Help Your Digestive System with These 5 Foods

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Your digestive system is made up of a group of organs that process food, absorb nutrients, and rid the body of waste. And whether you are feeling under the weather, have a digestive disorder, or just want to eat something calm on the stomach, specific foods are easier to digest than others.

Although we all have our favorite sweet and savory snacks, putting healthy, easily digestible foods into your body can help improve your overall health, while also making you look and feel better. Below are a few foods that are good for digestion:

  1. Bananas

Bananas are one of the easiest foods to digest because the carbohydrates they contain are easily broken down. The fruit is gentle enough to be eaten if you are suffering from stomach ailments, like vomiting and diarrhea, and it restores lost electrolytes back into the body. Bananas are also a rich source of fructooligosaccharides, which act as a probiotic and promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract.

  1. Ginger

This spice is used to flavor many dishes and can also be used to treat stomach problems, such as motion sickness, upset stomach, and nausea. It can be eaten in raw or powdered form, taken as a capsule, or used in beverages like ginger ale and tea.

  1. Yogurt

Probiotics found in yogurt can relieve conditions such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and even eczema in young children by balancing the levels of microorganisms in the intestines and reducing the level of harmful bacteria in the body. Check for “live and active cultures” on the label.

  1. Lean Meat and Fish

Although a thick, juicy steak is appealing for many, red meats can be significantly more difficult for your digestive system to process than lean meats, like chicken and fish, because red meats tend to contain more fat that slows down digestion. Also, high-fat red meats have been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, unlike lean meats and fish.

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains are packed with fiber, which helps to keep food moving through your digestive tract, decreasing the incidence of constipation and diarrhea.

By mixing the aforementioned foods into your diet, you can help your body get rid of unwanted waste while increasing the amount of healthy nutrients that your body needs to keep running. Nobody enjoys the aches and pains of stomach problems, so if you find yourself dealing with frequent issues related to digestion, try working some of these foods into your diet to improve your digestive system. Healthy foods can change your overall mood and there are plenty of ways to integrate them into meals so they taste good, too!

Do you have any secret snacks, smoothies or foods that you enjoy eating because of the calming effects on your stomach? If so, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

RELATED: Infographic: Comparing 3 Common Digestive Disorders

digestive disorders

Digestive Disorders

The Digestive Disorders Center (DDC) is a convenient point of access to the full range of digestive health care services available at UPMC. Our team has expertise in treatments for inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as swallowing disorders, gastrointestinal cancer, and liver, pancreatic, and biliary diseases. Read More