Top 5 foods for better digestion
Posted on August 05 2019
If you’re struggling with your stomach, you might be tempted to head straight to the pharmacy. But by choosing foods that aid digestion instead, you can help ease digestive distress naturally. It's not as difficult as you think to work stomach-friendly foods into your diet. We’ve put together a few of our favourites for healthier digestion. Here’s the top 5:
Just making into our top 5 is the artichoke, which plenty of unexpected health benefits. Artichokes are packed with powerful nutrients and plenty of fibre (just one medium artichoke has nearly 7 grams of the stuff!) This leafy veg also provides you with prebiotics, which allow the good bactiera in your stomach to thrive. This helps keep your digestive system healthy and can alleviate discomfort, such as stomach aches and bloating. Artichokes are also incredibly versatile and easy to work into your meals. Try adding to a salad, stir fry or even a creamy soup to mix things up a bit!
There are loads of fermented foods out there that give your gut a boost of healthy bacteria. One of our favourites is kimchi, a Korean classic made by fermenting cabbage and carrots in a tangy, spicy sauce. Fermenting is a simple, tasty way to preserve food with added health benefits, and can be done with only a couple of ingredients. These fermented foods use microorganisms to convert sugars into lactic acid, creating that signature sour taste.
Fermentation is almost like the start of digestion, so it’s no wonder foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are renowned for helping your stomach stay on track. They’re rich in probiotics, adding to the healthy bacteria in your gut and helping food move along your digestive tract. Try kimchi as an easy side dish, or even as the veg topper for a burger.
Peppermint has long been used as an alternative medicine, particularly as a digestive aid. The high concentrations of the cooling menthol in this herb have antispasmodic properties. Basically, it calms the movement of muscles in your abdomen, particularly those of the digestive tract, allowing painful digestive gas to pass more easily. This can be particuarly helpful for those suffering with symptoms of IBS, as it sooths stomach cramps and pains. A cup of peppermint tea after a meal can be helpful if you’ve overindulged, or you can try adding peppermint oil and lemon to hot water for a something a bit stronger.
Ahh, the trusty bean. They’re cheap, versatile, and the perfect high-fibre, low-fat addition to any meal. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, so they work double to ensure your digestive system is running smoothly. That fibre will also keep you fuller for longer, meaning you’re less likely to snack when you don’t need to. As long as you watch out for any baked beans that might be high in sugar, they can be a healthy addition to plenty of dishes. Beans make an amazing base for creamy soups, filling veg burgers and healthy bean dips, particularly black beans. However, one of our favourite bean-based meals has to be a hearty chilli. You just can’t beat it!
We’ve saved the top spot for ginger, a root which has heaps of benefits for your stomach and digestion. It’s a common folk remedy for stomach problems, and for good reason. It can help you break down your food comfortably and ease that weighed down feeling when you’ve eaten too much. It stimulates saliva and gastric enzymes to help speed the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. Its zesty but spicy flavour is the perfect addition to both sweet and savoury meals, so it’s great in stir fries or marinades. You can also sip on ginger tea to calm your stomach (fresh is best, but a ginger tea bag will do the trick).
What to remember
When your digestive system goes awry, there are a few steps you can take to get back on track. By incorporating certain foods into your diet, you can help your digestion naturally. Not only do these foods provide plenty of important vitamins and minerals, they also support your overall digestive health. Try working them into your favourite meals or creating an easy side dish during the week. These tips and tricks are all easy, healthy ways to get your body and digestion back on track the natural way.