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.” Academy of Culinary Nutrition shares. So here are some good foods to help your digestion —
Yogurt is known to be one of the most probiotic-filled foods. “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.” Healthline writes. “When choosing probiotic foods, check labels for live, active cultures, which indicates the bacteria in the foods are still living.
Kefir has similar effects on the digestive system as yogurt does. It also has lots of probiotics and can help decrease effects of lactose intolerance. “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.
Ginger has been known to be one of the best things you can consume for digestive health. It helps with digestion and is found in teas, chewables, and some dishes. Women who have suffered with morning sickness also have ginger, as it helps ease nausea. “A traditional Asian remedy for tummy aches and nausea and a favorite condiment used in Japanese cuisine, ginger is another good food for digestion and a popular natural digestive aid among pregnant women, whether in ginger teas, candies, or supplements.
Although sauerkraut isn’t appealing to everyone, it’s actually great for the digestive system. It too surprisingly contains lots of probiotics. “Sauerkraut and other fermented foods contain probiotics, which help replenish the inevitable loss of good bacteria in your gut (whether from stress, certain medications or even environmental factors).
Probiotics have been shown to reduce bloating, gas and other unwanted digestive symptoms.” Eating Well writes. “Just like eating a variety of foods is important to a healthy digestive system, so is getting a variety of strains of probiotics (there are hundreds, if not thousands!).
5) Chia seeds
Chia seeds are fantastic for your digestive system. Fiber helps with bowel movements and helps move digestion along, and not only that, but these little things have a powerful punch with healthy fats! “These tiny seeds are an incredible source of fiber.
Just 1 ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 11 grams of fiber, which is more than one-third the daily recommended amount. It's the soluble fiber that actually helps them make a pudding-like texture when soaked in a liquid, and this same fiber helps absorb water in your gut. ‘This type of fiber not only helps promote and support beneficial bacteria in your gut, it can also reduce constipation by promoting healthy, regular bowel movements,’ says Oswalt.” Eating Well writes. “Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that’s consumed by gut bacteria, says Alicia Romano, a specialized clinical dietitian at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
If you haven’t heard of tempeh, it’s a type of fermented soybean. Foods that have been fermented are great for digestion, if you haven’t already caught on. “Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans.
Fermentation breaks down sugars through bacteria and yeast.” Healthline writes. “During the fermentation process, 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 those nutrients. Fermented foods such as tempeh are a good source of probiotics.
7) Dark green vegetables
Dark green veggies have been known to be cleansing for your body, but did you know they can also aid digestion in several ways? It’s true, with the amount of fiber and antioxidants, although they don’t contain probiotics like the other foods, they’re still great for your digestive tract.
“Green vegetables are an excellent source of insoluble fiber. This type of fiber adds bulk to your stool, quickening its pace through your digestive tract. Green vegetables are also a good source of magnesium, which can help relieve constipation by improving muscle contractions in your gastrointestinal tract. “Some of the most common dark green vegetables that provide this benefit are spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other leafy greens. In addition, a 2016 study revealed an unusual sugar found in green leafy vegetables that feeds good bacteria in your gut. This sugar is thought to aid digestion while also impairing some of the bad bacteria that can cause illnesses.” Healthline shares.
8) Sweet potatoes
Carbs are a necessity for our diet. And they’re in everything, whether you like it or not. And healthy starches like sweet potatoes are incredibly good for you.
“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 shows that they can even trigger digestive enzymes.” Academy of Culinary Nutrition shares.
So, in conclusion, eat all of these foods to ensure a healthy digestive system. If you add these foods to your daily diet, you’ll be surprised how much they will transform your digestive system.
More information can be found at lifestyleinsider.org
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