With nearly 75% of Americans reporting digestive health issues, it’s one of the most common ailments in the United States. Symptoms are often uncomfortable and can interrupt daily life, producing gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and pain. When patients seek medical help, doctors tend to merely prescribe pills to alleviate the symptoms and rarely address the root causes.
Digestive Health and Diet
Digestive health starts with your diet, and what you put in your body can have a significant impact on your system. When building a soothing, healing, and supporting diet, healthy eating is vital. And although everyone is different — and certain foods my react differently in your body compared to others — there are some particular types of healing food for digestive health.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
A clear frontrunner of sound, healing food for digestive health is fresh fruits and vegetables. In general, eating a wholesome diet will keep damaging ingredients like artificial flavors, processed sugar, and certain preservatives. These types of elements can cause more damage to your digestive system. So generally sticking to whole foods is best. However, specific fruits and vegetables are better than others.
Apples, bananas, melon, and papaya are particularly healing for the digestive system. For example, bananas help soothe the digestional tract, while apples include fiber that aids in digestion and nutrient absorption. Melon is essentially pre-digested, making it one of the simplest foods for your body to process, and papaya has a helpful digestive enzyme called papain, which is known to ease specific gastrointestinal symptoms.
As for veggies, try to incorporate as many dark greens as possible, such as spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and lettuce. Packed with fiber and high in magnesium, these vegetables can alleviate constipation and soothe other symptoms while assisting your body in passing stools.
Consuming fermented food is a trend in healthy eating. You’ve probably heard of eating kimchi and sauerkraut because of the nutritional benefits. Fermented food contains probiotics, which assist in digestion and promote healthy gut bacteria. Thanks to these enzymes, they help break down food so it’s easier for your body to digest. As a result, you don’t suffer as much from those pesky symptoms.
Other foods for digestive health that contain probiotics include yogurt, tempeh, kefir, natto, kombucha, and miso. Incorporating some probiotic-infused foods into your daily diet naturally helps to promote digestive health. If you can’t get them in through a regular diet, you can always use supplements.
Some food acts as a soothing element to your digestive system. Those suffering from symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, gas, or bloating can use them to relive and soothe. For example, peppermint relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, helping to pass food along. Likewise, ginger helps to move food through your system, but it also combats nausea and stomach pains.
Fiber is an essential element in healthy eating. It plays a critical role in almost every aspect of digestive health. Fiber helps your body create ideal stools — stools that are heavy, soft, and dense. When your solid waste is bulkier, it’s more comfortable for your body to pass, which decreases the possibility of constipation, diarrhea, and general Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms. Healthy poop means healthy, efficient bowels.
Fiber is key to proper nutrient absorption. It allows your body to incorporate nutrients better and digest food for optimal health. It also slows the absorption of sugar, which keeps your glucose levels healthy. High-fiber foods include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, and nuts. When in doubt, eat fiber-rich foods for digestive health.
Eat What Feels Best
Remember, everyone’s body will react differently to food when experiencing digestive distress. It’s best to experiment. Try out these recommendations and record how your body reacts. Start small and add more healing foods as your body starts to benefit from healthy eating.