According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over 63 million American suffer from some form of digestive health issue. Our love of fast food and convenience are not helping to promote digestive health. On average Americans consume too many calories, salt, sugar, fats, chemicals… the list goes on and on. We are also exporting this diet all over the world. There are over 25,000 KFC restaurants in 145 different countries. Mc Donald’s has over 38,000 locations in 100 countries. The U.S. alone has 200,000+ fast food restaurants. All these restaurants are competing for a share of your daily diet. We are bombarded all day long with ads for chips, soda, Hot Pockets and Cheetos. There is a marketing war being waged for the real estate in your stomach. It can be overwhelming and that is why we’ve taken the time to research a few foods that promote healthy digestion. Here is a list of our top five:
- Ginger – Ginger originated in Southeast Asia and spread throughout the Middle East and Europe through the 1st Ginger can be consumed fresh, dried, powdered or as an oil. Ginger contains Gingerol which is an anti-inflammatory that can help fight the free radicals in your body. Free radicals can adversely affect your DNA which can trigger several human diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Ginger has also been proven to help with nausea especially morning sickness in pregnant women. It has even been shown to increase metabolism and reduce blood sugar levels.
- Fermented Foods – Fermented foods contain probiotics which are good bacteria that help the lining in your gut digest food. It is estimated that 70% of your immune system is found in your intestinal tract. Fermented foods include pickles, Miso, Kombucha, Kimchi and Sauerkraut. It is important to note that most standard store-bought pickles are made with vinegar. Pickles made in a vinegar-based brine do not contain beneficial probiotics. Some fermented brands that do contain beneficial bacteria include Bubbies, Kruegermann, and Sunja’s Kimchi.
- Broth – Broths include vegetable and bone broth. They are very easily digested and will boost your immune system. Bone broth specifically contains amino acids which are good for healing and repairing your cells. Vegetable broths are still beneficial as they still contain many of the nutrients found in the vegetables used to make the broth. Broth is also hydrating which is always good for your gut.
- Papaya – Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that aids in digestion by breaking down protein fibers. Papain has also been shown to ease bloating and reduce constipation. Papain is used in most digestive supplements. Eating fresh papaya is best vs pickled or powered as a supplement.
- Salmon – Salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body. Most people with digestive issues suffer from some form of inflammation in their gut. Reducing inflammation can aid with digestion and overall health. Wild caught Salmon is typically better than farm raised because wild salmon has a better ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids vs Omega-6 fatty acids which can be inflammatory.
Digestive health and your overall health go hand in hand. Every individual is different so each of these five foods may or may not work for you. Understanding what works for you is essential for the healing process. If you have a chronic condition, it is best to see your doctor for professional medical advice. Thanks for reading!
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