There are a number of foods you can consume, and actions you can take, to speed up or facilitate digestion after eating.
Your digestive system breaks down food into energy that your body can use, discarding as waste what you cannot. Eating certain types of food or altering your diet can result in problems with digestion, causing symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or heartburn.
Top Foods That Speed Up Digestion
Eating enough fiber is an essential step in promoting digestive health. Whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, and other foods like oatmeal, apples, and bananas are good sources; you should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber each day.
Hydration is also critical; low fluid intake can lead to constipation in adults and children. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is 15.5 cups (3.7 liters or 130 ounces) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters or 95 ounces) for women.
Specific foods that are good for digestion include:
- Ginger, used as a dried powder in cooking or fresh in tea or cooking, can reduce bloating and other digestive problems
- Unsaturated fats like olive oil help with vitamin absorption
- Vegetables with skin, which are rich in fiber, like potatoes, beans, and legumes
- Fruits, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as Vitamin C and potassium
- Yogurt products, which contain live bacteria and yeasts that benefit the digestive system
- Leafy greens, which are packed with nutrients and sugar that may contribute to positive gut health
- Whole-grain foods, which have high fiber content and take longer to break down, help to control blood sugar levels
Lifestyle changes can help aid in digestion as well. Exercise can help your body move food through your digestive system, reducing the time to process food significantly. Prioritizing sleep is also important, with poor sleep linked to several gastrointestinal diseases. Reducing stress is another key factor in digestion; chronic stress can alter your appetite and lead to symptoms like bloating, constipation, and stomach aches.
With a few simple changes and focusing on the right foods to aid digestion, you can enhance your gut health, which, in turn, can positively impact your immune system, your mental health, and your overall well-being.
Schedule an Appointment with a GI Doctor in Dallas-Fort Worth
Digestive Health Centers specializes in promoting positive digestive health. We are here to answer your questions and support you in your health journey. Contact us today to make an appointment and meet with our specialists.