Maintaining digestive health is crucial to the body’s overall well-being. Our digestive tract is not only responsible for processing our food, it has a role in regulating hormones, eliminating toxins, absorption of key nutrients and our body’s immune defense. However, we tend to ignore our digestive health unless something goes wrong. Whether it’s heartburn, stomach aches, diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, nausea or vomiting, gastrointestinal woes can cause disorder in your life and disrupt your digestive balance.
Best and Worst Foods for Digestion
In theory, you should be able to digest just about any type of food but sometimes our stomachs don’t react well to everything we eat. Here is a list of the best food for our digestive track and some that can play havoc, especially under time of distress:
|Best foods||Worst foods|
|Fermented foods such as yogurt kimchi kombucha||Fried food|
|Lean meat and fish||Chili peppers|
|Fresh fruit such as bananas, apples and papaya||Alcohol|
|Ginger on it’s own may cause problems in some people. Best to replace with Dark green vegetables||Coffee, tea, and soft drinks|
|Herbs and spices such as tumeric, coriander, mint, cumin|
Improving digestive function
Improving your digestive function is one of the most important steps you can take in improving your health. Some common tips include:
- Eat wholesome foods – highly processed grains can interfere with the digestive process.
- Drink plenty of water – the digestive system needs to be well hydrated like the rest of the body
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables – some natural enzymes and nutrients can be denatured by heat through cooking. Eat raw to maintain all the nutrients.
- Keep chewing – chewing is crucial for proper digestion. The more you break down food in your mouth, the less work has to be done later.
- Reduce stress – feelings of stress or anxiety can mess with your digestive system because your brain and digestive system are connected. Try stress-relieving exercises or meditation.
- Supplement when necessary – digestive supplements may help improve digestion and reduce symptoms of digestive distress such as flatulence and bloating.