good intestinal health

Fish oil can benefit not only your heart, but your digestive tract as well. To start, add fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel in your diet, all good foods for digestion.

The amount of fish oil needed for a real benefit is large, and you may require supplements. What doctors and researchers know now is that people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one of the most common reasons for visiting a gastroenterologist, may not be consuming enough of the omega-3 fatty acids from fish. An analysis of blood from 91 adults showed that those with IBS had the lowest levels of these healthy fats in their blood, according to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology.

Lean Protein

Lean Protein

People with IBS or bowel sensitivity should stick with lean proteins and avoid foods that are rich in fat, including fried foods.

“We know that high-fat foods can trigger contractions of the colon,” Lee says, noting that fat content is just one reason to avoid red meat. “Red meat also promotes colon bacteria that produce chemicals associated with an increased risk of clogging the arteries.”

Kefir

Kefir is a cultured dairy product made by adding kefir “grains” to milk. These “grains” result from mixing yeast and bacteria with milk and appear to have digestive benefits.

Like the probiotics in yogurt, kefir’s cultures aid the digestion of lactose, decreasing some of the negative side effects associated with lactose intolerance such as bloating, cramping and gas.

In multiple studies, kefir caused an increase in healthy, digestion-improving gut bacteria and a simultaneous drop in harmful bacteria).

Kefir consumption has also been associated with decreased inflammation in your gut, further enhancing the digestion process.

Chia Seeds

When soaked in water, chia seeds become mucilaginous or ‘goopy’ and this is extremely soothing to the digestive tract. Chia seeds are rich in fibre, which helps to reduce constipation and encourage beneficial bacteria in the gut, as well as omega-3 fatty acids that reduce intestinal inflammation. They also are a good source of magnesium, a fantastic nutrient that relaxes intestinal muscles, and protein for gut healing and repair.

Use chia seeds in a chia pudding, add them to dairy-free smoothies, toss them in oatmeal or porridge, or use them to amp up your nut and seed butter.

Low-Fructose Fruits

“If you’re somebody who’s prone to gas and bloating, you may need to reduce your consumption of fructose, or fruit sugar,” says Lee, pointing out that foods like apples, pears and mango are all high in fructose.

Berries and citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, contain less fructose, making them easier to tolerate and less likely to cause gas. Bananas are another low-fructose fruit that are fiber-rich and contain inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Sweet Potatoes

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? They are an absolutely delicious root vegetable that contain a wealth of Vitamin A, a nutrient that is key for maintaining and healing the intestinal barrier, as well as supporting a healthy immune system. Sweet potatoes have a specific kind of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which may play an important role in colon cancer prevention.

Sweet potatoes are simple to digest and emerging research on animals show that they can even trigger digestive enzymes.

We love sweet potatoes in almost every dish, from soups, stews and other one-pot meals to gluten-free baked goods. They are also wonderful roasted or mashed all on their own!

Avocado

Avocado is a superfood packed with fiber and essential nutrients, such as potassium, which helps promote healthy digestive function. It’s also a low-fructose food, so it’s less likely to cause gas.

“Foods like nuts and avocados are really nutrient-dense,” says Lee. “They also have a lot of fat, so you have to eat them in moderation.”

Coconut Oil

This healthy cooking oil, mainly containing medium-chain fats, is easy for us to digest and use. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory and contains lauric acid, an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial fatty acid that can help prevent harmful bacteria from growing in the digestive tract.

Coconut oil can be used as a cooking/baking oil, or you can add it to dairy-free elixir recipes. Have you ever tried buying a whole coconut? You can discover how to use all of the good bits of the coconut here.

Fennel

Fennel enhances digestion by reducing bloating and gas, and can help reduce abdominal pain and symptoms of IBS. You can try consuming fresh fennel (you may want to cook it first) or steeping the seeds into herbal tea recipes.

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