The gastrointestinal (GI) tract has a critical role in full body health as it absorbs nutrients while also ridding the body of waste. As many as 70 million Americans suffer from GI issues, which include symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and gas. An unhealthy gut also puts people at risk for serious digestive diseases. There are also an unspecified number of people who are healthy yet experience GI symptoms because of a lack of a balanced diet. Here are seven of the best foods that you need to add to your daily nutrition intake to promote a healthier digestive system.
1. Whole Grain Fiber
Whole grains like wheat, quinoa and oats are a vital source of fiber that aids in the digestion process. With proper hydration, fiber intake makes the stool softer and reduces constipation which is the secret to avoiding hernia complications. Grains like corn or barley promote prebiotics, which acts as a source of nutrients for healthy gut microbiota.
Yogurt is made from fermented milk that contains probiotics that are already found in the digestive tract. Probiotics aid in digestion and keeps your gut healthy. They also reduce GI issues like diarrhea, bloating and constipation that also causes damage.
3. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach or broccoli play a significant role in digestion. Not only do they add fiber but they also regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol, which produces regular bowel movements. Green vegetables also provide the body with phytonutrients that aid in healthy digestion, food breakdown and energy production. They also contain magnesium, which helps relieve constipation. The available antioxidants in vegetables also have a vital role in cell protection and immunity.
The body needs omega-3 fatty acids to decrease inflammation in the GI tract. People who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), food intolerances and GI disorders often suffer significantly from inflammation in the gut, so the introduction of omega-3 boost digestion.
Papaya is a tropical fruit that produces a natural digestive enzyme called papain that helps the body break down protein fibers and promote a healthier digestive system. It also helps reduce inflammation, which is a critical component to gastrointestinal health.
Apples contain pectin which is a soluble fiber that binds itself to toxins to remove wastes through the digestive tract. Pectin also enhances digestion as the gut’s microbiota breaks down and resolves common stomach issues like inflammation and constipation. It also contains nutrients that are important for absorption.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years to improve common stomach ailments and improve the digestive process. It has also been known to reduce the time it takes to empty the stomach of its contents. As the food does not stay in the stomach longer, the ginger increases digestion and reduces the possibility of stomach pain and nausea.
It is helpful to support your body with a balance of healthy fruits, fiber-rich vegetables and fish. By also adding in foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics, you can promote a healthier GI tract for yourself and your family.