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What Can I Eat to Improve Digestion? (Everyday Health)

September 15th, 2011

The experts at everydayhealth.com offer a extremely valuable nutrition tips that can help improve digestion. Here are some highlights from the article:


Christine M. Esters

  • High fiber diet: chia, flax, acacia
  • Enzymes: fresh juice like carrot, wheat grass, celery, cucumber, ginger, and apple
  • Omega 3 — 6 — 9: coconut, flax, hemp

Lisa Ganjhu, DO

  • Enjoy healthy lean proteins. Incorporate more vegetable protein than animal protein.
  • Breads should be whole grain. Your dairy products should be fat free or low fat.
  • Get rid of the sodas and the sweetened drinks.

Jo Ann Hattner, MPH, RD

  • Eat regular meals and snacks (3 meals and 2 snacks over the day)
  • Avoid eating just before bedtime
  • Eat a plant-based diet, meaning that most of your plate is composed of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and the animal foods are in smaller portions

Lisa Pichney, MD

  • Multiple small meals are easier to process
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; drink enough water to keep well hydrated;
  • Get up from the table when you are full; and enjoy your meals with family and friends

Sutha Sachar, MD

  • Chew your food very well and not in front of the TV or computer — digestion starts with the enzymes in your mouth.
  • Walk after a large meal; this increases activity of your bowel to keep air and gas passing through.
  • Add high — fiber vegetables to your meals so you can stay full longer while keeping your blood sugars under optimal control.

William Chey, MD

  • Avoid fatty or greasy foods.
  • If bloating and gas are the main problem, avoid poorly absorbed carbohydrates (lactose, fructose) and sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol).
  • If heartburn, nausea, or fullness after eating is the problem, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals. Instead of taking 2 to 3 large meals per day, take 4 to 5 smaller meals.
  • If a person is bothered by symptoms that awaken them at night, avoid eating or drinking anything within 3 to 4 hours of lying down to go to sleep.


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