Certain foods, when eaten by those who suffer from digestive issues, can ease their discomfort. Fiber-rich foods such as dark green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are examples of fermented foods. The digestive system is critical to your health since it is where nutrients are absorbed and waste is expelled. Constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and other digestive issues are common, and there are many potential causes. Certain disorders can lead to more serious gastrointestinal problems. But an absence of fiber or probiotic-rich diets can cause digestive difficulties in even the healthiest of people.
What are digestion-improving foods?
The digestive system processes food into usable nutrients and energy. Ginger, veggies, kefir, and yogurt are just some of the foods that can help speed up the process. Digestion issues might arise from eating certain foods or from making rapid dietary changes. The digestive process starts as soon as the food touches the mouth. The meal is broken down into smaller, more usable pieces as it makes its way through the digestive system. At certain points, different foods can be of assistance. Some, for instance, strengthen the intestines while others benefit the stomach in digesting. The digestive tract relies on fiber to function properly.
Soluble fiber, found in foods like oatmeal, apples, and bananas, is a good place to start for those who aren’t used to eating a lot of fiber. Fiber should be included in the diet around once every four or five days. Digestive health can suffer from a sudden increase in fiber intake. Water, when combined with fiber, helps stool feel more substantial.
Following are the digestion-improving foods
Fermented milk, usually with lactic acid bacteria, yields yogurt. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that naturally occur in your digestive system and help with digestion and intestinal health. Even though probiotics are already present in your gut, getting more of them by eating yogurt and other fermented foods can help your digestion. Digestion problems like gas, constipation, and diarrhea can all benefit from the use of probiotics. They also aid in the breakdown of lactose, the sugar found in milk. However, probiotics are not found in every type of yogurt. Always check the label for the phrase “live and active cultures” before making a purchase.
Pectin is a soluble fiber found in abundance in apples. It can evade the digestive enzymes in the small intestine and is instead degraded by the beneficial bacteria in the colon. It is often used to treat both constipation and diarrhea because of the effect it has on stool volume. Apples have also been demonstrated to reduce colon inflammation and the likelihood of contracting a colon infection.
The whitish bulb and long green stalks of the fennel plant are chopped and used as a seasoning. The high fiber content aids in maintaining regular bowel movements. There is an antispasmodic ingredient in fennel that helps calm the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. Negative signs of digestion, such as bloating, flatulence, and cramps, can be alleviated by taking this step. The antispasmodic agent and fiber in fennel aid digestion by relieving stomach discomfort.
Adding kefir “grains” to milk results in kefir, a cultured dairy product. Milk fermented with yeast and bacteria seems to produce “grains” that aid digestion. Like the probiotics in yogurt, the cultures in kefir help the body break down lactose, reducing symptoms like bloating, cramps, and gas that can come with lactose intolerance. Numerous investigations have shown that kefir improves digestion by increasing good gut bacteria while decreasing bad bacteria. In addition to helping digestion, kefir may help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract.
Once swallowed, chia seeds turn into a substance similar to gelatin in your stomach due to the high fiber content they contain. Chia seeds are a good source of fiber. They function similarly to a prebiotic by encouraging the expansion of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, which in turn helps to maintain healthy digestion. The high fiber content of these foods also contributes to the promotion of regular bowel movements and healthy stools. The high fiber content of chia seeds can help with digestion in a number of ways, including maintaining regular bowel movements and encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in the stomach (probiotics).
Tea that has been fermented into kombucha. It can be created using either black or green tea by first adding certain types of bacteria, sugar, and yeast, and then allowing the mixture to ferment for at least seven days. Throughout fermentation, a large quantity of beneficial probiotic bacteria is created, which may contribute to better digestive health. In addition to this, certain studies conducted on mice have suggested that consuming kombucha may aid in the recovery process of stomach ulcers.
The delectable tropical fruit papaya includes an enzyme called papain, which is involved in digestion. It does this by assisting in the process of breaking down protein fibers, which are part of the digestive process. Although it is not necessary for your diet, it might make the digestion of protein more efficient. Congestion and bloating are two signs of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and papain has been shown to alleviate these conditions. Because of its effects on the gastrointestinal tract, it is frequently included as the primary digestive enzyme in dietary supplements.
Cereals, which produce grains, resemble grasses. A whole grain has all three parts of the grain kernel present. Oats, quinoa, farro, and items produced with whole wheat are all examples of well-liked whole grains that are also high in fiber. The dietary fiber in these grains has dual benefits for digestive health. To begin, fiber can prevent or alleviate constipation by increasing stool volume. In addition, the beneficial bacteria in your stomach can benefit from the prebiotic effect of certain cereal fibers. Healthy grains’ substantial amount of fiber aids digestion by increasing stool volume, which in turn decreases the likelihood of constipation and provides good gut flora with food.
Soybeans are fermented to create tempeh. Sugars are metabolized by bacteria and yeast during the fermentation process. Soybeans contain an antinutrient termed phytic acid, which is degraded during the fermentation procedure. Phytic acid may prevent the body from properly absorbing some nutrients. Therefore, the uptake and digestion of certain nutrients are enhanced by the fermentation process. Probiotics can be found in abundance in fermented foods like tempeh. Keep in mind that the protective coating that probiotics build in your intestines acts as a barrier against pathogenic microorganisms. Probiotics have been shown to aid with a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms including bloating, gas, and diarrhea. In addition to alleviating uncomfortable digestive symptoms, tempeh’s bacterial content and fermentation process helps the body better absorb nutrients by neutralizing phytic acid.
Ginger has long been used as an anti-nausea and indigestion aid in Eastern medicine. It’s commonly used by pregnant women to combat nausea and vomiting. This bright yellow root has been demonstrated to hasten the emptying of the stomach. The anti-nausea and antacid properties of ginger come from its ability to speed up the transit time of food from the stomach to the small intestine. The digestive process may be sped up by ginger, reducing the discomfort often associated with eating. It has also been used to alleviate nausea, such as that experienced by pregnant women experiencing morning sickness.
The fermented vegetable dish known as kimchi is traditionally made from cabbage, but it can also include other types of fermented vegetables. It has probiotics, which aid digestion and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in your colon, making this an excellent digestive aid. The probiotic content of kimchi increases proportionately with the length of time it is allowed to ferment. Additionally, kimchi contains fiber, which, in addition to promoting gut health, can give your stools more volume.
Leafy Dark-Green Veggies
Insoluble fiber can be found in abundance in leafy green plants. This fiber increases the weight of your feces, which helps them move more quickly through your digestive system. Magnesium, which is abundant in green vegetables, facilitates better gastrointestinal muscle contractions, relieving constipation. Leafy greens are among the most popular dark green veggies that offer this advantage. In addition, a peculiar sugar discovered in green leafy vegetables in 2016 was shown to nourish healthy microorganisms in the gut. This sugar may help with digestion and inhibit the growth of disease-causing germs.
Natto is another fermented soy product, like tempeh. It is traditionally consumed unadorned, however, it can be topped with a variety of ingredients like kimchi, soy sauce, green onion, and raw eggs. It goes well with both raw rice and cooked rice. The probiotics in natto help the body fight against toxins and pathogens, and they also boost the number of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, making it easier to break down food. What makes natto so interesting is that only one gram of it has nearly as many probiotics as a full dose of other probiotic-rich foods or supplements, such as six ounces (170 grams) of yogurt. Constipation is eased and regular bowel movements are promoted by the high fiber content.
Salmon is a fantastic resource for omega-3 fatty acids, the consumption of which is beneficial in the reduction of inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation in the stomach is a common symptom among those who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, and other digestive diseases. There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help lower swelling and, as a result, ease digestion.
The Bottom Line
Some foods may help alleviate the discomfort associated with digestive disorders. Eating fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and tempeh is recommended by researchers to enhance probiotics in the diet and boost digestive health. Whole grains, dark-colored veggies, and chia seeds are all high-fiber meals that can aid digestion by speeding up the process of digesting food. You may find relief from digestive issues by consuming more of these foods. Consuming moderate amounts of most foods is generally safe, however, others aren’t as good for digestion. Constipation can also be caused by certain behaviors. Some examples of this are eating too quickly and then reclining down. Large meals can also cause the digestive process to lengthen, which can be uncomfortable for some people. It’s better for digestion if you eat multiple small meals throughout the day rather than one huge one.
But everyone has a unique digestive system. Certain individuals may be allergic or intolerant to certain foods, whereas others may not have these issues. If you suffer from digestive issues, your doctor may suggest keeping a food diary. Food and drink that cause stomach problems can be isolated in this way. Digestion-friendly foods tend to be high in fiber and other beneficial elements. Vegetables and whole grains are two examples of foods that are high in fiber. Some persons who are prone to digestive problems may find relief from taking smaller meals, increasing their fiber intake, and avoiding items they know to be triggered. If you still experience stomach issues after implementing these modifications, a trip to a physician is in order. Irritable bowel syndrome or any underlying medical disease may be to blame for digestive issues.