A strong digestive system is essential for your health. If your food is not digested properly, it could lead to a number of health issues. The good news is that certain foods actually have the power to soothe and heal your digestive system.
*Related: How Stress Can Cause Digestive Problems
Registered and Licensed Dietitian Melanie Lipps MS, RD, LD explains that “gut flora, our gastrointestinal tracts, can be influenced by what we eat in a matter of just 24 hours.”
A person’s gut can be improved by plant-based foods, Lipps says. Some of them include tempeh, tofu, kale and quinoa. “A specific food that you can choose would be TOLERANT foods as it is legumes in the shape of pasta. Beans help with vitamin absorption as well,” Lipps adds. Also try Go Raw's plant-based protein bars; they are a delicious raw and organic snack.
Kiwis are full of vitamins and antioxidants, some of which include vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium. Consuming them helps improve digestion of protein, relieve constipation, improve bowel function in irritable bowel syndrome sufferers and maintain good bacteria in the intestine, according to Be Well Naturally.
Broccoli is a great source of fiber; it contains a variety of vitamins, some of which include vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, vitamin A and potassium. Lipps says that broccoli is a great food for your gut because it helps fight cancer as well as inflammation.
Kefir is high in probiotics and nutrients, making it extremely beneficial for digestion and gut health. Research has shown that Kefir is actually a much more potent source of probiotic food – even compared to yogurt (it’s more of a drinkable yogurt). “Studies show that this probiotic can inhibit the growth of various harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, Helicobacter Pylori and E. coli,” according to Authority Nutrition.
Yogurt is a great dairy-based probiotic. According to a study by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, yogurt showed promising health benefits for certain gastrointestinal conditions, some of which include colon cancer, lactose intolerance, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease and diarrheal diseases.
Yes, you can curb your sweet tooth and keep your gut healthy at the same time. Research has discovered that certain bacteria in your gut break down and ferment the components in dark chocolate, turning them into absorbable anti-inflammatory compounds that are beneficial to your health, according to Dr. Mercola.
[Related: The Best Carbs for Weight Loss] If you love Mexican food, you will be happy to know that the corn-based complex carbohydrate polenta is actually great for your gut health. Lipps says polenta is a great food choice because it is high in fiber. It helps food pass easily through the body.
Sauerkraut is a form of fermented cabbage; it helps deliver health-promoting probiotic bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract. “Having a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating, or better yet, fermented cabbage juice from sauerkraut, will do wonders to improve your digestion, Health Impact News explains.
Bananas are a great source of fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic that is believed to be more effective than probiotics – improving the balance of gut flora in your digestive tract, according to Natural News. They explain that “feeding your digestive system with fructooligosaccharides will help ensure that friendly bacteria have the fuel they need to do their job.”
Ginger has numerous health benefits; it helps with digestion, reduces nausea, and may even help reduce stomach infections. It helps relax the muscles in your gut lining, which in turn helps food move through your system and relieves irritable bowel syndrome symptoms – gas, bloating, cramps, constipation etc.
It is highly recommended to eat one orange every day. According to Medical News Today, “an orange has over 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant effects.” They also help lower blood pressure and support overall heart health.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been shown to coat your digestive tract and aid in gut health. After it is fermented, it becomes carbonated and contains b-vitamins, enzymes, vinegar, probiotics and a high concentration of acid, according to Dr. Axe. Each of which have been shown to improve digestion, prevent cancer, aid in weight loss and support the immune system.