Unless you’ve had a problem with digestion, you may not have paid too much attention to the process. But you don’t have to experience illness or discomfort to take a proactive approach to your digestive health.
The digestive process breaks down the food you ingest into nutrients. It then uses those nutrients for energy, growth and cellular repair. So, naturally, you want to put the best foods in to help ensure your body is getting the best results, right?
In general, eating a fibre-rich diet low in saturated fats and high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy, nuts and seeds can help support a healthy digestive system. To get more specific, here are four of our favourite digestion-friendly foods.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut are good news for your gut. Probiotics produced during the fermentation process feed the good bacteria in your gut and can help fight inflammation. Unfortunately, not all sauerkraut is created equally. Most canned sauerkraut you find in the grocery store has been pasteurized, which kills off the good bacteria. To get the full digestive health benefits, opt for fresh sauerkraut prepared without vinegar.
Remember when your mom gave you ginger ale when you had a tummy ache as a child? Well, she was on the right track…even if there wasn’t any actual ginger in that ginger ale. For centuries, ginger root has been used to treat upset stomachs and nausea. By toning the intestinal muscles and stimulating the breakdown of food particles, ginger promotes motility within the gastrointestinal tract. The result can be fewer gas pains and the ability to better digest and metabolize fats.
Yogurt can be a healthy and delicious option—provided you stay away from processed products with a ton of added sugars. But is it really the gold standard of digestion-friendly foods the commercials would have us believe? Not necessarily. To make the best choice, look for yogurts containing live and active cultures with at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But keep in mind, a good quality probiotic like SISU Integris 30 contains a whopping 30 billion live colony-forming units in a single capsule. That’s a LOT of yogurt you’d need to eat for the same benefit.
Bananas are a sweet and delicious treat for your taste buds, and, as it turns out, for your digestive system. These yummy yellow fruits are packed with dietary fibre and potassium, which help keep your digestive system running smoothly. With the ability to restore electrolytes and potassium lost through runny stools, bananas are particularly beneficial for diarrhea sufferers.