Here are three of the best types of foods you can eat to help manage common digestive struggles.
1. Probiotic foods
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria you can consume to support your digestive system. They can even help ease specific digestive concerns, such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. Probiotics also bolster your microbiome (the community of microorganisms living on and inside you). Healthy gut bugs have multiple roles, including boosting immunity against infections and facilitating nutrient absorption. Where do you find probiotics? Try foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, as well as fermented soybean products like miso.
2. Healthy fats and oils
Fats in your diet allow you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins D, K, E, and A), help with hormone production, and aid appetite control. To improve how you digest meals and how you feel afterward, aim to combine some fat with complex carbs and protein at each meal. Choose foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, like wild-caught fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, and tuna), plus high-quality olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Avoid refined vegetable oils, factory-farmed meats, processed foods, and fast foods.
3. High-fiber foods
Fiber is needed to “feed” healthy bacteria in your gut and to move waste through your intestines, helping to prevent constipation. You get soluble fiber (fiber that forms a gel during digestion) from foods like oat bran, legumes, nuts, seeds, and some produce. You get insoluble fiber from foods like wheat bran, whole grains, and vegetables. Together, these high-fiber foods add bulk to stool, capture unhealthy particles like cholesterol, and draw water into the intestines to keep you “regular.”