Good digestion is so important for our health because when the body breaks down food, it is then absorbed by the cells, providing us with energy and nourishing our bodies. If food isn’t broken down well, it stays in the body, causing severe weight gain and discomfort. This is why it’s important to know the best and worst foods for your digestion.
The best foods: fruits and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are excellent for digestion because most of them are high in fiber. This fiber has the added benefit of keeping you regular.
Whole foods, such as brown rice and wheat, also contain large amounts of fiber, which is why they are another great food group for your digestion.
Although all fruits and vegetables are generally beneficial for digestion, bananas are very good because they are gentle on the stomach.
Water is excellent for digestion, although most people don’t drink enough of it. Water is a strong aid to overall digestion because it helps the body move food through your digestive system, especially the colon.
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and mint are excellent if your stomach feels uncomfortable. So, if you have stomach ache or trapped wind, drink some ginger or mint tea.
Foods which contain probiotics or prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics are good for the digestive system, and contain good bacteria which destroy the bad bacteria that you might have lurking in your intestines. They can be found in foods such as yogurt, asparagus, onion, lentils and whole grains, among others.
The worst foods: spicy foods
Spicy foods may not be a great choice for your digestion, as they can cause acid reflux in some people.
Just like spicy food, caffeine can also cause acid reflux. Coffee strongly activates peristalsis, which is the action that moves your food along the digestive canal. However, it contains caffeine, which causes acid reflux. It can, however, help people who suffer from constipation.
Just like spicy foods and drinks that contain caffeine, some acidic drinks can lead to acid reflux.
Foods high in saturated fat
Greasy foods can cause heartburn and diarrhoea because the body can’t absorb the fat.
Alcohol relaxes the anal sphincter, which may cause acid reflux. It may also cause inflammation in the stomach.
Lactose may cause bloating, and digestive discomfort, mostly for people who are lactose intolerant.
Image courtesy of Grace Boyle.