You can eat the highest quality foods on earth, but if your digestion is weak and you don’t absorb many of the nutrients in your food, you won’t receive their full benefits. Some foods are easier to digest than others, and foods that help digestion can counter such nutrient absorption issues. There are a variety of reasons for digestive problems, It is common sense that a poor diet can cause digestive issues and many people suffer with symptoms such as;
belching and/or flatulence
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reflux or indigestion
neck, shoulder, mid/lower back pain
fatigue (particularly following a meal)
bowel irregularity (diarrhoea/constipation)
A healthy diet can help improve it and there are certain foods that help digestion. I have detailed the 8 foods to help digestion or types of foods that help with improving digestive issues and the reason why below:
Specialised plant fibres that beneficially nourish the good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics help promote the growth of probiotics, which can improve digestive health. Foods containing prebiotics include garlic, jerusalem artichoke, leeks and chicory root.
Living micro-organisms. They play an important role in regulating proper digestive function and help to balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut so is one of the best foods to help digestion. Good sources include kefir, fermented vegetables, live yoghurt and miso.
3. Digestive enzymes
They help us to break down the food we eat into nutrients so our body can absorb them. If we do not have enough then we can’t break down the food and this can cause digestive discomfort. Foods with naturally occurring digestive enzymes include pineapple, papaya, honey and mango.
4. Bone broth
It is a highly nutritious, health boosting food. It is very high in protein and a good source of trace minerals. The gelatin in bone broth helps to support digestion and alongside the minerals pulled from the bones during cooking can be very healing for the gut. It is an easy and inexpensive way to get the nutrients your digestive system needs.
When dehydrated we don’t produce enough of the saliva that contains the enzymes we need to begin the digestive process so water is integral to good gut health. However drinking excess amounts during meals is not advised as this can dilute the nutrients and flush them through the system so they are not absorbed.
6. Fruit and vegetables
The fibre in these helps to increases the size and softness of the stool to make it easier to pass through the digestive tract and prevent constipation. Certain food combinations conducive to digestion should be integrated into diet. Fruit and vegetables are a major part of a healthy diet due to the levels of nutrients but are also excellent foods to help digestion.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
It is a food to help digestion by stimulating the hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach, which is responsible for breaking down foods. Low HCl can be the cause of reflux and indigestion and consuming ACV with water every day is thought to help build it up and also to reduce bloating.
It has been used for medicinal purposes for many years and is thought to help reduce digestive problems such as colic, diarrhoea, intestinal spasms, gas and indigestion. Another benefit of ginger is its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting, which is why it’s last on my list of foods to help digestion.
Try eating more of these in your diet and see whether they help improve your digestive health.