Foods that helps with digestion includes pineapple, papaya, bone broth, yogurt, fennel seeds, apples, avocados, chia seeds, fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, ginger, and prunes
Digestion is a basic but very important function that most people take for granted. After all, unless you have specifically experienced a digestive disorder before, you’ve probably never even given thought to the way the process occurs.
Regardless, in order to support healthy digestion, you need to ensure that digestive enzymes and the bacteria that play a role in the breakdown of food are able to do their work in an efficient manner. Whether you’ve never noticed an issue with digestion, or currently suffer from a disorder that interferes with normal processing, including the following foods in your diet is a sure fire way to enhance the process and ensure your body is able to acquire maximal nutritional benefit from what you eat.
11 Best Foods To Improve Digestion
While pineapples contains a decent amount of vitamin C, its potential for helping to improve digestion lies in the presence of a rare proteolytic digestive enzyme known as bromelain.
Bromelain is classified as a proteolytic enzyme since it specifically assists with the breakdown of protein rich foods into amino acid substrates which are then absorbed into the blood where they can be used to facilitate repair of damaged cells, or for the production of neurotransmitters or hormones.
Most persons do not have a problem with digesting proteins, but higher protein diets may lead to significant wastage of this macronutrient as the body can only process so much at any one time. Consuming pineapple can help to increase the amount of amino acids extracted at one sitting.
Similar to pineapples, papaya contains a digestive enzyme by the name of papain, which specializes in the breakdown of protein rich food.
Papaya are also rich sources of vitamins such as A, C and B, which exerts antioxidant properties and support digestion respectively. Papaya consumed with meals can help to reduce symptoms of bloating, or heartburn caused by insufficient breakdown of protein foods. Papaya is also believed to help prevent constipation, which is one of its uses in traditional folklore.
If you are unable to consume papaya regularly, at the minimum try to keep on hand enzyme supplements which can help in the event you experience bloating.
3. Bone Broth
Best reserved and made into a savory soup or casserole, bone broth is unique in its amino acid profile, which consists significantly of collagen peptides.
Collagen can best be described as a structural and connective type of protein, which helps to support the health of tissue types such as joints, skin, and especially the digestive tract. Persons who have ever experienced a gastric ulcer will know how painful it can be as stomach acid comes into contact with lesions along the tract.
Consumption of bone brought helps recovery and can reinforce the structural integrity of the cells lining the stomach and the rest of the digestive tract, so that high levels of stomach acidity are not able to erode it.
Yogurt is a bona fide superfood that has been consumed for millennia, but not the kind that is packaged and artificially sweetened – those types do no favors for your health.
Raw, unpasteurized yogurt is a treasure trove of probiotic bacteria which positively benefit the health of your gut. These probiotic bacteria that naturally reside in your digestive tract are important for the breakdown of a multitude of foods, as well as neutralization of possibly harmful substances or pathogens that we may consume daily.
Stress and antibiotic usage can kill off a significant proportion of these helpful bacteria, which is why consumption of yogurt is so important to support appropriate culture sizes.
5. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds have been used as long as natural remedies have been documented, today well known for their ability to help treat bloating, gas pressure and flatulence to name a few.
Fennel seeds also have an antispasmodic action, which can help to relieve painful stomach cramps, such as that associated with consuming bad food, or diarrhea.
Fennel seeds also help to stimulate the production of several digestive enzymes, which make the assimilation of nutrients more complete.
Fennel seeds can be steeped in warm water, with the liquid then consumed, or you can also use it to complement meals.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? The saying may be true after all, as apples are really nutritional powerhouses. For one, apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, which help with ensuring transit of waste material throughout the digestive tract in a speedy manner, and also provide nourishment for the probiotic bacteria that serve so many important functions.
Apples also contains a large proportion of water, which is why they’re so full of juicy goodness. Apples also helps to reduce oxidative damage in the digestive tract, and can minimize the development of polyps in the colon, which may carry the risk of becoming malignant if unchecked.
Abundantly rich in mono unsaturated fats, avocados are especially beneficial to the health of your stomach and small intestine.
Avocados can help to relieve inflammation that causes pain along the digestive tract, making it a useful adjuvant for management of colitis, ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease.
Avocados also help to nourish the probiotic bacteria living throughout your digestive tract, in turn reducing the severity or frequency of episodes of constipation you may be used to experiencing.
8. Chia Seeds
The popularity of Chia seeds have grown significantly over the past 10 years, as they were previously used and well-known for their ornamental purposes (remember Chia pets?)
Turns out they are much better suited to improving your health, and are especially useful for helping improve digestion. Chia seeds are known to absorb water – several times their own weight, and can help to significantly improve regularity. They are also great sources of fiber, which push waste material along the digestive tract for speedy evacuation.
Owing to the gel forming nature of Chia seeds, it is also believed that this assists with expulsion of toxic metabolites that may otherwise prove difficult to eliminate, highlighting their utility in promoting good health.
9. Fatty Fish
These include primarily cold water deep sea fish such as salmon and tuna, which are well known for the concentration of omega-3 fats they contain.
Consumption of omega-3 fats exerts a potent anti-inflammatory action throughout your body, benefiting your digestive tract in the process. This can reduce symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as colitis or Crohn’s disease, and can even help with slowing down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, helping manage symptoms of diabetes in the process.
Diabetics may develop complications from damage to the vagus nerve, leading to poor satiety signaling, leading to over eating, and other complications.
Ginger possesses numerous benefits for your health, and is already a relatively popular ingredient in many meals, but one that you can still benefit from adding more.
Ginger is a well-known anti-inflammatory food, where it can help to manage symptoms of colitis or inflammatory bowel disease. It can also reduce nausea and vomiting, helping to manage diseases characterized by these symptoms, or morning sickness during pregnancy.
Ginger can also increase the speed at which your stomach empties its food, since retention of stomach contents can cause acid indigestion, discomfort and bloating.
Prunes are rich in fiber, and has been used as a traditional remedy for constipation dating back hundreds of years.
Foods rich in fiber naturally help propel the waste products of digestion into the colon, and prunes, with their high sorbitol content, can also exerts a laxative action, making them useful foods for relieving short-term constipation as well.
There are many other foods that you can take advantage of to improve your digestive health. Ensuring you consume enough water daily also goes a far way in improving digestion, as many of your digestive processes rely on it as a base for reactions.
Even a mild degree of dehydration can impair digestion, lead to constipation and many other complications, so when in doubt drink it out!