Everyone experiences tummy troubles from time-to-time. Whether it is gas, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, or stomach pain, digestive problems can be incredibly uncomfortable and downright embarrassing at times.
What you eat plays a vital role in your digestive health, and adding foods that are high in nutrients like fiber, healthy bacteria like probiotics, or digestive enzymes can help ease many digestive issues and make you feel better in the long run.
Here are 6 healthy foods that can help with digestion.
Ginger is a popular spice that can help with digestion and nausea.
Research shows ginger can help food move faster through your stomach, into your intestines. By doing so, ginger can help ease both stomach discomfort and nausea (1).
In fact, gingers anti-nausea properties may help treat morning sickness during pregnancy (2).
Summary Ginger can help with digestion because it helps food move faster through your stomach. It also has anti-nausea properties.
Apples are great for digestion because they’re high in fiber.
Just one medium-sized apple contains a healthy 4 grams of fiber (3).
Apples contain a special kind of soluble fiber called pectin, which absorbs water as it moves through your gut. By doing so, soluble fiber helps soften stools and encourages regular bowel movements (4).
Summary Apples are high in soluble fiber like pectin, which promotes regular bowel movements.
Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with a certain strain of healthy bacteria.
Because it’s made by fermentation, it’s packed with friendly live bacteria called probiotics. These bacteria can help improve digestion and improve the overall health of your gut (5).
Also, research shows probiotics can help with a variety of digestive health problems including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and may even help ease lactose intolerance (5, 6).
Summary Yogurt is a good source of probiotics, which can help with many digestive issues.
4. Chia seeds
Despite their small size, chia seeds are packed with fiber, making them great for digestion.
In fact, just one ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds packs a whopping 10 grams of fiber (7).
Just like with apples, the fiber in chia seeds forms a gel-like substance that absorbs water as it moves through your gut. By doing so, it helps stool pass easier through your body (8).
Also, the fiber in chia seeds helps feed your healthy gut bacteria, promoting gut health.
Summary Chia seeds are packed with fiber, which helps keep your bowels regular and aids gut health.
Sauerkraut is made from cabbage that is fermented with lactic acid.
Because it’s fermented, sauerkraut healthy bacteria that can help aid digestion.
In fact, research shows that just half a cup (71 grams) of sauerkraut can contain up to 28 different strands of healthy bacteria that can aid digestion and improve your gut health (9).
Also, sauerkraut contains a variety of digestive enzymes that can improve digestion by helping break down food into more easily digestible particles (10).
Summary Sauerkraut is packed with healthy probiotic bacteria that can help aid digestion. It’s also a good source of digestive enzymes, which help make food easier to digest.
Peppermint is a delicious plant that has properties to help with digestion. Its leaves contain various essential oils, like limonene, menthone, and menthol (11).
Peppermint oil is especially high in menthol, which has been shown to help treat bloating, ease stomach pain, relieve constipation, and even ease IBS symptoms (12, 13).
There are two major ways that peppermint oil can help with digestion.
First, peppermint oil can help digestion by relaxing the muscles in your digestive tract (14).
Second, peppermint oil can help food move faster through your gut (15).
Summary Peppermint, especially peppermint oil, can aid digestion by relaxing the muscles in your gut and helping food move faster through your gut.
Blog written by
Ryan Raman MHSC, RD