Top 6 Foods to Improve Your Digestion
Have you ever heard the saying “You are what you eat?” It’s true—and you are what you digest and absorb, too. You could be eating the healthiest food in the world, but if you are not able to break down your food efficiently and absorb the nutrients, then you are missing out on a big opportunity for nourishment.
The first place that many people look for digestive assistance is in the pharmacy or supplement section of a grocery store. But it hasn’t always been that way. Throughout history, different cultures have used various healing foods to aid digestion and other health ailments. If you are someone who experiences digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, heartburn, acid reflux, constipation, loose stool,or diarrhea, it’s time to start using food as medicine to support a healthy intestinal tract.
Here are the top six foods that can aid with digestion.
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that contains natural probiotics. These probiotics are particularly helpful for maintaining a healthy balance in your gut flora between the ”good” and ”bad” gut bacteria. Probiotic-rich foods help to feed your good bacteria, which can reduce bloating, gas, and other lower gastrointestinal discomforts. You can add one to two tablespoons of sauerkraut as a condiment to the side of eggs, meat, chicken, fish, or vegetables. Look for ”raw” sauerkraut in a glass jar that is kept in the refrigerator. The refrigeration helps preserve more of the healthy probiotic bacteria. Some other probiotic-rich foods to consider are coconut kefir (fermented dairy) and kimchi (pickled vegetables).
Bitters are not a familiar flavor or food group for most Western cultures. They help to stimulate several organs in the body, including the pancreas, gallbladder, stomach, and liver. Some bitters foods that you can try are dandelion root, arugula, radicchio, and raw cocoa. Bitters also come in tincture form and can be taken before meals to help with digestion.
Bone broth has been used for centuries to support digestion and immune function. There are a variety of different bone broths that you can use, including chicken, beef, and fish. It is similar to a traditional chicken (or beef or fish) stock, but it is prepared in a different way. Learn all about the preparation and how to make your own broth here, or purchase it at a health food store. You will know that it is a bone broth if the container’s contents are gelatinous at room temperature instead of liquid. When you heat up the broth it becomes liquid—like a soup. It is the collagen that is excreted from the bones of the animals that helps to heal the gut lining. Drink one to three cups of broth per day on its own or mix it with another soup.