Add These Foods Into Your Diet to Improve Digestion

Your digestion isn’t the most glamorous thing to talk about, but its importance is undeniable. When your digestive system is working as it should, your body is turning food into energy, absorbing nutrients, and getting rid of waste regularly. An efficient, active digestive system can help you lose weight or maintain your current weight simply by doing its job.

The following seven foods naturally aid your digestive system, and if used regularly, can help keep the side effects of indigestion at bay.

1. Fermented veggies

fermented vegetables

Fermented veggies are great for your tummy health. | iStock.com

When you see the word “fermented” it can be hard to get excited, but chances are you eat fermented vegetables more often than you think. There’s probably kimchee on your favorite street tacos, and chances are you top your brats with sauerkraut. These along with pickles are potent detoxifiers with high levels of probiotics, which promote a healthy digestive tract and immune system.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt and berries

Yogurt can help, too. | iStock.com

The healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract helps your body digest food. If this bacteria has been stripped, it may explain why your digestion is out of whack. The live cultures found in yogurt can replenish this bacteria to help you digest your food. Just make sure you check for “live and active cultures” on the yogurt label.

3. Beans

Man holding stomach

Beans will help your digestive system. | iStock.com

Getting your digestive system running smoothly is all about fiber. One cup of beans contains 19 grams of fiber, which makes it easy to reach the recommended daily guideline of 25 grams. Not only are beans high in fiber, but they’re low in fat and high in protein, making a great substitute for meat. One study published in Nutrition Journal reported people had less gas than they thought they would when increasing their consumption of beans and that after a week on a bean-heavy diet, the number dropped by an additional 19%.

4. Healthy fats

olives next to olive oil on a table

Olives and olive oil are healthy fats. | iStock.com

Just as you might imagine, oils and fats can help lubricate your digestive system to move things along, but don’t use this as an excuse to slather your pancakes with margarine. Stick to natural, healthy fats like olive oil, fish oil, and coconut oil, which stimulate your digestive juices. According to research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, people with irritable bowel syndrome had the lowest levels of healthy fats in their blood.

5. Ginger

ginger

Fresh ginger is for more than just a stomachache. | iStock.com

Remember drinking ginger ale when you had a stomachache as a kid? Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a way to relieve nausea, vomiting, and gas. Add it to your stir-fry or slice it up and mix it with lemon and honey in hot water for a post-meal drink. Just make sure to consume it in moderation. More than 2-4 grams of ginger a day can cause heartburn.

6. Banana

Banana smoothie on wooden background

Bananas help restore your electrolytes. | iStock.com

When you’re suffering from diarrhea, your body is losing electrolytes and potassium, leaving your system lacking. Rather than reaching for a sugar-packed Gatorade, grab a banana. A banana is an easy way to restore your electrolyte levels and give you a boost of potassium. In addition, bananas are loaded with fiber, which aids in healthy digestion.  

7. Water

man holding a clear glass filled with water

Drinking water is super important. | iStock.com

OK, so this isn’t food, but water shouldn’t be overlooked in its role with digestion. Drinking water is the easiest and most efficient way to keep your digestive system running smoothly. Pair a healthy amount of fluids with the recommended daily dose of fiber and your digestive system will be back on track in no time.