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Foods that aid in digestion

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There are two categories of foods viz. best for digestion and worst for digestion. In this article we shall elaborate the foods that aid in digestion and improve gut health in many different ways. Certain fruits, vegetables, probiotics, herbs, spices, etc. are immensely useful in enhancing digestion. You can include them every day in your diet.


Fruits that contain good amount of fibre and water aid digestion. Banana is enriched with vitamin A and potassium and it helps to regulate digestion process. Furthermore, one such easily digestible fruit is prune as it is rich in fibres.

Apples have a wonderful combination of water and fibre and are excellent for the digestive system. Peaches, pineapples, papaya and apricot contain digestion promoting enzymes which help in quick assimilation of foods. We list down the fruits below:

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Prunes
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Apricot
  • Pineapple


Green leafy vegetables are devoid of fats and being high in fibres, they help to enhance the digestion process. Red beets are laden with iron, potassium, choline, and magnesium, which are vital for proper digestive health. You can include the following vegetables in your diet to improve digestion

  • Red beet
  • Turnip green
  • Artichoke
  • Beans
  • Squash
  • Potatoes

Wholegrain food

Whole grains contain fibres, vitamin and minerals. They accentuate digestion and keep you full for a long time. You can include them in your breakfast. Whole grains that aid digestion are:

  • whole-wheat bread
  • oats
  • brown rice
  • Museili

Fermented food/probiotics

The best category of foods conducive for digestion is fermented foods or probiotics. They contain gut friendly bacteria that not only aid digestion but also ensure health of your gut. You must consume those living nutrients regularly if you are suffering from poor digestive health. Include the following fermented foods in your daily diet:

  • Yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Miso

Herbs and Spices

As per the book- “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”, many herbs and spices support digestive health and protect against gastrointestinal discomfort. They bring about this effect in many different ways. Garlic and ginger promote digestion and offer immunity to the gut. Mint leaves give relief from stomach discomfort arising from improper digestion.  You can include the list of following ingredients in moderate quantity while cooking:

  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Cumin seeds
  • Ajwain
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Cardamom

Lean Meat and Fish

Lean meat like chicken breasts and fresh fish when cooked in low amounts of oil or baked and boiled also promote digestion. Avoid eating red meat.

Foods that Hinder Digestion

  • Corn
  • Berries
  • Dairy products
  • Pastries, chocolates
  • High fat and fried foods
  • Chilli peppers
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcohol

The choice is yours! However, avoid those foods if you have gastrointestinal disorders and substitute with those that aid digestion.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 17, 2015

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