5 Foods That Boost Your Digestion
by Kosta Miachin
A healthy digestion plays a crucial role in our overall health, as this is the way we get rid of waste material and toxins our body doesn’t need. And that’s just on top of the fact that being constipated just doesn’t feel good. Right?
The main way of improving your digestion is by adding more dietary fiber to your nutrition. There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel, covering the inner walls of your digestive tract, helping the movement of the stool. Insoluble fiber adds volume to the stool, plus it binds water when moving through the intestine, keeping it moist. So make sure you integrate both types of fiber into your diet.
The recommended minimum intake is 25g/day for women and 38g/day for men.
Check the 5 foods below, when you’re looking to give your digestion a real boost.
Fruits, in general, are high in fiber. A type of fruit that’s available all year round, non-expensive and high in fiber are apples (2.4g of fiber/100g). Bananas are high-fiber fruits as well, plus contain lots of magnesium, which is also good for our digestive system. Furthermore, they keep you full longer and help when you’re suffering from diarrhea, as they add bulk to your stool.
2. Beans and Legume
Beans and legume, like lentils and chickpeas, are not only high in protein but also high in fiber. Add some beans, toasted chickpeas or hummus to your next salad. Or how about a comforting daal in the winter time?
A word of caution though: Some people tend to get really bloated from beans and legume. This effect can be lessened by soaking them in fresh water for up to 48 hours before cooking.
3. Fermented Food
Fermented food is probably the best-known food for a healthy gut and a well-functioning digestion. Another benefit of fermented foods are the probiotics they contain, that keep your gut bacteria in balance. The easiest way to get your dose of fermented food is having some yogurt, but you can also get Kimchi in Asian supermarkets or Sauerkraut in tins.
4. Whole Grains and Oats
Whole grains have many positive health benefits. Not only do they keep you full longer and are lower in sugar than their processed counterparts, but they’re also bursting with insoluble fiber. Oats topped with nuts and fruits are a perfect digestion-boosting breakfast. Careful when buying pre-mixed Muesli, as it often contains lots of sugar -a real digestion killer!
5. Dried prunes and dates
Prunes and dates contain insoluble fiber. Enjoying 1-2 prunes in the evening increases your chance of a successful visit to the bathroom in the morning. Don’t overdo it, as they can really get you going if you know what I mean…
If you’re suffering from constipation or would like to regulate your bowel movements, try integrating more of the above-named foods into your diet. Start with small amounts, and observe any changes in your body. If you’re feeling fine, you can steadily increase your fiber intake.