10 Foods That Support Your Digestive Health
Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - General Surgery , DNB (General Surgery), MNAMS (Membership of the National Academy), Fellow HPB Surgery & Liver Transplant (Singapore) , FICS - RPSLH - RPSLH
The food you eat plays an important role in your gastrointestinal health. Some foods can be difficult to digest and lead to bloating (learn more about Foods That Bloat Your Belly) and heartburn while others increase the healthy bacteria in your gut and make digestion easier.
Here are ten things you should include in your diet for a healthy digestive system:
- Bananas: Bananas help regulate bowel movements and help bind food waste together thus helping with irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. They also help restore the electrolyte and potassium balance in the stomach.
- Oats: Oats are rich in fiber and low in calories. It is also a rich source of phosphorus, vitamin E and Zinc. Oats helps with the proper functioning of the digestive system and the extraction of waste.
- Curd: Curd rice is the most well known home remedy for an upset stomach. Curd is a rich source of probiotics that helps restore the balance of healthy gut bacteria and eases digestion.
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is an excellent substitute for normal cooking oil or butter. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties and fatty acids that ease the digestive system and boost immunity and energy levels.
- Lentils: Lentils are rich in prebiotics and fiber. These prebiotics promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria and prevent harmful bacteria from causing stomach infections.
- Ginger: Herbs and spices are very helpful with digestion. Amongst these, ginger is foremost. It can be used to treat a number of stomach infections such as bloating, nausea and diarrhea. Ginger also helps speed up the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are rich in fiber and probiotics. While beetroots help relieve constipation, sweet potatoes help treat ulcers and bowel problems. Other vegetables that aid digestion include cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots.
- Brown rice: A certain amount of carbohydrates are essential for a well balanced diet. Brown rice has a high calorific value but is less fattening. Brown rice helps food move smoothly through the digestive system and hence promotes regularity.
- Peppermint: Peppermint helps ease indigestion and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint can be had on its own as a flavoring agent in salads and on fruits or taken as a supplement.
- Water: Water is crucial to healthy digestion. It helps smooth the movement of food through the digestive system and out of the bowels. Inadequate water is one of the most common causes of constipation. Ideally, you should have a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
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