With the addition of junk food in our routine diet and due to lack of habit of exercise, digestive problems have greatly increased. There are various digestive diseases such as constipation, diarrhea and gas that are now prevailing in our society. Especially in western countries, digestive diseases have risen as a major problem, where almost 15% of the people suffer from a severe form of gut sensitivity, termed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
This article contains 5 foods that have been shared by Linda Lee, M.D., to improve your digestion.
1. Whole Grains
If you are confused in choosing between whole-wheat or white bread, or between brown or white rice, as your diet to help improve your digestion, then according to Lee you better go for whole grains. Whole grains provide lots of fiber as compared to refined carbohydrates like pasta and white bread and Lee also adds that almost 25 grams of fiber is needed for optimal functioning of colon. Almost 70% of our immune cells live in colon and when gut bacteria ferment fiber, they produce short-chain fatty acids, which in turn help in proper functioning of cells that line the colon.
As whole grains are beneficial for good gut bacteria that thrive on fiber, this makes them a great diet option despite not being a low-carb diet.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are rich in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. Not only this, leafy greens such as spinach and kale are also great sources of fiber. Leafy greens are also good for healthy gut bacteria as a research has proven that leafy greens have a specific type of sugar to fuel their growth.
Gut microbiome is a term used for all the trillions of organisms living in our colon and Lee says that consuming leafy greens, due to their fiber quantity, provides an ideal situation for this gut microbiome.
3. Lean Proteins
High-fat diet should be avoided by the people suffering from IBS, because high-fat diets trigger the contractions of colon, says Lee. All such persons should prefer lean proteins in their diet. Fat content is a great reason behind avoiding of fried foods and red meat.
Red meat is specifically harmful as it helps in promoting such bacteria of gut that produce the type of chemicals which increase the risk of clogging of arteries.
4. Low-Fructose Fruits
Fructose or fruit sugar may well be responsible for gas and bloating and if you have any of these problems, you should avoid high fructose diets such as apples, mangoes and pears, says Lee.
Citrus fruits such as grapefruit and oranges, and berries are less likely to cause gas problems as they are easy to tolerate due to lesser quantities of fructose. Bananas are also low in fructose, which makes them a good candidate for low-fructose diet. They also have a substance called inulin that stimulates growth of good gut bacteria.
Avocado also helps in promoting healthy digestive function as it is full of essential nutrients such as potassium. Avocado also lacks fructose and is a superfood packed with fiber which makes it an even better diet for people with gas problems.
Avocados are a high-fat diet like nuts and are also nutrient dense, says Lee. Due to this, they need to be consumed in a moderate way.