The list of foods to include and foods to avoid for your digestion can easily be a mile long.
But lets keep it simple, yeah?
And adding 3 simple foods into your everyday diet can do wonders for boosting your digestive ability.
Whenever I look at digestion I will always been looking at the whole digestive tract, not just the intestines, where is most people tend to start.
The process of digestion starts as soon as you smell the food, with the stimulation of proper digestive enzymes and stomach acid to help with the breakdown.
It encompasses your liver and gall bladder, helping you break down things like fats, and then remove to the stomach and intestines where the majority of the absorption of nutrients happens.
And then we also need to look at how quickly (or slowly) your digestive system is functioning. Getting the speed right is super important as it helps to determine the amount of nutrient absorption that occurs, but also the accumulation of wastes is also a factor to consider.
With all of this being said, here are the 3 foods that you should include to cover all of the above processes:
Greens such as: rocket, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, watercress
These foods are fantastic for stimulating your stomach acid. The bitter receptors on your tongue trigger the release of digestive enzymes which helps to support the healthy breakdown of food.
They are also fantastic liver cleansers, so including these types of foods into your diet will help to gently cleanse the liver on a regular basis, making sure it can handle the breakdown of dietary fats.
A simple one but an often under utilised food that helps to support healthy gut bacteria. Increasing the amount of gut bacteria will assist in the regulation of bowels, reduce bloating and increase the breakdown of nutrients from the foods.
And if dairy is an issue for you, making sure that you are substituting with coconut yogurt or other fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut.
Whole grains- think oats or brown rice
People often think that these types of foods can make them feel worse, rather than better. if thats the case then consuming them in smaller amounts and well cooked may allow them to be better tolerated.
The reason why these whole foods are so important is due to the fibre content. Fibre is such an essential macronutrient for digestion. It helps to feed the good bacteria in the gut, regulate bowels, aid in the clearance of toxins and wastes among so many different functions. Consuming it in the right amounts is what is key when it comes to fibre. If you feel worse by having these foods, then just consume them in a small amount (1/2 cup daily) and ensure they are well cooked, this will help to improve the bodies ability to breakdown the whole grains.
So add a tablespoon or 2 of yogurt to you muesli and add a handful of rocket as a side to your dinner and there you go, you’ve added all of the above into your diet.
Or add 1/2 cup of oats, 2 tablespoon of yogurt and a handful of spinach to your smoothie and again, you’ve added them all in without even trying!