Indigestion is never any good. Whether you experience it on occasion or as a regular part of your day, I’m sure you want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and gas are the signs that food isn’t being digested properly. Sometimes this can be an acute response to eating something specific. Improperly cooked meat, caffeine, and other foods, for example, can cause indigestion very easily.
Other times, however, indigestion occurs commonly after consuming things that shouldn’t bother your gut. When this happens, it can be more indicative of microbial imbalances and overall diet.
That’s okay though. You can strengthen your digestive system with three simple steps. Eating more fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics can help relieve indigestion and lead to smoother sailing.
Fiber is in most plant-based foods and can help the pace that food moves through your digestive system. It is essential for proper digestion and regularity.
Probiotics are healthful microorganisms that grow on certain foods (fermented foods). These “good” bacteria play a role in digestion, immunity, and overall health.
Lastly, prebiotics are indigestible fibers that feed gut bacterial populations so they grow and multiply.
Together, these three components can build a healthy digestive system.
Women need 25 grams (g) of fiber each day while men should aim for 38 g. It can be found in large amounts in legumes (a cup of cooked beans has about 50% of the daily recommended value). Blueberries, raspberries, apples, oats, and other whole grains are also excellent sources.
Fiber requires water to work effectively, so staying adequately hydrated is also important to good digestion. If you’re currently not eating enough fiber (most Americans are around 15 g per day), bump levels slowly over the next few weeks. Sometimes too much too fast can lead to symptoms like bellyaches, bloating, and gas.
There is no daily recommended intake for probiotics, so eating them throughout the week is the way to go. They might be particularly helpful for people with constipation and bloating, working to help restore regularity and improve digestion.
Yogurt and kefir are common and convenient sources of probiotics. There is even some research to indicate varieties with Lactobacillus acidophilus may be tolerated by people with lactose intolerance. Other sources include kimchi (fermented vegetables) and miso.
You can feed these probiotics by eating prebiotic foods like asparagus, artichokes, bananas, garlic, and onion.
If you want better digestion, fiber, probiotics, and prebiotics might help. Try boosting intake and see what happens!