Top 5 Foods for Digestive Health
Most people want to be healthy eaters. It’s no secret that a healthy diet is a significant part of being healthy. However, “healthy” is a very ambiguous term, it can mean many different things to many different people. For example, some might define a healthy choice as choosing a cup of fruit juice over a cup of soda. The truth is, both options are full of sugar that your body doesn’t need. So, how can you ensure that your diet is the healthiest option?
Nutritional experts offer this advice: set goals for your nutrition. A lot of people set the goal of weight loss, but there are plenty of other nutritional goals to aim for, including reducing inflammation, increasing energy and improving digestion and gut health. In fact, there are multiple studies that provide evidence that a diet focused on promoting overall digestive health results in healthy weight management, less inflammation in the body, more energy, and a lower risk of disease. A large body of research has pointed out that the loss of “good” bacteria and the increase in “bad” bacteria in the microbiome of the gut is a primary contributor to disease.
How can you keep your gut healthy? You can start by adding these top foods for digestive health. Some of the most successful diet plans start with adding good-for-you foods and allowing those to slowly replace the not-so-healthy selections in your diet.
Fiber is good for digestion and helps clean out your body of waste. Adults need 25-38 grams of fiber per day, but most Americans don’t meet their daily fiber requirements. Some foods that are high in fiber are green vegetables like dark leafy greens and broccoli, root vegetables like sweet potatoes and beets, beans/legumes, and whole grains. Whole-wheat bread, brown rice, oats, and quinoa are good examples of whole grains.
Yogurt contains plenty of healthy bacteria to help balance the biome in your gut. Just be sure to look for “live and active cultures” on the label, and choose a low-sugar yogurt, because some flavored yogurts have more sugar than desserts.
Like yogurt, fermented foods also contain probiotics that aid in digestion. There are many examples of fermented foods, such as kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage), kefir (a type of fermented milk), sauerkraut (German pickled shredded cabbage), tempeh (made from fermented soybeans), kombucha (fermented tea), and miso (fermented soybean paste).
Ginger has been used for millennia to ease gastrointestinal problems, and it’s still effective today. Ginger works by speeding up the movement of food from your stomach to your upper small intestine, according to a study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Common ways to up your ginger intake are using it as a spice in your food, drinking it in a tea, or taking herbal supplements. But be careful about using too much, because consuming more than 2-4 grams of ginger each day can lead to heartburn.
Water is essential for survival, so this one kind of seems like an obvious answer, but most people could benefit from drinking more water. If you swap water for sugary beverages, your digestive system (and your waistline!) will thank you.
Adding these foods to your diet will certainly help you to feel better, but the food you eat isn’t the only factor in determining your digestive welfare. Contact the board-certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Health Reno today if you think your GI issues could be a symptom of a larger problem. The expert team is happy to help you reach your digestive health goals.
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