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5 Foods You Didn’t Know Work Wonders For Your Digestive Health

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“Contemplation is to knowledge what digestion is to food — the way to get life out of it!”
-Tryon Edwards, American Theologian

You’ve undoubtedly heard that fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts are some foods that help digestion. A fiber-fueled diet is an excellent way to incorporate food to help your digestive system function smoothly and supply your body with the energy it needs.

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Nutrition experts recommend that you gradually introduce high fiber foods into your diet, maintain a balance between whole grains and fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of water to flush waste from the body.

Eat Your Way to Top-Notch Digestion

So what about other foods that help digestion? If loading up on wheatgrass and oat bran sounds like too heavy of a way to incorporate culinary digestive aids into your daily menu, here are five great alternatives to help you maximize what you eat:

1. Fermented Foods

Excellent choices include: yogurt, pickles, sourdough bread, aged cheese (which may even help ward off cancer), miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, tea and even chocolate can all give your digestive system a head start by “predigesting” your food for you. The healthy bacteria present in some of these foods begin the breakdown process of carbohydrates, fats and proteins before you even take a bite and give your digestive system an added boost.

2. Spices

Coriander, cumin, mustard, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and black pepper can work to increase salivation, which is necessary during the first digestive step. Spices in food can also aid digestion by increasing bile production, helping your body break down and absorb fats. East Indian Ayurvedic cuisine has incorporated spice combinations for centuries to promote digestive health.

3. Herbs

Herbs such as peppermint, ginger, fennel, clove, coriander, wormwood, rosehips, spirulina and aloe are gentle and creative additions to your list of foods that help digestion. Many herbs can act as a natural laxatives and cleansing agents to help rid your body of the various detrimental environmental toxins we encounter on a daily basis.

4. Olive Oil

This tangy oil is a wonderful source of monosaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. It turns out that a tablespoon of olive oil can also help stimulate digestion and relieve an upset stomach, giving us yet another reason to relish the olive. A compound in olive oil has even been shown to help offset brain cancer. Flax seed oil can also be taken for similar digestive benefits.

5. Lemons

This citrus fruit activates salivation and can help the digestive system break down vital minerals in your food such as calcium — a refreshingly zesty way to improve your digestion.

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