Looking to improve digestion? Choosing the right foods in your healthy-eating plan can help promote a healthy digestive system by eradicating constipation and acid reflux.
In order to achieve optimal absorption, a healthy immune system, and a reduced risk of disease, it’s important to keep your gut populated with good bacteria. In addition, there are numerous foods that can help your gut stay happy and healthy.
Here’s a list of 10 foods to improve your digestion. Don’t go overboard, though: Incorporate some of these foods into your diet slowly so you don’t cause gastrointestinal distress (aka what you’re trying to avoid).
This tropical fruit contains papain and chymopapain, digestive enzymes thought to support digestion by helping break down proteins. Although more research is needed, eating papaya can certainly help add fiber to your diet—always a plus when it comes to a healthy digestive system.
PeppermintPeppermint can ease indigestion and has been found to help with some symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome. This herb helps slow down the stomach muscles or spasms that contribute to nausea, too. Steep fresh peppermint in tea and enjoy hot or cold.
KefirThis fermented milk drink contains gut-friendly bacteria, which help keep your digestive system healthy. It’s also a great way to take in a multitude of nutrients—including vitamins A and D, calcium, and protein. Enjoy in smoothies, salad dressing, or ice pops.
KimchiThis fermented food is brimming with healthy bacteria. Spread a spoonful on toast, over a green salad, or in a soup.
LentilsMost folks in the U.S. consume less than half the recommended amount of daily fiber. Lentils are an underappreciated source filled with a whopping 15 grams per cup! Enjoy in soup, over a green salad, or as a side dish.
GingerGinger helps calm nausea and can help settle a wonky stomach. Add dried ginger to teas, marinades, and baked goods, or grate fresh ginger into salad dressings and smoothies.
Greek YogurtGreek yogurt contains live, active cultures, many which act as probiotics. In order to increase the healthy bacteria in your gut, enjoy a single serving of Greek yogurt every day.
Almonds“One serving of almonds provides 4 grams (about 15% of the recommended daily value) of satiating fiber, which is a key component of digestive health,” says New York City-based registered dietitian Natalie Rizzo, M.S. “Plus, a recent randomized controlled trial found that almond consumption positively alters the microbiota living in the gut.” Although more research needs to be done on this topic, Rizzo says the results are promising for the correlation between almonds and digestive health.
Chia SeedsChia seeds contain a healthy dose of fiber with 1 tablespoon providing about 5 grams. Sprinkle over yogurt, hot cereal, or blend in smoothies
KiwiThis fruit is brimming with enzymes that aid digestion. A review published in Advances in Food and Nutrition Research found that the enzyme actinidin found in kiwi helps digest protein-rich foods.
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