Sometimes your body needs easy to digest foods that it can process without too much difficulty. This could be because of a temporary stomach upset or a longer-term condition. If you’ve lived with digestive problems your whole life, you’ve probably spent a whole lot of time googling things such as, “what vegetable is bad for your gut” or “why does corn not digest” in an attempt to get to the bottom of your gut-based woes.
It turns out there is a range of foods that are easier for your body to digest – and hard to digest foods that should be avoided. Let’s take a closer look.
Why Avoid Hard to Digest Foods?
If you feel nauseous or have a gut complaint like diarrhea or constipation, the last thing you want to do is avoid putting a strain on your digestive system. The worst foods for gut health vary depending on the condition you’re suffering from, so always check with your doctor if there are specific things you should be avoiding. However, most people will find that the worst foods for digestion include:
- High levels of caffeine
- High levels of fiber (Yes, fiber is important, but when your digestive system is at a low point, fiber is tough to deal with.)
- High levels of protein
- Dairy products, although some yogurts may aid in balancing the gut
Plenty of water is always key, and it’s important to get a balance of nutrients. With that in mind, let’s explore what foods are easy to digest when your gut needs a little extra TLC.
10 Foods That Are Easy on the Stomach
Anyone looking for easy to digest foods for an upset stomach should take a glance at our top ten, which all tend to be simple foods that are easy to prepare and eat.
Lean Animal-Based Protein
If you eat meat, choose white meat with very little fat or fish. Red meat can be fattier and harder to digest.
Bananas are soft, easy to digest, and packed with nutrients. Plus, they’re a great snack to have on the go.
Toasting bread breaks down some of the carbohydrates, making it easier to digest. Don’t slather it in butter though - your gut won’t thank you for that.
High-fiber fruits can be difficult to digest, which is a shame because they are full of healthy nutrients. Cooking the fruit helps break down the fiber and make it easier to digest. Go for unsweetened applesauce to ensure you’re not giving your body a whole load of sugar-related issues to deal with.
This is contrary to much health advice that says whole grains are better. Yes, they are great, but much harder to digest. White rice doesn’t have the outer husk that brown rice does, and your body will digest it much more easily.
When you have a stomach upset, it’s quite common to lose large amounts of potassium. Sweet potatoes help replenish this, plus they’re full of soluble fiber, which is much easier to digest than insoluble fiber. Boil or mash rather than frying or roasting, to keep them easy on the gut.
Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans; however, some substitutes like agar are. Gelatin is super easy to digest as it contains no oils or fiber, yet delivers protein, water, and energy into the body.
Pumpkin is very high in fiber, yet cooking and canning it breaks much of this down. This gives you the healthy nutrients without the hard-to-digest fiber. Win.
Smoothies and pulp-in juice might be packed with nutrients, but they’re also full of fiber, which can be a problem in cases of indigestion. Go for the pulp-free option instead.
Caffeine can be a gut irritant and also a muscle stimulant, which can bring on diarrhea, especially in someone who is already suffering. Look for caffeine-free hot drinks like soothing teas.
Commonly Asked Questions About Digestion
What foods take the longest to digest?
Some meats take two days to digest. Limiting the intake of red meat could lead to better all-round digestion and health.
What Are the Easiest to Digest Vegetables?
Vegetables are high in fiber, so when your gut is healthy, they help keep it ticking. When you’re struggling to digest foods, canned and cooked veggies are best. Carrots and potatoes are considered easy to digest when cooked, as well as sweet potatoes.
Are Eggs Easy to Digest?
Despite being high in protein, eggs are surprisingly easy to digest. They are also suitable for people suffering from nausea as they don’t have a strong flavor and can provide high amounts of nutrients for people recovering from stomach upsets.
Do Saltine Crackers Help with Acid Reflux?
Yes, it’s not just a folk remedy. They help neutralize the acid that causes the characteristic burning pain of acid reflux. However, they are extremely high in sodium (salt), so they should be consumed in moderation.
Other Ways to Boost Digestion
Supplements are another way to support a healthy digestive system. The enzymes in your gut that deal with breaking down foods and making sure you get all the right nutrients can become unbalanced. This can be due to illness, stress, or a poor diet.
Supplements like Revive Digest Aid may promote a better-balanced gut by addressing both gastric acid and the enzymes you need to bring back a sense of peace to your digestion. This supplement also helps promote the production of bile, an important component in ensuring fats and other nutrients are broken down properly.
What you eat can have a massive impact on your digestion, and good gut health leads to a happier outlook on life and overall better wellbeing.
Not digesting food properly can lead to constipation, diarrhea, and a range of other gut complaints. Poor gut health contributes to poor mental health as well as physical discomfort. Eating the right foods and supplements can take the strain off your digestive system and bring balance back to your wellbeing.