What You Eat Matters
Many people experience the symptoms of poor digestion — indigestion, bloating, gas, constipation, and hemorrhoids — at some point, and for some, digestive problems are a regular part of life. Not only do these symptoms cause discomfort, but over time they can have a negative effect on the body, and even lead to chronic illnesses and poor immune response. In some cases people suffer from the excruciating pain of acid reflux, affecting the stomach and esophagus, for others it is a stomach or colon ulcer, and for some, the gallbladder becomes so inflamed that it has to be removed altogether, leaving the liver to work alone when breaking down fatty acids.
Medications are one solution, although they tend to mask the symptoms rather than address the root of the problem. By eating plenty of raw, enzyme rich fruits and vegetables and other foods for healthy digestion, and making simple lifestyle changes such as eating smaller meals, cutting out processed foods, chewing food thoroughly, and taking the time to relax and enjoy eating, rather than rushing through a meal, one can improve digestion naturally.
The Top Five Foods for Healthy Digestion
1 Avocados These monounsaturated fat-rich fruits are one of the best foods for healthy digestion. The beneficial fatty acids found in avocados help the body eliminate the more difficult to digest saturated fatty acids, easing the workload of the liver and gallbladder. Raw avocados are also excellent sources of fiber, enzymes, and essential nutrients.
2 Apples An apple a day can do wonders for digestion. The natural enzymes in a raw apple help to break down food. The acids from apples tell the body to produce less hydrochloric acid, which is usually used in metabolism; an excess of stomach acids is one of the culprits of indigestion and acid reflux. On of the many phytonutrients found in apples, quercetin (found primarily in the skin), acts as a potent antioxidant.
3. Oatmeal High in fiber, oatmeal helps to improve digestion naturally by slowing the entire process, balancing blood sugar levels, and allowing time for nutrients to be better absorbed. The soluble fiber creates a gel, which helps rid the body of waste products, such as bad cholesterol. Not only do oats promote regularity, but they are an excellent source of the B-complex vitamins, minerals, protein, and gamma linolenic acid.
4. Ginger Ginger is a traditional remedy for nausea, gas, and general poor digestion. Rich in stimulating volatile oils, it has a warming effect on the body and naturally increases circulation and digestion.
5. Yogurt An excellent source of probiotics, yogurt improves digestion naturally through increasing beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and decreases harmful bacteria. This is not only essential for digestion, but for a strong immune system as well.
Eating foods for healthy digestion is a simple way to not only relieve digestive problems, but to ensure well-being in the long run.
Page, Linda. “Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone.” Eleventh Edition (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
photo credit: Dues X Florida