Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Jared McAllister
5 Foods For Better Digestion and Gut Health
Symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea are common and point to an imbalanced gut. The good news is that many dietary tweaks can get your digestive system back on track to restoring harmony to your digestive system.
In the following article, we’ll take a close look at five paramount foods that are worth incorporating into your diet to effectively enhance and maintain optimal gut health for a remarkable transformation.. So keep reading to learn about these 5 must-try foods that can dramatically improve gut your health!
Yogurt is a nutrition all-star when it comes to digestive health. It contains live active cultures of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that promote proper digestion and bowel regularity. The two main probiotic strains found in yogurt are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Research shows probiotics can help with lactose intolerance, diarrhea caused by antibiotics and infection, constipation, gas, bloating, and other issues.
Look for yogurts that say “live and active cultures” on the label. Plain, unsweetened varieties are best to avoid excess added sugars. Try mixing in fresh fruit, seeds, nuts or granola for extra fiber, vitamins and minerals. The probiotics will work most effectively when eaten consistently, so aim for a serving of yogurt every day.
This fermented cabbage provides a major dose of probiotics that give your gut health a boost. The fermentation process preserves cabbage while producing probiotics like Lactobacillus. Just a half cup serving contains over 1 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of probiotics. Research indicates that sauerkraut may improve digestion, reduce constipation, decrease inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
Start slow when adding sauerkraut to your diet, as the sodium content is high. Try adding just a spoonful at first. Sauerkraut makes a tangy topping for sandwiches, tacos, bowls and more. You can also drink the brine for maximum probiotic power. Make sure to choose unpasteurized sauerkraut, as pasteurization kills off beneficial bacteria.
An apple a day really can keep the doctor away, especially when it comes to digestive woes. Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps food move through the intestines. Soluble fiber draws water into the colon to soften stools and improve regularity. Just one medium apple provides 4 grams of dietary fiber.
Leave the peel on when eating apples, as that contains much of the insoluble fiber. The flesh is packed with soluble fiber. Apples also have a high water content, which helps prevent constipation. Enjoy apples whole, sliced with nut butter, baked into oatmeal or chopped into salads.
4. Chia Seeds
These tiny seeds provide an easy way to get more fiber into your diet. Just one ounce of chia seeds packs 10 grams of fiber, combining both insoluble and soluble. Soaking chia seeds forms a gel, which can coat and soothe the digestive tract. The fiber expands in the stomach, creating a feeling of fullness and regulating digestion.
Chia easily absorbs liquids, so the seeds are great for making puddings, oats, smoothies, yogurt bowls and more. Try using chia in baked goods like muffins and breads too. Start with 1-2 tablespoons per day and work up to higher amounts slowly. Be sure to drink plenty of water when increasing fiber intake.
Artichokes have powerful impacts on digestion and liver health. Their bitter compounds stimulate bile production, which improves fat digestion and elimination. The leaves are rich in insoluble fiber, speeding up “transit time” in the gut. Artichokes also contain prebiotics that feed healthy bacteria in the digestive system.
When eating artichokes, the goal is to consume the leaves. Steam or roast artichokes and then scrape edible portions from leaves with your teeth. The hearts are also great sautéed or added to pastas and grain bowls. Another option is drinking artichoke tea made from the leaves. Enjoy artichokes occasionally to take advantage of their unique digestive benefits.
Simple dietary choices can make a big difference for your digestive health. Try incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, high fiber options like apples and chia seeds, and natural digestion aids like artichokes. Pay attention to how your body responds as you add these gut-healthy foods to your routine. With some small tweaks, you’ll be well on your way to a happy belly and better overall wellbeing.