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Foods That Can Help or Hurt Digestion

So much depends upon the human gut. It is after all the organ that determines if—and how—what we eat fuels the other organs. That’s why we need it to be in optimal health and fix any digestion problems now rather than later.

Some sources swear by whole grains for gut health. According to Mark’s Daily Apple, however, the American College of Gastroenterology Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Task Force didn’t find fiber to be an effective treatment for chronic constipation. So, what is? Gut bacteria, say some, while others will stick vehemently to whole grains and other forms of “roughage.”

Regardless of where you stand on the hotly contested issue, here are some of the best and worst foods for your gut for you to finally tackle those digestion problems.

5 Best Foods for Digestion Problems

1. Organic fruits and vegetables should also be the base of your diet not only for their fiber (if you’re of that school of thought) but also for their liver-cleansing abilities and myriad antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and more. Many nutritionists tout bananas for not irritating the stomach, along with moderate amounts of apples. Be careful about nightshade vegetables, though—like tomatoes and peppers—since they tend to be inflammatory. Some people report painful joints or, more often, upset stomachs. Asparagus, onions, and lentils, on the other hand, contain prebiotics, on which probiotics feed to multiply in the gut.
2. Water is essential for digestion, and when we don’t get enough of it, things start to slow down in the intestines.
3. Herbs and spices like ginger and turmeric are great for calming upset stomachs. It’s the logic behind giving someone who’s seasick some ginger ale. Peppermint is great for both your breath and your digestion, and can easily be grown on your front porch. (Avoid growing it near a street, though, as you’ll want to avoid the pollution.) Grate some ginger or pluck a few sprigs of mint leaves and steep in boiling water for a few minutes and enjoy with a spoonful of raw honey to subdue a bellyache.

Read more: Lisa Garber, Natural Society

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