Foods for Healthy Digestion
Having tummy troubles? You probably already know that some foods can cause indigestion, but did you know there are foods that can help prevent it? Learn how to make probiotic, prebiotic and digestive enzyme rich foods a part of your diet for healthy, happy digestion.
We’ve all heard by now just how good for us probiotics (living microorganisms that support digestive health) are, mostly thanks to advertising efforts consisting of many women laughing alone while eating yogurt. The problem is that yogurt, no matter how many ways you flavor it, isn’t the most exciting food on the planet. Luckily there are some interesting probiotic sources you may not have thought of, all of which will help you boost these good bacteria while expanding your palate. Anything fermented is good, so spoon a little sauerkraut on your sausages or spice things up with kimchi, a delicious traditional Korean fermented food. Miso is also packed with probiotics – mix with boiling water, tofu and veggies for an easy soup, or use it to flavor dressings. Pickles are also a solid choice. This stomach supporting snack goes well beyond cucumbers- seek out pickled vegetables of all kinds to crunch on, or turn up the heat with Indian style pickles (mango and lime are favorites.) To get your protein and probiotics in one shot, try a little tempeh. This fermented soybean product from Indonesia is popular in vegetarian cuisine as a meat substitute – try it crumbled up in chili or stews or in burgers and sandwiches (add a little tamari and maple syrup for a smoky flavor). For a healthy dish that tastes like an indulgence, try this finger-licking hot wing recipe.
Now that you’ve got all those good bacteria, you’ve got to take good care of them. Prebiotics feed probiotic bacteria, encouraging their growth. In fact, consumption of prebiotics alone can aid digestion. If you’ve already got bananas in your fruit bowl, you’re already getting some prebiotics. To up your intake, try tossing some artichokes and asparagus into your pasta or warm-up with some lentil soup. Cruciferous vegetables also contain naturally occurring prebiotics, so maybe throw some cabbage and kale into that soup, or snack on cauliflower, broccoli and radishes with hummus or other dips. For more health tips, check out livingthat health blog.
Digestive enzymes can also be heroes for a happy tummy – and you don’t necessarily have to take a supplement to get them. Try finishing off your meals with enzyme-rich fresh fruit. Papaya and pineapple are the superstars as far as digestive enzymes go, but mangos, watermelon, grapefruit and blueberries are also strong sources. Have a fruit salad for desert (or toss some on your ice cream) and kiss indigestion goodbye!
Last but not least – drink water. Don’t roll your eyes. We know you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Water helps keep things moving in a big way, especially if you’re getting lots of fiber (another key player in the digestion process), so if you’re having digestion blues drinking a big glass of water might be the first step in the right direction. Combine that with the powerhouses above, and hopefully things will be running smoothly in no time.