8 Best Foods to Improve your Digestion

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Yogurt

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.

Apples

Apples are a rich source of pectin, a soluble fiber.

Pectin bypasses digestion in your small intestine and is then broken down by the friendly bacteria in your colon.

It increases stool volume and is therefore commonly used to resolve constipation and diarrhea. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of intestinal infections, as well as inflammation in the colon.

Fennel

Fennel, a plant with a pale bulb and long green stalks, is used to add flavor to food.

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

Fennel also contains an antispasmodic agent that relaxes the smooth muscles in your digestive tract. This action can reduce negative digestive symptoms like bloating, flatulence and cramping.

Papaya

The luscious tropical fruit papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain.

It assists during the digestive process by helping break down protein fibers. While not required in your diet, it can aid the digestion of protein.

Papain may also ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as constipation and bloating. It’s commonly used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements due to its gastrointestinal capacities.

Whole Grains

Grains are the seeds of grasslike plants called cereals. To be classified as a whole grain, it must contain 100% of the kernel including the bran, germ, and endosperm.

Popular fiber-packed whole grains include oats, quinoa, farro and products made from whole wheat. The fiber found in these grains can help improve digestion in two ways.

First, fiber helps add bulk to your stool and can reduce constipation. Second, some grain fibers act like prebiotics and help feed healthy bacteria in your gut.

Beets

Beetroot, otherwise known as beets, is a good source of fiber.

One cup (136 grams) of beets contains 3.4 grams of fiber. Fiber bypasses digestion and heads to your colon, where it feeds your healthy gut bacteria or adds bulk to your stool — which both improves digestion.

A few popular ways to eat beets include roasted, mixed in a salad, pickled or blended into a smoothie.

Ginger

Ginger is a traditional ingredient in Eastern medicine that helps improve digestion and prevent nausea. Many pregnant women use it to treat morning sickness.

From a digestion standpoint, this yellowish root has been shown to accelerate gastric emptying. By moving food from your stomach to your small intestine quicker, ginger reduces your risk of heartburn, nausea and stomach discomfort.

Dark Green Vegetables

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.

Digestive issues can be challenging, but certain foods may be helpful in easing uncomfortable symptoms.

Research supports eating fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, and tempeh, to increase probiotics in your diet, which can improve digestive health.

Fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, dark green vegetables, and chia seeds, also play a role in digestion by helping food move through your system more easily or quickly.

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