7 Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion

Ritu Puri

December 2, 2019

We often hear people complain of pain in the stomach caused by undigested food. Most times, the pain subsides within a day or two. But what causes the food to go undigested? Indigestion is usually caused due to functional problem of the gastrointestinal tract. Indigestion is also caused by certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors. In order to keep indigestion at bay, add the following foods to your everyday diet in order to get your digestive system back in order.

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Foods to improve digestion

When your stomach fails to digest food, it can damage the nerve which regulates the digestive system and prevents the muscles in the stomach and intestine from functioning properly. When this happens, the undigested food can ferment and lead to bacteria growth, and lead to several health problems. How to improve digestive system and ensure good health? What food can you take improve digestion?

1. Wheat

Wheat is a staple food for many families worldwide. When consumed as a wholegrain, it is a source of multiple nutrients and dietary fibers. Your body needs at least 25 grams of fiber daily. Wheat is high in fiber which aids in the smooth functioning of the digestive system. The fiber in wheat adds bulk to the stool and can reduce constipation, and act as prebiotics and help feed healthy bacteria to the gut. 

2. Spinach

Spinach an excellent source of fiber that helps to improve digestion. As mentioned before, fiber adds bulk to the stool and quickens its pace through the digestive tract. Spinach is also an excellent source of nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, and folate. Magnesium helps relieve constipation by improving the muscle contractions in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, research has also shown that a specific type of sugar called ‘sulfoquinovose’ found in Spinach and other leafy greens fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria, thereby promoting digestion.

3. Chicken breasts

If you are one of those individuals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or bowel sensitivity, then chicken breast, is a ‘must’ in your diet as it is rich in protein and essential amino acids. Also, chicken breast is a white meat protein which is comprised mainly of lean protein. Lean protein is easily digestible and not fermented by the gut bacteria.

4. Ginger

Ginger is a root that is a part of Eastern medicine and is well known to improve digestion and accelerate gastric emptying. It is known to have concrete effectiveness on the digestive process and in turn relaxes the muscles of the intestine. Ginger stimulates bile, saliva, and gastric enzymes that assist in digestion, and also speeds up the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine. It is also well known to reduce the risk of nausea, heartburn, and stomach discomfort in ayurvedic medicine.

5. Yogurt

Yogurt contains friendly bacteria called probiotics. Probiotics, which live in your digestive tract are good bacteria that can help improve digestion and keep the gut healthy. Yogurt helps with digestive issues such as constipation and diarrhea, and bloating. It is also known to improve the digestion of milk sugar or lactose. 

6. Fish oil 

Fish oil is well known to play a crucial role in reducing inflammation in the intestines. Studies have shown that Omega-3 taken with plenty of fiber, probiotic foods, and a healthy diet can progress the diversity of the gut microbiome. Put simply, fish-oil is a stool-facilitating nutrient that promotes good intestinal health.

7. Papaya

Papaya contains a digestive enzyme called papain that helps break down protein fibers and assist in the digestive process. The fruit is also known to ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and constipation. Due to its gastrointestinal capacities, papaya is also used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements.

How to improve digestion?

Now that you know the list of foods to improve digestion, it is also important to know how to improve digestion naturally at home. There are a few simple ways in which you can improve digestion which include:

Do some physical exercises!

Regular exercise to improve digestion and also to reduce stress helps to improve the digestive system. Practicing yoga to improve digestion is a good way to go. There are several asanas to improve digestion such as Bharadvajasana or the Bharadvaja’s twist, Padangusthasana or Big Toe pose, Paripurna Navasana or Boat pose, Dhanurasana or Bow pose, Bhujangasana or Cobra pose, Matsyasana or Fish pose among several others. 

Eat healthy food and hydrate yourself

Exercise helps you digest a certain percentage of food. To have a healthy gut, it is important to eat healthy as well.  Include fibers in your food as they are known to reduce the risk of digestive conditions such as ulcers. Also adding some fat into your diet is good as fat is needed for nutrition absorption.
Lastly, drink a lot of water as low fluid is the most common cause of constipation.

Adopt healthy eating practices

Mindful eating helps reduce digestive symptoms and also reduces bloating, gas, and indigestion. The digestion process starts from your mouth. Make sure you chew your food properly as it also helps in nutrition absorption.


Indigestion is a problem that many people face, mostly due to lack of exercise and bad eating habits. There are many foods that aid in digestion and can be consumed to relieve the uneasiness associated with indigestion. But for healthy living, it is important to consume food that help improve digestion on a regular basis and as a part of healthy eating practice.

About the Author

Ritu, who battled weight issues, acne and other health issues as an adolescent, managed to overcome these problems through changes in diet and lifestyle. Her success prompted her to pursue the subject professionally, leading her to a BSc in Home Science followed by an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Lady Irwin College, Delhi University. Ritu completed a training programme with All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) before working with Fortis Hospital, and the Nutrition Foundation of India. Serving as a Sr. Nutritionist at HealthifyMe, she aims to help her clients to make small changes in their lifestyle that will positively impact their health.

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7 responses to “7 Healthy Foods to Improve Digestion”

  1. Good evening , information is very useful,one should follow it daily.but colorie counting does not work all the time, hence I am unable to feed the data of food update it.

  2. Nice blog Navya. Curing with the natural product is always a better option than paying big medical bills. I have also faced digestive problems. I used to have diarrhea and I was very tired of it. Then, my grandmother suggested some natural foods for curing my weak digestion. She used to give me honey. Earlier I never knew that natural products like honey can help in such a way that it will cure my problem. Thanks for sharing this amazing blog.

    • Thank You Aman, we are so grateful for your kind words. Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. Keep following our blogs.

  3. hello, i am an ardent reader of your post on weight loss,i really enjoyed your write up and indeed very helpful.

    • Hi Adeolu, We really appreciate you taking the time out to share your experience with us. Thank you so much for your kind words.

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