How to Improve Digestion
Having good digestion is essential for maintaining a comfortable and healthy life. Johns Hopkins Medicine identified five different foods to improve your digestion: whole grains, leafy greens, lean protein, low-fructose fruits, and avocado. If you’re interested in learning more about why these foods promote healthy digestion, keep reading.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains are packed with valuable nutrients including B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, phytochemicals, and fiber. Fiber is important for health and digestion because it helps lower cholesterol levels and moves waste through the digestive tract (Harvard, n.d.).
- Leafy Greens: Like whole grains, leafy greens are a great source of fiber and nutrients. Leafy greens contain insoluble fiber, which helps absorb fluids and stick to other materials in the digestive tract to form stool, leading to softer, bulkier, and more regular stool (Cleveland Clinic, 2021).
- Lean Proteins: Someone with digestive problems such as IBS may experience issues when consuming food high in fat. Consuming a high-fat diet may induce colonic spasms or contractions, which may cause discomfort and pain (Cleveland Clinic, 2022). Introducing more lean proteins into the diet can help reduce the risk of colonic spasms and improve digestion.
- Low-fructose fruits: For individuals with fructose intolerance, high fructose-containing foods may lead to inflammation, bloating, and diarrhea. Consuming more low-fructose foods such as avocados, bananas, cranberries, cantaloupe, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapple, and strawberries may help those suffering from fructose intolerance avoid additional digestive problems(Cleveland Clinic, 2021).
- Avocado: Avocados are low-fructose fruit rich in fiber and essential nutrients. The American Society for Nutrition suggests that daily avocado consumption is associated with a more diverse and healthier gut microbiome, which aids with digestion.
It’s Fetch is a community that provides a safe space for members to discuss health and wellness topics. We provide access to archived health related content, note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content shared, regardless of date should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
-Written by Sabrina Park MPH