Whether you have been diagnosed with a digestive disorder or simply have a cranky digestive system, knowing which foods are easiest to digest can be beneficial to your digestive tract and physical/emotional well-being. Most foods considered easy to digest vary from one person to the next due to individual sensitivities. The following is a list of foods easily digested by the majority; not necessarily inclusive of individuals who experience digestive issues.
Naturally Fibrous Foods (Carbohydrates)
Fibre stimulates the process of digestion. While adding fibre in the form of powders, pills or shakes may help with constipation, it may also generate cramping, bloating and excessive gas. Increasing your intake of naturally fibrous foods can help eliminate the need for fibre supplementation.
Most fruits and vegetables are easy to digest when eaten raw as they contain enzymes necessary for digestion. Individuals who eat processed, canned or stored food usually have low levels of digestive enzymes. Cooking destroys enzymes; therefore, fruits and vegetables are most beneficial when eaten raw. Some fruits high in acid, such as apples, may cause stomach cramping and can be improved by cooking. Additionally, corn may present problems and need to be avoided by some individuals.
Whole grains, sprouted grains, beans, peas and lentils are naturally fibrous foods easy to digest. Digestion of dried beans, peas and lentils can be significantly improved by soaking for eight to 12 hours in water, prior to cooking.
Foods that have been fermented make the digestive system say, "Yes!" Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that helps balance the good/bad bacteria of the digestive tract and perform some of the digestion for you. These foods include sauerkraut, yoghurt and other cultured dairy products.
Other Sources of Carbohydrates
Rice is typically easy for most people to digest and includes all varieties: white, brown, whole grain, basmati, rice pasta, cakes and crackers. Other sources of carbohydrates that are easy to digest include oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet.
Fish is a high-quality protein that is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and easy to digest. Chicken that has been roasted, baked, broiled or poached also provides a significant source of protein.
Nuts and seeds are often mistakenly considered to cause digestive problems. While this is typically true for individuals who suffer from digestive issues and disorders, most people can obtain significant amounts of dietary protein from nuts, seeds and peanut butter.