Best Foods to Improve Digestion

As the organ responsible for absorbing nutrients and eliminating debris, the digestive tract is crucial to your health. Unfortunately, many individuals suffer from digestive issues such as bloating, cramping, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation due to a variety of causes. A lack of fiber or probiotic-rich foods, however, can cause digestive issues in even the healthiest individual.

1. Yogurt

Best Foods to Improve Digestion

Milk that has been fermented, typically by lactic acid bacteria, is used to produce yogurt.

It contains friendly bacteria known as probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that reside in your digestive tract and can aid in digestion and gut health.

While probiotics occur naturally in the intestine, increasing your intake by means of foods such as yogurt can aid digestion (1Reliable Source, 3Reliable Source).

Probiotics can assist with digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. It has also been demonstrated that they enhance the digestion of lactose or milk sugar.

Not all yogurt, however, contains probiotics. Look for “live and active cultures” on the packaging when purchasing.

Yogurt contains probiotics, which promote healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and assist digestion.

2. Apples

Best Foods to Improve Digestion

Apples are an abundant source of the soluble fiber pectin.

Pectin bypasses digestion in the small intestine and is instead degraded by beneficial bacteria in the colon.

Because it increases stool volume, it is commonly used to treat constipation and diarrhea. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of intestinal infections and colon inflammation.

The pectin in the apple aids in stool bulk and transit through the digestive system. Additionally, it may reduce inflammation in the colon.

3. Fennel

The pale bulb and long green stalks of fennel are used to add flavor to the cuisine.

Its fiber content helps prevent constipation and improves digestive tract regularity.

In addition, fennel contains an antispasmodic agent that relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. This action can alleviate unpleasant digestive symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, and cramping (9).

The antispasmodic agent and fiber content of fennel can aid digestion by reducing certain negative gastrointestinal symptoms.

4. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented dairy product produced by adding kefir “grains” to milk. These “grains” appear to have digestive benefits; they are produced by combining yeast and bacteria with milk.

Similar to the probiotics in yogurt, kefir’s cultures assist in the digestion of lactose, reducing some of the negative side effects of lactose intolerance, such as bloating, cramping, and gas.

In multiple studies, kefir increased the number of beneficial, digestion-improving gut bacteria while simultaneously decreasing the number of harmful bacteria.

Kefir consumption has also been linked to reduced inflammation in the intestine, thereby enhancing digestion.

5. Chia Seeds

Best Foods to Improve Digestion

Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber, which causes them to transform into a gelatinous substance in the intestines. They function as prebiotics, encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines and thereby promoting healthy digestion.

Their fiber content also promotes the regularity and health of the bowels and feces.

The fiber content of chia seeds can aid digestion by promoting the development of probiotics in the gut and maintaining regular bowel movements.

6. Kombucha

It is prepared by fermenting black or green tea with specific strains of bacteria, sugar, and yeast for at least a week.

Fermentation produces an abundance of probiotic bacteria, which can enhance digestive health.

In addition, research in rodents suggests that kombucha may aid in the healing of stomach ulcers.

The high probiotic content of kombucha promotes digestion and gut health. The beverage may also aid in healing gastric ulcers.

7. Papaya

Best Foods to Improve Digestion

The tropical fruit papaya contains an enzyme referred to as papain.

It aids digestion by facilitating the digestion of protein fibers. Although not required for survival, it can facilitate the digestion of protein.

Papain may also alleviate irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, including constipation and bloating.

Due to its digestive properties, it is frequently used as the primary enzyme in digestive supplements.

Papain is a powerful digestive enzyme that aids in the healthy assimilation of proteins and is found in papaya. It may also relieve symptoms.

8. Whole Grains

Cereal grains are the seeds of grasslike vegetation.

For a grain to be considered whole, it must contain the entire kernel, including the cereal, germ, and endosperm.

Popular fiber-rich whole cereals include oats, quinoa, farro, and whole wheat products. These cereals contain fiber that can aid digestion in two ways.

First, fiber aids in stool bulking and can alleviate constipation.

Second, certain grain fibers function as prebiotics and nourish healthy bacteria in the gut.

Due to their high fiber content, whole grains promote healthy digestion by adding bulk to stools, reducing constipation, and feeding healthy gut flora.

9. Tempeh

Best Foods to Improve Digestion

Tempeh is produced by fermenting soybeans. Bacteria and yeast break down carbohydrates during fermentation.

Phytic acid, an antinutrient present in soybeans, is broken down during the fermentation process. Phytic acid can inhibit the absorption of particular nutrients.

Probiotics can be obtained from fermented foods like tempeh. Keep in mind that probiotics create a protective lining in your intestines to shield them from harmful microorganisms.

The fermentation process and probiotic content of tempeh can reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms and enhance nutrient absorption by degrading the antinutrient phytic acid.

10. Beets

Beetroot, also referred to as beets, is an excellent source of fiber.

There are 3.4 grams of fiber in one cup (136 grams) of beets. Fiber bypasses digestion and travels directly to the colon, where it feeds your healthy gut bacteria or adds bulk to your stool — both of which aid digestion.

Roasted, in a salad, pickled, or incorporated into a smoothie are some popular ways to prepare beets.

The nutrients in beetroot can aid digestion by feeding beneficial gut bacteria and increasing stool bulk.

11. Miso

Miso is produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus. It is commonly used in miso soup.

Miso, like other fermented foods, contains probiotics that aid digestion by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Additionally, the microorganisms in miso can aid in reducing digestive problems and overcoming intestinal illnesses such as diarrhea.

Miso’s probiotic content makes it useful for minimizing digestive problems and overcoming intestinal diseases such as diarrhea.

12. Ginger

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Ginger is a traditional component of Eastern medicine used to aid digestion and prevent vertigo. Numerous expectant women use it to alleviate morning sickness.

By accelerating the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine, ginger reduces the risk of indigestion, nausea, and stomach discomfort.

Ginger appears to hasten the passage of food through the stomach, thereby alleviating certain adverse effects associated with poor digestion. It has also been used to alleviate nausea, including pregnancy-related morning sickness.

13. Kimchi

Kimchi, which typically consists of fermented cabbage, may also contain other fermented vegetables.

It contains probiotics that aid digestion and stimulate the development of beneficial bacteria in the colon. The longer kimchi ferments, the greater its probiotic content.

Additionally, kimchi contains fiber, which adds volume to stools and promotes bowel health.

The probiotics and fiber in kimchi aid digestion and promote bowel health.

14. Dark Green Vegetables

Best Foods to Improve Digestion

Magnesium, which is abundant in green vegetables, can help alleviate constipation by enhancing muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract.

Spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other leafy greens are some of the most common dark-green vegetables that provide this benefit.

In addition, a study revealed that green leafy vegetables contain an unusual sugar that nourishes the beneficial bacteria in your gut. This sugar is believed to facilitate digestion while inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

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