The foods that you choose to nourish your body with are so crucial to how it functions internally. Food helps your body to flourish the way that it should, notably, your digestive system. Approximately 60-70 million people struggle with digestive issues in the United States. An off-track digestive system can be related to other facets of the body like hormones, the nervous system, and even the heart.
Symptoms of Digestive Problems
Symptoms derived from having poor gut health may vary, but the following are typical.
- Gas and Bloating: Excessive production of stomach gas that can cause feelings of pain and discomfort in the abdomen.
- Diarrhea: Loose, watery stool that causes loss of electrolytes and digestive fluid.
- Constipation: The inability to release bowels.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A chronic disorder that affects the colon and can result in abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, gas, and constipation.
- Gallstones: Hardened bits of cholesterol that attach themselves to the gallbladder resulting in nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
- Gastroparesis: Unusually slow digestion of food that results in pain, bloating, nausea, acid reflux, loss of appetite, and feeling full too quickly.
- Celiac Disease: A condition that causes the immune system to attack healthy cells in the small intestine, causing diarrhea and preventing proper nutrient absorption.
With these potential symptoms in mind, making sure that you are taking care of your gut health is imperative.
Digestive Super Foods To Speed Up Digestion
To prevent worsening of symptoms as well as avoiding future symptoms from poor gut health, consume a combination of the following digestive superfoods in variety. If you’ve wondered, “How can I speed up digestion?” this is a list you won’t want to miss!
1. Whole Grains
There are different kinds of whole grains out there, including oats, quinoa, and more. Whole grains are made from grass-like plants and can be incredibly beneficial to your digestion. The main reason being that they are packed full of fiber, which reduces constipation and overall loosens stools.
Everybody knows that fruits and vegetables are good for you, and one particular fruit that’s ideal for aiding digestion in the body is apples. Apples are rich in a soluble fiber known as pectin. Apples are a natural remedy for constipation and, in general, will make your bowel movements more regular.
Miso soup is absolutely delicious and well worth regularly consuming if you’re trying to aid your digestion. It contains specific probiotics and increases the good bacteria for optimized gut health, which improves digestion. If you suffer from digestive issues or have been experiencing diarrhea, miso could be the perfect remedy.
4. Dark Green Vegetables
There are many reasons why you should be consuming plenty of green vegetables; aiding your digestion is just one of them. Dark green vegetables contain a whole heap of insoluble fibers, which is ideal for both bulking up your stool and helping it through the digestive tract. Some of the best of these types of vegetables that you should be consuming include spinach, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts.
Not only is salmon delicious, but it also has lots of benefits when consumed regularly, including being a much-needed boost for digestion. Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Reduced inflammation is super beneficial for gut health and helps to improve digestion in general. Try to eat salmon at least twice a week to make the most of its amazing qualities.
Fennel is a plant used to add flavor to food and is also an underdog when it comes to the digestive system. It contains an ingredient that helps to smooth out muscles in your digestive tract. In addition to this, it has plenty of fiber to aid constipation and help digestion on the whole.
This Asian effervescent tea is a valuable source for probiotics, which are beneficial for populating good bacteria in your gut. It’s full of polyphenols, vitamin E, and ascorbic acid, as well as high concentrations of antioxidants.
8. Chia Seeds
They can replace egg in a recipe, and make for a hardy, delicious pudding. Chia seeds are dense in soluble fiber that assists in bulking the stool and relieving build up in the digestive tract. One serving can provide a third of your daily fiber.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory that works to level inflammation in the body. It can aid in the flow of saliva, which is an integral part of breaking down food for digestion. Incorporate ginger into tea, sauces, smoothies, or on top of a salad for a sweet and spicy bite.
These sweet treats are more than a poppable snack on the go. They are a functional superfood and a valuable source for phytonutrient polyphenols and soluble fiber. Despite being sweet, they do not negatively impact your blood glucose levels. A study concluded that dates were also effective for reducing toxicity in the gut, specifically concentrations of ammonia in the stool.
This whole grain is beneficial for gut bacteria, as well as lowering cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, which are all related to overall gut health. It’s high in fiber, protein, and vitamins niacin, magnesium, iron, thiamine, zinc, and B vitamins. A serving of farro also contains a substantial type of antioxidant called lignans, which help to protect the healthy bacteria in your gut when metabolized, as well as reduce inflammation.
Quinoa is a super grain that translates to “mother grain” in Incan language. It’s a rich source of protein, fiber, thiamine, and vitamin B6. It’s considered a “complete protein,” which indicates that its essential amino acids can be absorbed fully by the body. A serving of quinoa can provide 21% of the recommended daily fiber intake, and helps to regulate bowel function.
These vibrant vegetable roots are packed with potassium, sodium, iron, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and essential B and C vitamins thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin. These all help to clean and speed up digestion. The secret behind their color is betalain, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. For those who struggle with high blood pressure or hypertension, beets may help to dilate the blood vessels due to their high content of nitric oxide.
Sauerkraut, which is made from cabbage and fermented with lactic acid, is a reliable source for probiotics. One serving may contain up to 28 strains of good bacteria and digestive enzymes.
Some yogurts have added probiotics and depending on the type of probiotics added. They’ll have different effects on our bodies. Yogurt also contains beneficial bacteria bifidobacteria and lactic acid. However, not all yogurt is created equal, and it is important to observe if the yogurt contains live cultures that haven’t been processed out. This is most often the case with highly flavored and sugar processed products.
Oats are an adequate source of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that turns them into a gel-like substance in the body that slows digestion and allows you to feel fuller longer. They help to relieve the digestive system of bile acids and lower cholesterol. They are also helpful prebiotic.
Bananas are your go-to for a serving of magnesium, fiber, and potassium. They aid in blood flow, protecting with heart disease and issues like heartburn. They are filled with electrolytes that can help replenish the digestive system when you are having an upset stomach.
One serving of smooth and creamy avocado can contain approximately six grams of essential fats. They can curb appetite. Not to mention, they’re rich in vitamins C, E, K, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, niacin, and riboflavin. They contain the type of fat that allows the body to fully absorb nutrients and prevent disease and dysfunction of the immune system.
Also an Asian delight, Korean kimchi is a compilation of fermented vegetables, spicy seasoning, and lactic acid. It’s filled with iron and commonly combined with anti-inflammatory superfoods garlic and ginger.
20. Green Beans
Another beneficial green, green beans come recommended to those with chronic gut health and digestive issues. They contain many vitamins and nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron, and calcium. They contain high concentrations of manganese, which has antioxidant abilities and helps to support metabolism.
The bud of a thistle plant—artichokes contains inulin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic and composes approximately 19 percent of its weight. They can provide the body with a beneficial serving of hydrochloric acid, which helps to activate digestive enzymes. Enjoy them as a tasty dinner or intake their benefits in supplement form to help boost your digestion process.
The Importance of Water Intake
Consuming an ample portion of water per day can also help to improve the speed of digestion significantly. Water is our simple yet most effective source for cleansing the body overall and ridding the body of toxins. The amount recommended for each person varies, but the generally recommended 8 ounces will certainly work to improve your gut health. For tips on how to up your water intake, click here.
How To Improve Digestion Speed & Gut Health
Besides the fantastic foods that have been mentioned, eating healthy in general, and adequate water intake is going to help your digestion. Consuming foods to speed up digestion and improve gut health will always make you feel better in general. Make the right choices when you choose what to eat, and you’re guaranteed to see the benefits in all areas of your life.