10 FOODS THAT WILL IMPROVE DIGESTION
Digestion involves the breakdown of food into nutrients in the body which is then utilized for energy, growth and cellular repair.
Your lifestyle and the foods you consume dictates the status of your digestive health. A poor performing digestive system has an impact on your quality of life since the absorption of essential nutrients will be affected and you may also experience digestive problems such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn.
You can enhance your general wellbeing by improving your digestive health and this will ensure that your digestive system will function more efficiently.
We shall now focus on some foods that can improve the performance of your digestive system. The foods are:-
Papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain which facilitates the breakdown of proteins in your stomach. This leads to easier digestion and a better absorption of nutrients from your food. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which can help in soothing the stomach.
Papaya is a rich source of vitamins A, B and C which helps the body to flush out toxins and has the advantage of being easily digested and also has the ability of dissolving fats.
You can have slices of papaya one hour after consuming your lunch. You can also add papaya to your morning smoothie or to your fruit bowl.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened tea that contains specific strains of bacteria and yeast. The mixture is then fermented for a week or more. The bacteria and yeasts converts the sugar into ethanol and acetic acid. Kombucha has a distinctive sour taste due to the presence of acetic acid.
The fermentation process also leads to the production of probiotic bacteria. The probiotics will greatly improve the health of your digestive system.
Kombucha is generally considered safe for healthy people to drink. Just keep in mind consuming too much kombucha or other fermented products can lead to undesired side effects such as mild gas. Drink it in small quantities three times a day.
However, be aware that commercially produced Kombucha has about 0.5% alcohol while home-brewed Kombucha may contain higher levels of alcohol.
Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, that is similar to yogurt but with a thinner consistency. It has a distinct tart and sour taste. The flavor is usually determined by the length of the fermentation process.
Kefir has calcium and probiotic bacteria which helps in the digestion of lactose and can effectively minimize the side effects that comes with lactose intolerance such as gas and bloating.
kefir has also been associated with decreased inflammation in your gut, further enhancing the digestion process.
You have to be patient with kefir since it has no sweetness at all, and you have to acquire its taste first before you can really start enjoying it as part of your everyday healthy meal.
Apples are rich in vitamins, minerals and good quality fiber. It has a soluble fiber known as pectin that is broken down by the friendly bacteria in your colon. It has the ability of increasing stool volume and is therefore commonly used to reverse the effects of diarrhea and constipation. It also promotes the growth of good gut bacteria, which also helps improve digestion.
Pectin also has the ability of binding cholesterol and toxins in the body and can help in the elimination of the same from the body. Apples are also packed with antioxidants that that helps in reduction of oxidative damage and inflammation in the digestive track.
Apples can be enjoyed as snacks or added to breakfast cereals or smoothies. If one is suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or ulcers, then it is advisable to peel the apples before consuming them.
Ginger has components that can effectively reduce digestive problems such as bloating, heartburn, gas, nausea and general stomach discomfort. It can also accelerate gastric emptying by moving food from your stomach to your small intestine quicker.
Ginger also contains enzymes that boosts the breakdown of fats and proteins.
You can enjoy a refreshing blend of grated fresh ginger added to hot water mixed with fresh lemon juice and honey. One can also chew a small piece of salted ginger or alternatively you can spice up your smoothies, fruit juices or food using ginger.
However, moderate your intake to about 2-3 grams a day since over consumption of ginger can cause heartburns.
Fennel has fiber that can effectively deal with constipation and improves regularity in your digestive tract. It also has components that stimulates the secretion of digestive juices that enhances the absorption of nutrients.
Fennel also contains an antispasmodic agent that relaxes the smooth muscles in your digestive tract and reduces digestive problems such bloating, gas flatulence indigestion and cramping .
Fenchone is a a bioactive compound found in fennel seeds that relaxes the lining of the digestive tract and these boosts the cleansing of the colon.
You can slice the fennel seeds and add them to your salad, sandwich or stew. The seeds can also be used to add flavor to grilled fish or chicken.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, that promotes bowel regularity and healthy stools. The fiber will also support the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and this will improve your overall health.
Chia seeds are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that helps in the reduction of intestinal inflammation. They also are a good source of magnesium that is responsible for the relaxation of intestinal muscle and this improves the performance of your digestive system.
Chia seeds can be consumed by adding them to a glass of water, however, this can be challenging to many since chia seeds are naturally tasteless. To improve on its taste, one can add them to dairy-free smoothies, or oatmeal or porridge.
8. Whole Grains
Whole grains like millet, sorghum, brown rice and whole wheat are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. These fibers adds bulk to the stool and promotes easier bowel movements. Other compounds in whole grains protect against inflammation and diarrhea. The fiber also acts as prebiotics that help to feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Consumption of whole grains will not spike your blood sugar levels because the high fiber content ensures that the body breaks down the grains slowly hence control blood sugar levels.
However, if you have gluten intolerance, then opt for sorghum, millet, quinoa, brown rice and gluten free oats. These will not irritate your digestive system.
Beetroot also known as beets, is a good source of fiber. The Fiber will not only add bulk to your stool, but it will also feed your healthy gut bacteria, and this will greatly boost digestion.
Beets are also packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant propertie that can prevent inflammation in the digestive system and will also aid in flushing out toxins from the body. It also has the ability of stimulating production of bile that will promote digestion and breakdown of fats.
You can consume them raw by adding to salads, sandwiches or add them to your smoothies.
10. Dark Green Vegetables
Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, are excellent sources of fiber, as well as nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. These vegetables also contain sulfoquinovose, a type of sugar that helps fuel growth of healthy gut bacteria.
The fiber adds bulk to the stool hence quickening its pace through the digestive tract .