Foods to improve digestion are important for your overall health as they support proper use of nutrients and removal of waste.”
Unfortunately, many people suffer from digestive problems such as bloating, cramps, 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 of more serious digestive problems.
However, even a healthy person can experience digestive problems due to a lack of fiber or probiotic-rich foods in their diet.
Here Are 19 Of The Best Foods To Improve Digestion
Yogurt is made from milk fermented, usually with lactic acid bacteria.
It contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, which are good bacteria that live in your digestive tract and can help improve digestion while maintaining gut health.
Although probiotics are found naturally in the gut, increasing your intake through foods such as yogurt can make digestion easier.
Probiotics can help with digestive problems 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 “living and active crops” on the packaging.
SUMMARY Yogurt contains probiotics that aid digestion by promoting the development of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
Apples are a rich source of pectin, soluble fiber.
Pectin bypasses digestion in the small intestine and is then broken down by friendly bacteria in the large intestine.
It increases stool volume and is therefore commonly used to relieve constipation and diarrhea. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of intestinal infections as well as inflammation in the colon.
SUMMARY The pectin found in apples helps increase stool volume and passage through the digestive tract. It can also reduce inflammation in the colon.
Fennel, a plant with a pale bulb and long green stems, is used to flavor food.
Its content fiber helps prevent constipation and improves the regularity of the digestive tract.
Fennel also contains an antispasmodic that relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. This action can reduce negative digestive symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, and cramping.
SUMMARY The fiber and antispasmodic in fennel can improve digestion by limiting some negative gastrointestinal symptoms.
Kefir is a fermented milk product obtained by adding kefir “grains” to milk. These “grains” arise from mixing yeast and bacteria with milk and appear to have beneficial properties for digestion.
Like the probiotics in yogurt, kefir crops aid in the digestion of lactose, reducing some of the negative side effects associated with lactose intolerance, such as bloating, cramps, and gas.
In several studies, kefir has been shown to increase the number of healthy gut bacteria that aid digestion while reducing the number of harmful bacteria.
Kefir consumption has also been associated with a decrease in inflammation in the gut, further improving the digestive process.
SUMMARY Kefir’s unique ingredient, “grains,” made up of yeast and bacteria, appear to improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the intestines.
5. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which, when consumed, causes them to form a gelatinous substance in the stomach. They act as prebiotics, supporting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and thus promoting healthy digestion.
Their fiber content also promotes regular bowel movements and healthy stools.
SUMMARY The fiber in chia seeds can aid digestion by promoting the growth of probiotics in the intestines and keeping you regular.
Kombucha is a fermented tea.
It is made by adding certain strains of bacteria, sugar, and yeast to black or green tea and then fermenting it for a week or more.
The fermentation process produces an excess of probiotic bacteria that can improve the health of the digestive system.
What’s more, some studies in mice have shown that kombucha may help heal stomach ulcers.
SUMMARY Probiotic-rich Kombucha improves digestion and gut health. The drink can also help with stomach ulcers.
Juicy tropical papaya fruit contains the digestive enzyme papain.
It aids in the digestion process by helping to break down protein fibers. Although not required in your diet, it can aid protein digestion.
Papain may also relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as constipation and bloating.
It is commonly used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements because of its gastrointestinal capabilities.
SUMMARY Papaya contains papain, a powerful digestive enzyme that promotes healthy protein digestion. It can also ease the symptoms of IBS.
8. Whole Grains
Grains are the seeds of herbaceous plants called grains.
To be classified as a whole grain, it must contain 100% of the kernel, including bran, germ, and endosperm.
Top whole-grain products that contain fiber include oats, quinoa, farro, and whole wheat products. The fiber in these grains can improve digestion in two ways.
First, fiber helps increase stool volume and reduce constipation.
Second, some grain fibers act as prebiotics and help nourish healthy bacteria in the gut.
SUMMARY Thanks to their high fiber content, whole grains can support healthy digestion by increasing stool volume, reducing constipation, and nourishing healthy gut bacteria.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Fermentation breaks down sugar through bacteria and yeast.
During fermentation, an antinutrient in soybeans called phytic acid is broken down. Phytic acid can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients.
Thus, the fermentation process improves the digestion and absorption of these nutrients.
Fermented foods like tempeh are a good source of probiotics. Remember, probiotics create a protective membrane in the gut that protects them from harmful bacteria.
Research has shown probiotics can help relieve IBS symptoms, prevent diarrhea, reduce bloating, and improve regularity.
SUMMARY Tempeh fermentation and probiotic content can reduce negative digestive symptoms as well as improve nutrient absorption by breaking down the antinutrient phytic acid.
Beets, also known as beets, are a good source of fiber.
One cup (136 grams) of beets contains 3.4 grams of fiber. Fiber bypasses digestion and travels to the colon, harboring healthy gut bacteria or increasing stool volume, improving digestion.
There are several popular ways to eat beets: fried, mixed with salad, marinated, or mixed with a cocktail.
SUMMARY Beet nutrients can help improve digestion by helping nourish good gut bacteria and increasing stool volume.
Commonly used in miso soup, miso is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of mushroom.
Miso contains probiotics, which, like other fermented foods, help improve digestion by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
The probiotics in miso can also help reduce digestive problems and overcome intestinal ailments such as diarrhea.
SUMMARY The probiotic in miso can help reduce digestive problems and overcome intestinal ailments such as diarrhea.
Ginger is a traditional ingredient in oriental medicine that helps improve digestion and prevent nausea. Many pregnant women use it to treat morning sickness.
This yellowish root has been shown to speed up gastric emptying from a digestive standpoint.
By moving food more quickly from the stomach to the small intestine, ginger reduces the risk of heartburn, nausea, and stomach discomfort.
SUMMARY Ginger speeds up the passage of food through the stomach, reducing some of the side effects associated with slow digestion. It has also been used to treat nausea, including morning sickness during pregnancy.
Kimchi, usually made from fermented cabbage, can also include other fermented vegetables.
It contains probiotics that aid digestion and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. The longer kimchi is fermented, the higher the probiotic concentration.
Kimchi also contains fiber, which increases stool volume and promotes gut health.
SUMMARY Kimchi contains probiotics and fiber that improve digestion and promote gut health.
14. Dark Green Vegetables.
Green vegetables are a great source of insoluble fiber.
This type of fiber increases stool volume, making it faster to pass through the digestive tract.
Green vegetables are also a good source of magnesium, which can help relieve constipation by improving muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some of the more common dark green vegetables that provide this benefit are spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other leafy greens.
In addition, a 2016 study found that green leafy vegetables contain an unusual sugar that feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut. This sugar is believed to aid digestion and also kill some harmful bacteria that can cause disease.
SUMMARY Green vegetables play an important role in healthy digestion by supplying fiber and magnesium to your diet, and nourishing good bacteria in your gut.
Like tempeh, natto is made from fermented soybeans.
Usually eaten plain, some popular natto fillings include kimchi, soy sauce, green onions, and raw eggs. It can also be eaten with boiled rice.
Natto contains probiotics that act as a defense mechanism against toxins and harmful bacteria, and increase the number of beneficial gut bacteria to aid digestion.
Interestingly, one gram of natto contains almost as many probiotics as an entire serving of other probiotic-rich foods or supplements, such as six ounces (170 grams) of yogurt.
The fiber contains also improves stool regularity and reduces constipation.
SUMMARY The rich probiotic content of Natto can promote gastrointestinal health and digestion by improving stool regularity and reducing constipation.
Sauerkraut is made from chopped cabbage fermented with lactic acid.
Thanks to the fermentation, it contains probiotics.
Research shows that half a cup (71 grams) of sauerkraut can contain up to 28 different bacterial strains that help your gut by feeding beneficial bacteria.
Plus, a generous serving of enzymes in sauerkraut breaks down nutrients into smaller, more easily digestible molecules.
SUMMARY Sauerkraut is a rich source of probiotics and contains enzymes that aid digestion by breaking down nutrients into more easily digestible molecules.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body.
People with inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerances, and other digestive disorders often have inflammation in the intestines. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and thus improve digestion.
SUMMARY omega-3s found in salmon can reduce inflammation in the intestines, thereby improving digestion.
18. Bone Broth
Bone broth is prepared by boiling the bones and connective tissues of animals.
Gelatin contained in bone broth is derived from the amino acids glutamine and glycine.
These amino acids can bind to fluids in the digestive tract and aid in the easier passage of food.
Glutamine protects the intestinal wall. It has also been shown to improve the condition of the digestive system known as leaky gut, as well as other inflammatory bowel diseases.
SUMMARY gelatin in bone broth can improve digestion and protect the intestinal wall. It can help treat leaky gut and other inflammatory bowel disease.
Peppermint, part of the genus Mentha, is commonly found in many countries around the world.
Peppermint oil is made from the essential oils found in peppermint leaves and has been shown to improve digestive problems.
The oil contains a compound called menthol, which can relieve symptoms of IBS, including bloating, stomach discomfort, and trouble having a bowel movement.
The oil has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the digestive tract, which can improve digestion.
Peppermint oil can also relieve indigestion by speeding up the passage of food through the digestive system.
SUMMARY Peppermint has been shown to improve digestion. It can relieve IBS symptoms and move food faster through the digestive tract.
Digestive problems can be difficult, but certain foods can help relieve unpleasant symptoms.
Research confirms that eating fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and tempeh increases the number of probiotics in your diet, which can improve your digestive health.
Fiber-rich foods like whole grains, dark green vegetables, and chia seeds also play a role in digestion, helping food move around your body more easily and faster.
If you want to ease your digestive problems, consider adding some of these 19 foods to your diet.
Also Read: What Yoga Poses Are Good For Digestion