Digestion is an important part of our overall health.  Digestion is how the body absorbs nutrients which helps the body get energy, grow, and undergo cellular repair.  Digestion also helps eliminate waste from the body. 

Lots of people have experienced digestion discomfort from bloating, cramping, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation.  Other people even have digestion conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), Crohn’s disease,  diverticulitis, and heartburn. 

The foods you eat can be play a role in how your digestive tract is working.  Different foods can aid digestion in different stages of the digestive tract.  Some foods may help in the stomach, while others may support the intestines.  

Here are some easy suggestions for improving your digestive health:

Digestive Aids

Increase Fiber Intake

Fiber is essential for digestion.  Women should be getting 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should be 38 grams of fiber every day.  If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, it is important to increase your fiber intake slowly.  Too much fiber all at once can cause havoc on your digestion too. 

Foods that are high in fiber are apples with the skin, artichokes, baked beans, barley, black beans, bran flakes, broccoli, green beans, green peas, lentils, lima beans, pears with the skin, raspberries, split peas, turnip greens, whole wheat products, fennel, chia seeds, and beets

Whole grains are a great source of fiber.  Whole grain foods that have high fiber are oats, quinoa, farro, and whole grain products such as breads or pastas. Whole grains can help reduce constipation while also helping feed the healthy bacteria in the stomach.  

Dark green leafy vegetables are also a good source of fiber.  These foods include spinach, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and other leafy greens.  Dark green vegetables are also a great source of magnesium.  Magnesium can help relieve constipation.  



Add Yogurt To Your Daily Routine

Yogurt is great for your digestion.  Some yogurts contain probiotics.  Probiotics are good bacteria in the digestive tract.  Having a healthy amount of probiotics can help ease digestion.  Your body does produce some probiotics on its own, but adding to those can be beneficial.  Yogurt can help reduce bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. 



Eat Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are great for digestion.  Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria for your gut health. 

Kefir, which is a “grain” made from yeast and bacteria added to milk.  Kefir can help aid digestion of lactose.  It can be super beneficial to people who suffer from lactose intolerance by easing side effects such as bloating, cramping, and gas.  Kefir has also shown to help decrease gut inflammation.  It also improves good bacteria while lowering bad bacteria in the digestive tract. 

Kimchi is fermented cabbage and a great source of fiber and probiotics. 

Sauerkraut is another fermented food that boosts the good bacteria in the stomach. 

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has lots of probiotics. 

Tempeh is fermented soybeans.  Tempeh can help with food nutrient absorption as well as being a good source of probiotics.  Probiotics have been shown to help with symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome, prevent diarrhea, decrease bloating, and improve regularity.  



Don’t Skip On Fruit

Fruit is a great source of fiber.  Apples and pears with the skin are good options when looking for a fruit to help aid digestion.  Kiwi has recently been studied to show more effectiveness on constipation than prunes.  The study says one or two kiwis a day can help with constipation and have less discomfort than eating prunes daily. 

Papaya is another fruit that can aid with your digestion.  Papaya contains the enzyme papain.  This enzyme helps break down protein fibers.  This can help ease the side effects from irritable bowel syndrome such as constipation and bloating. 



Ginger A Powerhouse Medicinal Herb

Ginger is another good stomach calming food to add to your diet.  Ginger can help move food faster through the digestive tract.  This can help alleviate heartburn, nausea, and stomach pain.  Pregnant women with morning sickness can take ginger to help relieve symptoms of morning sickness.  There are nausea lollipops on the market that contain ginger to help decrease nausea symptoms. 



Peppermint Oil to The Rescue

Peppermint oil has been shown to relax the muscles in the digestive tract which can help ease digestion.  It can also help with bloating, cramping, and bowel movement troubles.  Peppermint seems to speed up the digestive process similar to ginger which can help stop indigestion. 



Adding fiber and probiotics to your diet can help ease some digestive discomforts you are experiencing.  Having a healthy diet well rounded with lots of different foods can also help with digestive issues.  When adding fiber into your diet do it slowly, adding it too quickly can have adverse effects.  




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