What are the Best Foods to Aid Digestion?

November 12, 2012

What are the Best Foods to Aid Digestion?

Digestion may sound like a very complicated process. However, by learning more about it, you can find out more about which foods can aid digestion overall.

All about Digestion

Digestion begins the minute that food enters your mouth. Since carbohydrates won’t break down properly without saliva, though, it would be vital to chew your food before swallowing it and sending it into your stomach. In your stomach, your stomach muscles will churn that food into smaller particles and release gastric acid and pepsin to boost the breakdown of food even more. The food will then be turned into a type of fluid before being sent to the intestines. In the intestines, the bile and pancreas will break down the proteins and the fats of the food and absorb it. Any undigested food and fiber will then be sent to the colon, so that it can leave the body for good. This whole process could take up to six hours, though this will depend on each person’s metabolism and constitution. Different foods tend to come with different rates, too:

- Fat can take up to six hours.

- Meat usually takes longer, depending on the amount and quantities eaten.

- Basic sugars digest in mere minutes since they do not need to be broken down.

- Starch takes about an hour.

The Helpful Foods

Some foods can aid digestion, while others can make the digestive process all the more complicated and affect people’s health in a negative way. Here are the ones that can help:

1. Fibrous Food

Following a fibrous diet will ensure that your digestive system always works properly. This means that you will be able to stay healthy and energetic all day long without feeling the least bit tired. Fibrous food will need to be introduced gradually, though, and it would be vital to maintain a balanced diet overall. Ideally, you should focus on following a diet filled with vegetables, fruits and whole grains, though. Other fibrous food include legumes and nuts.

2. Fermented Food

Fermented food can aid digestion because they are pre-digested in one way or another. Basically, the bacteria found in these foods have already broken down the carbohydrates, proteins and fats, so there is not much left to digest. These foods would include yogurt, sourdough bread, pickles, aged cheese, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, chocolate and tea.

3. Spices

As mentioned earlier, one important step in the digestive process would be to increase salivation. Well, since spicy foods can increase the production of bile, the body can therefore absorb and break down fats much faster with their help. These foods would include coriander, mustard, cumin, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne.

4. Herbs

Herbs are great at fighting toxins in the environment. The best part is that you don’t even need a lot of them. Believe it or not, just a pinch of herbs would already be enough to cleanse your body and rid your entire system of toxins. Several herbs that can aid digestion include peppermint, fennel, ginger, clove, wormwood, coriander, rosehips, aloe and spirulina.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil can also aid digestion. In fact it is known to work wonders for upset stomachs and is the ideal choice to give the body the antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids that it needs on a daily basis. All you would need is a tablespoon to fix any problem in your digestive system, as well. The same goes for flaxseed oil.

By following all of the tips mentioned above, you will soon come to find that your digestion can live with any of the foods that you choose to eat in the long run. All you have to do is think about your dietary habits and add the right foods into it to aid digestion.

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