If smooth digestion is your priority, eating foods that are easy to digest can make a huge difference in how well your system digests what you eat. Certain foods digest more easily than others based on their type and the amounts and type of nutrients they contain.
Before we explore the types of foods that are digested easily, we will first go over the classes of food that are easily digested. The class of foods that digest easily are those that are not highly processed, very spicy, acidic, or fatty.
For instance, some easy-to-digest foods recommended by experts for people who seek to support easy digestion include lean proteins, ripe fruits, low-FODMAP vegetables, and herbal teas.
Healthy Foods That Are Easy to Digest
Below is our guide to foods that are easily digested you should try.
1. White rice
Rice is a great source of protein and energy, but not all rice is easy to digest. Rice with high fiber, like brown rice, can add to digestive issues, such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas.
When looking for grains that digest easily, white instead of black, brown, or red rice could be a better option. Enriched white rice has added minerals and vitamins, which boost its nutritional value.
Adding oils and other sources of fat to rice could make it hard to digest. It is good to be cautious if want plan to eat plain rice with toppings as you need to ascertain which is most suitable.
Toast digests more easily than bread as some of the carbohydrates are broken down in the toasting process. Toast helps reduce nausea and heartburn, but you should know not all toast is the same.
Whole wheat bread is healthier than white bread but high in fiber so can be difficult to digest.
If a person has issues digesting whole wheat toast, the first thing to do is to try it without butter. For added flavor, go for fruit jellies instead of creamy spreads, like nut butter.
Enriched white bread is a good option for someone who cannot digest whole grains. Two slices may be enough depending on the type of enriched white bread.
Yogurt is an easily digestible food that gives the gut good bacteria that helps digestion.
Many research have revealed that yogurt intake can prevent diarrhea, improve bowel movement, and inflammatory bowel disease, and reduce the likelihood of colon cancer.
Try a small bowl of yogurt after your meal to help the food digest. But if you are lactose intolerant, go for a yogurt alternative prepared with goat’s milk, almond, or even coconut milk.
Papayas are loaded with chymopapain, proteolytic enzymes, and papain which have antimicrobial properties and help digestion by breaking down food. Papayas also have vitamins A, B, and C, which keep toxins out.
An experiment carried out by Austrian scientists on individuals with digestion issues had papaya extract given to one group and a placebo to the other.
The experiment revealed that the group that was given papaya extract, had a considerable decrease in constipation, bloating, and heartburn.
Take papaya an hour after lunch. You can also take it as a smoothie in the morning or add it to your fruit bowl.
Bananas are loaded with fiber (a medium-sized banana has about 3 gm of fiber) and pectin, which helps bowel movement and carbohydrate digestion.
Bananas are low GI food (they help lower blood sugar ) that are soft and palatable. Add one banana to your smoothie, breakfast cereal, or pancakes daily to get its full health benefit.
You can also try bananas with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt for dessert.
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Ginger root is usually used in foods, but it also has other uses besides being used in food. For years, ginger has been a key component of herbal medicine for treating inflammation, nausea, colds, cough, and digestion issues.
Ginger is believed to have a good effect on enzymes that break down proteins and fats. A group of Taiwanese scientists confirmed that ginger speeds up and boosts antral contractions and gastric emptying.
You can chew ginger with a little salt or add it to your food or fruit juice in the morning.
Fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that help to lower inflammation in the colon or stomach wall. This then contributes to improving bowel movement and digestion.
Scientists have found that eating fatty fish that have a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids could reduce inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms.
This is achieved by reducing proinflammatory biomolecule and oxidative stress. Taking small, wild-caught salmon, tuna, herring, cod, and carp will give you a sufficient amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
Cumin is used extensively as a flavor in many dishes. But cumin also contains antidiabetic, anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antiepileptic properties. Cumin is also an appetite stimulant that can fix dysentery and diarrhea.
A Phytochemical called thymol, found in cumin, stimulates the production of acids, enzymes, and bile to increase digestion. Essential oils, magnesium, and sodium found in cumin also help to fix stomach aches.
Fennel is a carminative (a substance that helps reduce gas) herb and prevents indigestion, flatulence, bloating, stomach ache, etc.
A bioactive compound called fenchone present in fennel seeds relaxes the digestive tract lining, which then helps cleanse the colon. Fennel seeds also stimulate the production of digestive juices and increase nutrient absorption.
So toss in a few slices of fennel in your salad, sandwich, or stew. You can also add fennel seeds to grilled chicken or fish, and even desserts to enhance their flavor.
10. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are great sources of dietary fiber that improve nutrient absorption and bowel movement. They also aid the synthesis of cells in the colon that help the activities of colon digestive enzymes.
You can have baked, grilled, or mashed sweet potato with salt, olive oil, and pepper. Also, you can add sweet potato to curries.
Apples are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and dietary fiber with antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation and oxidative damage in the digestive organs.
Apples have pectin, which is believed to aid the growth of helpful gut bacteria which improve digestion. You can eat apples with breakfast cereal as a snack, smoothies, juice, etc.
However, if you have been diagnosed with IBS or IBD, ulcer, etc. you should peel your apple (and even cook) before eating.
Cucumbers are filled with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, and have anti-inflammatory abilities.
With their high water and fiber content, cucumbers help relieve constipation by softening the stool and improving bowel movements.
The antioxidants in cucumber also help prevent toxin buildup, which could lead to stomach infections and indigestion. Cucumbers can be eaten as a snack or added to smoothies, juices, or salads.
Avocado is the food if you are experiencing stomach inflammation. It calms the inflamed duodenum and stomach wall.
Avocado also assists in changing the microorganisms found in the gut, hence helping to treat autointoxication, colitis, and biliousness. To improve your gut health and increase digestion, add avocado to your breakfast, smoothies, and salads.
Please consult your physician first if you have stomach issues as the latex in avocados can make some persons vomit.
Kimchi is a fermented food from Korea, prepared with spiced carrots or cabbage. It is an amazing source of iron, calcium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, B, and C. Since it is fermented, it also is filled with good beneficial bacteria just like yogurt.
Good gut bacteria improve digestion by producing enzymes that aid digestion. You can use kimchi as an ingredient in your baked or grilled chicken/fish, or a spice in your food.
Prunes are filled with soluble and insoluble fiber. They act as a laxative that stimulates the peristaltic movement of the colon and digestive tract.
Prunes also help to boost immunity and reduce inflammation. Try prune juice before breakfast or after lunch, it is gentle on the stomach.
So, these are the 15 foods that are easy to digest. While it is good to know and eat foods that are easy to digest, it is equally good to know foods to avoid.
Consult your doctor before you begin any dietary plan and also look out for foods you are allergic to or react to.