9 Easy-to-Digest Foods
Fiber itself is not at all unhealthy. In contrast, it is a crucial component of a balanced diet and provides many health benefits, including:
- lowering your cholesterol levels
- lowering your blood sugar levels
- promoting weight management
- reducing the risk of heart disease
However, foods that contain fiber can be hard to digest. This is because fiber is naturally dense.
This article explains easy-to-digest foods in more detail, why they can help digestion, and ways to avoid digestion issues.
Digestion is the breakdown of food and liquid into smaller parts to enable your body to absorb and use the nutrients in them.
It is a complex process that involves several systems and mechanisms.
- The gastrointestinal tract: This is the passageway through which food travels through your body. It includes your mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine, and rectum.
- Digestive mechanisms: These are the activities your body performs to disintegrate and transport food through your body. They include chewing, peristalsis, and egestion.
- Digestive juices: These are the compounds your body releases to break down food and unlock its nutritional content. They include stomach acid, bile, and enzymes.
Why is this important?
Digestion is the only way your body can access and retrieve the nutrients stored in food.
Here are some of the most important nutrients you derive from food and why they matter:
- Carbohydrates: These convert into glucose to give your body energy. Carbohydrate is the body’s main source of energy.
- Fats: These support cell growth and help regulate your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Fats also help your body absorb important nutrients.
- Vitamins and minerals: These micronutrients strengthen your immune system to help your body protect against disease. They also help form and maintain healthy teeth and bones.
- Proteins: These also provide energy and help carry oxygen throughout your body. Proteins also increase your muscle mass and strength.
- Water: This helps maintain fluid balance in your body. Water also promotes joint function and mental health.
Conditions that may need easy digestion
Easy digestion is always helpful. However, it becomes especially crucial if you have a digestive issue, such as:
The following are examples of foods that are easy on your digestive system.
1. White rice
White rice contains less fiber than brown rice, making it easier to digest. It is also a good source of manganese, which promotes bone health, and vitamin B, which helps prevent infection.
White rice will digest better in plain form without added oils.
Eggs — especially boiled, poached, or scrambled — are also gentle on the digestive tract. Their constituent protein breaks down quickly and becomes easy to digest upon cooking.
Be sure to cook your eggs properly before consuming them.
3. Yellow bananas
Yellow bananas are abundant sources of resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that is especially beneficial to your digestive health.
This resistant starch can improve insulin sensitivity, lower cholesterol levels, and keep your large intestine healthy.
You can eat bananas whole, frozen, or as part of a fruit salad.
Applesauce promotes digestive health in two main ways.
First, it contains pectin, a soluble fiber that can improve physical bowel function and reduce cholesterol absorption. Second, its constituent fiber disintegrates easily and becomes easily digestible upon contact with heat.
Applesauce can be a healthy alternative to butter and oil when baking homemade cakes.
Gelatin has zero fiber, which means it breaks down easily. It is also rich in glutamic acid, a substance that promotes stomach health and aids digestion.
Additional benefits include enhanced gastric acid secretion and improved dehydration.
Healthy ways to consume gelatin include adding it to your teas, soups, and smoothies.
Oatmeal is a gluten-free whole grain and a healthy source of manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium, among other important nutrients.
One beneficial way to prepare oatmeal is to soak it in water overnight. This allows it to absorb the water and become even more digestible.
7. Sweet potatoes
Other benefits include improved blood sugar regulation and better eye health.
Boiling retains more nutrients in sweet potatoes than other cooking methods.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can boost your bowel function. It can also help lubricate your digestive tract and maintain a smooth digestive process.
You can also expect benefits in lowered blood pressure and better fluid balance.
Salmon without extra oil is healthier than salmon with oil. So, consider poaching or baking rather than frying.
Chicken is easy on the stomach, as it contains no dietary fiber. It is an excellent source of amino acids, which promote muscle and bone health. It is also high in vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and copper.
The following list includes various foods that may not be digestion-friendly:
- some fruits, such as pineapple and coconut
- raw vegetables, including legumes, broccoli, and cauliflower
- beverages, such as coffee and soda
- artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols
- fried foods, such as french fries
- fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and pickles
- meat products, such as sausage
- dairy products, such as yogurt
You can take some measures to reduce your risk of digestion issues. These include:
- avoiding overeating
- staying hydrated
- avoiding artificial sweeteners
- avoiding alcohol
- avoiding carbonated beverages
- eating a balanced diet
- eating a healthy amount of fiber
- exercising regularly
- managing your stress
- reducing your intake of fatty foods, such as red meat
- reducing your intake of dairy products, such as milk and cheese
Contact your doctor if you have severe or persistent symptoms of digestive issues.
Low fiber foods are generally easier to digest than high fiber ones. This is because fiber, although healthy, is bulky and indigestible.
Examples of foods that are easy to digest include white rice, bananas, and sweet potatoes.
Examples of foods that may not digest easily include pineapples, legumes, and red meat.
You can take some measures to reduce your risk of digestion issues. These include avoiding overeating, staying hydrated, and avoiding artificial sweeteners.
Consult your doctor if you have severe or persistent symptoms of a digestive issue.