For most of us food is much more than a source of energy! We love to experiment with taste, etc. But have you ever wondered how the food we eat affects our stomachs? If so, you might be interested in reading about the best foods for digestion!
Most people have a special emotional relationship with the preparation and consumption of food. The simple fact is that we all eat because food provides the energy that we need to live. However, if it was only about that, we wouldn’t care so much about what we eat, would we now? The reality is that for most of us, in this part of the world at least, food is connected to pleasure, happiness, a nice atmosphere, company, etc.
As the consciousness about the link between health and food rises, many of us are trying our best to eat as healthy as possible. And as much as it can be challenging sometimes to resist all the sweets, processed foods, etc., we have noticed that even the biggest skeptics changed their attitudes since the pandemic began.
When everything closed down because of the pandemic, like many other people, we began to cook much more than ever before and experimented with ingredients we never used before. In general, we were happy about it, because it meant that we can at least enjoy the meals from all over the world if we can’t travel and go to the restaurant, etc. But, despite doing everything in our power to prepare healthy meals, we noticed that some things simply don’t agree with our stomachs. Like, often it happened that we came across foods that made us nauseous, bloated, and gassy. Sometimes we also felt heartburn, etc.
That made us think that we don’t know anything about foods for digestion. We realized that when we hear health specialists talk, they often mention foods that are beneficial for general health. They also talk about sports nutrition or some specific diets, like vegetarian or vegan. But, we never heard someone talking about foods for better digestion or other specific things. Hence we understood that we need to do our own research if we want to find foods that help avoid digestive issues. Through a friend, we got in touch with several gastroenterologists and nutrition specialists who explained why we react to some types of food the way we do, even if they are generally healthy. They also shared some tips on foods that improve digestive health.
Best Foods for Digestion
It is something that you probably heard plenty of times by now but maybe hasn’t paid attention to it. Yogurt is made of fermented milk. The process is done with lactic acid bacteria. Plenty of people get confused when they hear this because they’ve only heard of bacteria as something that can make them sick. However, the bacteria in yogurt are good bacteria that are regular inhabitants of our digestive tract and make it healthy. Sometimes, this balance in the gut can be disrupted, and as a result, we have stomach problems. But even when it doesn’t, drinking yogurt can only boost probiotics which is why it is one of the best foods for easy digestion. Not all yogurts come with probiotics, though. Hence you have to look for options that have live and active cultures on the label.
There is plenty of reason why you should opt for whole grains. One of them is that they are high fiber foods for good digestion. Unlike their refined counterpart, whole grains have all key parts bran, germ, and endosperm. We know that white flour and white rice are refined grains, right? But what are whole grains? The most popular whole grains you can find on the market are farro, oats, quinoa, etc. How they help digestion? Some fibers work as prebiotics which means they aid healthy bacteria in the gut. They also reduce constipation.
If you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant, you probably heard about miso. Maybe you even tried it! Miso tastes so good, that even people like us who can’t say that they are happy to it soup, like it. But do you know that it is one of the best foods for your digestive system? Miso is made of fermented soybeans combined with salt and a type of fungus called koji. Since it is fermented it contains probiotics, which is why it is one of the foods for optimal digestion.
This root plant indeed seems to have some magic properties. It is a phenomenal culinary ingredient and, as you know, a staple of Indian cuisine. You can use it for both savory dishes and desserts. But did you know that it is also popular in Eastern medicine? Ginger is one of the foods that improve digestion naturally. It also helps with nausea which is why a lot of pregnant women have it always at hand reach. Studies show that ginger speeds up gastric emptying and reduces the risk of heartburn and stomach discomfort.
Everyone has heard the saying Apple a day, keeps the doctor away! But have you ever thought about the meaning of it? Honestly, we didn’t appreciate apples until we learned more about them. Besides being packed with vitamins, apples are also rich in fiber, especially pectin. It is a soluble fiber that increases stool volume, so it helps with both constipation and diarrhea. Apples also clean the intestines and hence decrease the risk of infections. Thus they are considered as best foods to avoid digestive inflammation.
Kefir seems to be similar to yogurt. However, it is different in two ways. One is that kefir has a rather peculiar taste. While most of us like yogurt, the situation with kefir is a bit different. Besides, the process of making kefir is different. It is made by adding a mixture of yeast and bacteria to milk. This combination has beneficial effects on digestive health. The bacteria in this beverage helps us digest lactose and alleviates the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
When we were young, we loved to drink liquid from the barrel where cabbage was going through the process of fermentation. But we never thought we are doing something healthy. However, as adults, we understood that fermented cabbage, aka sauerkraut, is actually phenomenal for health, particularly for digestive health. Since it is made through fermentation, it contains probiotics. Studies show that it can contain up to 28 strains of bacteria that feed the good gut bacteria. In this sense, sauerkraut is considered one of the best foods to help digestion.
The delicious tropical fruit contains papain. It is an enzyme that helps digestion by breaking down protein fibers. Although it is not necessary for the diet, it aids the digestion of protein. Some studies indicate that this enzyme alleviates symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Many of us experience some digestive issues now and then. And we know how frustrating and challenging they can be, even if they are not dangerous. Fortunately, as you can see, there are lots of foods for digestion that can help these unpleasant symptoms. Studies show that fermented and fiber-rich foods are the best. Hence if you are experiencing stomach issues, we recommend you some of the foods from the list. We would also like to hear from you. Do you know some stomach-friendly foods that we didn’t mention?