The digestive system is critical for overall health and wellbeing, so you need to keep it in good shape. One way you can do this is through eating easily digested foods. Your gut needs an occasional break so it can function better. Some foods pass through the gut easily, whereas others are widely known to cause indigestion. Beneficial foods often contain healthy bacteria that promote digestion, or are high in fiber to balance the diet. Here are some of the features of these foods, and the specific types of food you should look for.
Part 1: Features of Easily Digested Foods
High in Soluble Fiber. Fiber is vital for a healthy gut. Yet, for easy digestion, go for foods rich in soluble, not insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is easily broken down by the digestive enzymes, allowing for its smooth passage out the body. Foods high in soluble fiber include apples, pears, and prunes.
Minimum Fats. Easy to digest foods are usually low in fat or fat-free. Unsaturated fatty acids are most readily broken down, followed by poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Complex Carbohydrates. Remember to opt for natural food that containing complex carbohydrate. Not like complex carbohydrate, simple carbohydrates can be hard to digest and increases your blood glucose level. Sample foods containing complex carbohydrates are grains, cereals, pulses, etc.
Other Factors. Fermented foods are great for your gut as they have bacteria that promote digestion. Fruit and vegetables also provide support to a fragile digestive system.
Part 2: A List of 10 Easily Digested Foods
Bananas are fantastic for promoting digestion, as they contain 12% of your recommended fiber intake. They are also full of beneficial potassium and vitamin C. It's best to eat bananas raw, as cooking can make them harder to digest.
Avocados are quickly broken down, both in your mouth and in your gut, and are gentle on the stomach, making them one of the easiest foods to digest. What's more, avocados are full of healthy fats, fiber, and potassium. You can eat avocados chopped up in a salad, or use them to prepare homemade guacamole.
Leafy vegetables, such as spinach, lettuce, and cabbage help the digestive system by flushing out any undigested food within your system. They are also rich in nutrients and help you to feel full, making them an essential part of the diet for anyone who wants to lose weight.
Yogurt, although most dairy products are quite tricky to digest, yogurt is the exception. This is because it is filled with healthy bacteria that promote digestion, as well as boosting your immunity. As one of the most easily digested foods, yogurt is rich in calcium and protein. You can use either regular yogurt or Greek yogurt, but avoid varieties with added sugar, fruit, or artificial sweeteners.
Eggs are a great source of proteins and minerals, as well as being easy on your gut. Both the yolk and white are very nutritious, but leave out the yolk if you are trying to lose weight. Scrambled or boiled eggs are kindest on your digestive system; avoid frying your eggs.
Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage,isn't only one of the most easy to digest foods itself, but also promotes the breakdown of other foods in your diet through stimulating the growth of lactic acid-producing bacteria that improve digestion. There are several different types of sauerkraut, all of which can be easily incorporated into your meals.
Chicken breast is one of the best protein sources for a healthy gut. It is gentle on the stomach, and doesn't have additional fats slowing down digestion. However, chicken lacks fiber, so ensure you include wholegrains and vegetables with your meal. Go for baked, grilled, or boiled chicken, and make sure that it's cooked thoroughly.
Brown rice is a filling source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, and is easy on your digestive system. Although white rice is also readily broken down, it may cause trapped wind, constipation, or diarrhea. Brown rice can be served with healthy lean protein and fresh vegetables for a nutritious, simple meal.
Salmon is perhaps the simplest fish to digest. It's a fantastic source of protein and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, whilst being low in cholesterol and fat. For the most digestive benefits, bake the salmon, and serve it with baked sweet potato and steamed vegetables. White fish are also good for digestion.
Oatmeal is one of the best ways to start your day. It one of the easiest foods to digest due to its high fiber content, and gives the energy boost you need first thing in the morning. Go for slow-cooked, traditional oatmeal preparations, and avoid instant oatmeal. You can prepare your own flavors by adding fruit, pure maple syrup, and nuts to your oatmeal.
Part 3: 10 Quick Ways to Help Your Digestion
Don't skip breakfast. You need to get your digestive system going in the morning, and eating breakfast is the best way. Add probiotic yogurt for extra benefits.
Slow down your eating. Your gut needs to keep up with your eating; otherwise it's a recipe for indigestion. So slow down, chew, and enjoy your food!
Take some exercise. The digestive system is stimulated when you get moving. Dedicated exercise is best, but any movement, from taking the stairs, to walking to the shops, will be beneficial.
Drink more water. Water helps flush toxins from your digestive system, and is a useful remedy for constipation. Try drinking a glass of water 20 minutes before main meals.
Avoid processed foods. Processed foods are filled with artificial ingredients that are hard to digest and can leave you feeling bloated.
Watch your portion sizes. You want to enjoy food, not feel intimidated by it. Try leaving space on your plates when serving up, and stop eating when you're full.
Don't eat at your desk. Go for a change of scenery and stimulate your system. You’ll also enjoy your food more if you don't eat where you work.
Have an early dinner. Your need time to digest food before going to bed. Ensure this by taking your evening meal at least three hours before you hit the sheets.
Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is widely recognized as a major cause of upset stomachs. If you do drink, avoid fizzy alcoholic drinks, which cause bloating and gas.
Drink peppermint tea. As a refreshing mid-afternoon pick-me-up, swap your coffee for peppermint tea, which relaxes your stomach, easing digestion.