In today’s article, we want to discuss the foods that help improve digestion.
In our schools, we have learned that the digestive tract is an essential organ in the human body, which plays a vital role in our health. The tract is responsible for the absorption of nutrients, and elimination of waste from the body.
There are situations where people suffer constipation, cramping, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other digestive problems, due to how the foods they have eaten could not digest well. Sometimes, it is due to some other factors.
However, someone might ask what exactly digestion is?
Digestion according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is defined as the process of making food absorbable by mechanically and enzymatically breaking it down into simpler chemical compounds in the digestive tract.
There are healthy people who even experience digestive problems, as a result of the lack of fiber or probiotics in their diets.
Below is the list of foods that help improve digestion.
Apples have pectin and soluble fiber in a rich source, which is good for you. The pectin helps in increasing stool bulk and the movement through the digestive tract.
The pectin also helps in decreasing inflammation in the colon. It is the pectin that is used to resolve constipation and diarrhea in your body.
2. Whole Grains:
Grains are derived from cereals, which are the seedlike plants of cereals. Basically, the classification of whole grain is based on whether it contains 100% of Kernel, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. There are some whole grains, which are fiber-packed. These grains include; oats, quinoa, farro, and other products made from wheat.
The fiber present in these grains helps to digest food in two ways, that is; First, fiber helps in adding bulk to your stool and thus helps reduce constipation.
Second, some grain fibers also act as probiotics, and they also help in feeding bacteria in the gut.
Salmon is a brilliant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help in reducing inflammation in your body, thus improving your digestive processes, making you a healthy person.
Anyone suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerances, and any other digestive problems, often experiences inflammation in the gut. With omega-3 fatty acids, there will be no inflammatory problems and moreover, digestion will be easier.
There is a digestive enzyme present in this delicious fruit called Papain. This enzyme, assists in the digestive process, by helping in the breakdown of protein fibers.
Though it is not required in our diet, it can help digest protein. Papain also eases symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), such as bloating, constipation among others. Due to its gastrointestinal capacities, papain is used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements.
Yogurt is produced from fermented milk by lactic acid bacteria. Yogurt contains bacteria which are known as probiotics, which are very good in keeping the gut healthy and even help improve digestion. These probiotics live in the digestive tract.
The probiotics that live in the gut, occur naturally and they help boost your intake of yogurt.
However, there are many yogurts out there that do not contain probiotics, so it’s advisable you check very well when shopping for one.
Probiotics are very essential in dealing with digestive issues, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. They also assist in digesting lactose or milk sugar.
6. Green Vegetables:
Green vegetables are also a good source of insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool and thereby quickens its pace through the digestive tract.
They also contain magnesium, which helps alleviate constipation by improving muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract.
Research has proven that there is unusual sugar present in green leafy vegetables, that feeds good bacteria in the gut. The said sugar is believed to aid digestion, while it impairs some of the bad bacteria responsible for causing sicknesses.
This is part of the genus Mentha family, which grows all around the world. Peppermint leaves have some oil that is used in making peppermint oil, essential for treating digestive problems.
This essential oil contains a compound known as menthol, which eases the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome(IBS), including bloating, stomach discomfort, bowel movement problems, etc. The peppermint oil also eases indigestion, by helping in the acceleration of the food’s movement through the digestive system.
Kimchi is produced using fermented cabbage and also other fermented vegetables. Kimchi contains probiotics that help digestion, and also promote the growth of bacteria in the colon.
The longer kimchi ferments, the higher the concentration of the probiotics. There is fiber in kimchi, which helps add bulk to the stool and promotes bowel health.
Ginger is a traditional ingredient used by many in medicinal preparations, which helps alleviate digestion and also prevents nausea.
It is used to accelerate gastric emptying. Ginger helps reduce the risk of heartburn, nausea, and stomach discomfort. Ginger is used by many pregnant women in treating sicknesses.
This is a plant that has a long green stalk, with a pale bulb used in adding flavor to foods. It prevents constipation, and also improves regularities, in the digestive tract since it contains fiber.
It contains an antispasmodic agent, that helps relax the smooth muscles in the digestive tract. This also helps in reducing negative digestive symptoms, like flatulence, cramping, bloating, etc.
Beetroot also known as beets, is an excellent source of fiber. Fiber improves digestion by adding bulk to the stool, and also feeds healthy gut bacteria.
Beetroot can be eaten by roasting, mixing it in a salad, or blending into a smoothie.
Tempeh is a food made from the fermentation of soybeans. During the fermentation process, sugar is broken down through bacteria and yeast. In addition, an antinutrient present in soybeans called phytic acid is broken down.
This acid, interferes with the absorption of certain nutrients, thus improving the digestion and absorption of those nutrients. Tempeh is an excellent source of probiotics.
Always remember that probiotics help in the alleviation of IBS symptoms prevents diarrhea, controls bloating, and improve regularity.
Digestive problems could be very challenging and complicated, especially when you experience one and wants to solve it, but with the help of some foods, you can ease those uncomfortable situations.
Research has even supported the consumption of fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, among others, to have enough probiotics in your diet to improve your digestive health.
Foods such as whole grains, green vegetables, etc, are good in helping food move through the digestive system easily and more quickly since they are rich in fiber.
Consider adding some of these foods to your diet to relieve yourself from digestive woes.
Also, check out the health benefit of ginger.