The digestive tract plays a vital role in your health as it is responsible for absorbing nutrients and removing waste.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from digestive problems like bloating, cramps, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation for a variety of reasons.
Certain conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Crohn’s Disease , diverticulitis, and heartburn, can put you at risk for more serious digestive problems.
However, even a healthy person can experience digestive problems due to things like a lack of fiber or foods rich in probiotics in their diet.
Here are the 19 best foods to improve your digestion
Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented, usually by lactic acid bacteria.
It contains friendly bacteria known as probiotics, which are good bacteria that live in the digestive tract and can help improve digestion and keep the gut healthy.
While probiotics occur naturally in the gut, increasing your intake through foods like yogurt can make digestion easier.
Probiotics can help with digestive problems, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. They have also been shown to improve the digestion of lactose or milk sugar.
However, not all yogurt contains probiotics. When shopping, be sure to look for “active and active cultures” on the package.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which can aid digestion by promoting healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.
Apples are a rich source of pectin, a soluble fiber.
Pectin prevents digestion in the small intestine and is then broken down by friendly bacteria in the colon.
It increases the volume of stool and is therefore commonly used to resolve constipation and diarrhea. It has also been shown to decrease the risk of intestinal infections, as well as inflammation in the colon.
The pectin found in apples helps increase the volume and movement of stool through the digestive tract. It can also decrease inflammation in your colon.
Fennel, a plant with a pale bulb and long green stems, is used to add flavor to food.
Its fiber content helps prevent constipation and improves regularity in the digestive tract.
Fennel also contains an antispasmodic agent that relaxes the smooth muscles in your digestive tract. This action can reduce negative digestive symptoms like bloating, flatulence, and cramps.
The fiber content of fennel or fennel and the antispasmodic agent can improve digestion by limiting some negative gastrointestinal symptoms.
Kefir is a cultured dairy product made by adding kefir “grains” to milk. These “grains” result from mixing yeast and bacteria with milk and appear to have digestive benefits.
Like the probiotics in yogurt, kefir cultures aid in the digestion of lactose, decreasing some of the negative side effects associated with lactose intolerance, such as bloating, cramps, and gas.
In multiple studies, kefir caused an increase in healthy gut bacteria that improve digestion and a simultaneous drop in harmful bacteria.
Kefir consumption has also been associated with a decrease in inflammation in the gut, further enhancing the digestion process.
Kefir’s unique ingredient, “grains” made from yeast and bacteria, appears to improve digestion and decrease inflammation in the gut.
5. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which causes them to form a jelly-like substance in the stomach once consumed. They work as prebiotics, which supports the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and contributes to healthy digestion.
Its fiber content also helps promote intestinal regularity and healthy stools.
The fiber content of chia seeds can aid digestion by promoting the growth of probiotics in the gut and keeping it regular.
6. La kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea.
It is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, sugar, and yeast to black or green tea, then fermenting for a week or more.
An excess of probiotic bacteria is produced during the fermentation process, which can improve digestive health.
In addition, some research in mice has shown that kombucha can contribute to the healing of stomach ulcers.
Kombucha’s broad probiotic content improves digestion and intestinal health. The drink can also help heal stomach ulcers.
The delicious tropical fruit papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain.
It helps during the digestive process by helping to break down protein fibers. While not necessary in your diet, it can aid in the digestion of protein.
Papain can also relieve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, such as constipation and bloating.
It is commonly used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements due to its gastrointestinal capabilities.
Papaya contains papain, which is a strong digestive enzyme that contributes to the healthy digestion of protein. It can also ease the symptoms of IBS.
8. Whole grains
Grains are the seeds of grass-like plants called cereals.
To be classified as a whole grain, it must contain 100% of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm.
The most popular whole grains include oats, quinoa, farro, and products made with whole wheat. The fiber found in these grains can help improve digestion in two ways.
First, fiber helps bulk up your stool and can reduce constipation.
Second, some grain fibers act as prebiotics and help feed healthy bacteria in the gut.
Due to their high fiber content, whole grains can support healthy digestion by adding bulk to your stool, reducing constipation and feeding healthy gut bacteria.
9. The tempeh
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Fermentation breaks down sugars through bacteria and yeast.
During the fermentation process, an antinutrient in soy called phytic acid breaks down. Phytic acid can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients.
Therefore, the fermentation process improves the digestion and absorption of those nutrients.
Fermented foods like tempeh are a good source of probiotics. Remember that probiotics create a protective lining in your intestines to protect them from harmful bacteria.
Studies have found that probiotics help relieve IBS symptoms, prevent diarrhea, decrease bloating, and improve regularity.
Tempeh’s fermentation process and probiotic content can lessen negative digestive symptoms, as well as improve nutrient absorption by breaking down the antinutrient phytic acid.
Beets, also known as beets, are a good source of fiber.
One cup (136 grams) of beets contains 3.4 grams of fiber. Fiber prevents digestion and makes its way to the colon, where it feeds healthy gut bacteria or adds bulk to stool, improving digestion.
Some popular ways to eat beets include roasted, mixed in a salad, pickled, or mixed in a smoothie.
The nutrients in beets can help improve digestion by helping feed your gut bacteria and add bulk to your stool.
11. The miso
Commonly consumed in miso soup, miso is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of mushroom.
Miso contains probiotics which, like other fermented foods, help improve digestion by increasing the good bacteria in the gut.
The probiotics in miso can also help reduce digestive problems and overcome intestinal ailments such as diarrhea.
The probiotic content of Miso helps you reduce digestive problems and overcome intestinal diseases such as diarrhea.
Ginger is a traditional ingredient in oriental medicine that helps improve digestion and prevent nausea. Many pregnant women use it to treat morning sickness.
From a digestion standpoint, this yellowish root has been shown to accelerate gastric emptying.
By moving food from your stomach to your small intestine faster, ginger reduces the risk of heartburn, nausea, and an upset stomach.
Ginger appears to speed up the movement of food through your stomach, alleviating certain side effects associated with slow digestion. It has also been used to treat nausea, including morning sickness during pregnancy.
13. El kimchi
Kimchi, usually made from fermented cabbage, can also contain other fermented vegetables.
It contains probiotics that help with digestion and promote the growth of good bacteria in the colon.
The more the kimchi ferments, the higher the concentration of probiotics.
Kimchi also contains fiber, which can add bulk to your stool and promote intestinal health.
Kimchi contains probiotics and fiber that improve digestion and promote intestinal health.
14. Dark green vegetables
Green vegetables are an excellent source of insoluble fiber.
This type of fiber adds bulk to your stool, speeding its passage through your digestive tract.
Green vegetables are also a good source of magnesium, which can help relieve constipation by improving muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some of the more common dark green vegetables that provide this benefit are spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other leafy greens.
Additionally, a 2016 study revealed that an unusual sweet found in leafy green vegetables feeds the good bacteria in the gut. This sweet is believed to aid digestion and also stop some of the bad bacteria that can cause illness.
Green vegetables play a role in healthy digestion by providing fiber and magnesium to your diet, as well as feeding good bacteria in your gut.
15. El natto
Like tempeh, natto is made from fermented soybeans.
Typically eaten plain, some popular toppings for natto include kimchi, soy sauce, green onion, and raw eggs. It can also be eaten with cooked rice.
Natto contains probiotics that serve as a defense mechanism against toxins and harmful bacteria, while increasing healthy gut bacteria that improve digestion.
Interestingly, one gram of natto contains almost as many probiotics as a full serving of other probiotic-rich foods or supplements, such as six ounces (170 grams) of yogurt.
Its fiber content also improves stool regularity and reduces constipation.
Natto’s rich probiotic content can support gastrointestinal health and digestion, improving stool regularity and reducing constipation.
Sauerkraut is made from shredded cabbage that is fermented with lactic acid. Due to fermentation, it contains probiotics.
Research suggests that a half-cup (71-gram) serving of sauerkraut can contain up to 28 different bacterial strains that help your gut by feeding good bacteria.
In addition, the generous supply of enzymes in sauerkraut breaks down nutrients into smaller, easier-to-digest molecules.
Sauerkraut is a rich source of probiotics and contains enzymes that help with digestion by breaking down nutrients into easier-to-digest molecules.
17. The salmon
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in your body.
People with inflammatory bowel disease, food intolerances, and other digestive disorders often have inflammation in the gut. Omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce this inflammation and thus improve digestion.
The omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon can reduce inflammation in your gut, which improves your digestive process.
18. The bone broth
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones and connective tissues of animals.
The gelatin found in bone broth is derived from the amino acids glutamine and glycine.
These amino acids can bind to fluids in the digestive tract and help food pass through more easily.
Glutamine protects the functioning of your intestinal wall. It has also been shown to improve the digestive condition known as leaky gut, as well as other inflammatory bowel diseases.
The gelatin found in bone broth can help improve digestion and protect the intestinal wall. It can be helpful in improving leaky gut and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
19. The mint
Peppermint, part of the mint genus, commonly grows throughout much of the world.
Peppermint oil is made from the essential oils found in peppermint leaves and has been shown to improve digestive problems.
The oil contains a compound called menthol, which can alleviate IBS symptoms, including bloating, upset stomach, and problems with bowel movement.
The oil appears to have a relaxing effect on the muscles in your digestive tract, which can improve digestion.
Peppermint oil can also ease indigestion by speeding up the movement of food through your digestive system.
Peppermint has been shown to improve digestion. It can ease IBS symptoms and push food through your digestive tract more quickly.
The bottom line
Digestive problems can be challenging, but certain foods can be helpful in relieving uncomfortable symptoms.
Research supports consuming fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, and tempeh, to increase probiotics in your diet, which can improve digestive health.
Fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, dark green vegetables, and chia seeds, also play a role in digestion by helping food move through your system more easily or quickly.
If you are looking for relief from your digestive problems, consider adding some of these 19 foods to your diet.