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Who doesn’t want to eat a lot and not get digestive problems? As much as we love junk, fried, spicy foods, and foods from different cuisines, we cannot obliviate that consuming easily digestible foods aids stomach health.
Digestion is crucial for breaking down food into nutrients, which the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair. Food and drink must be broken into smaller molecules of nutrients before the blood absorbs them and carries them to cells throughout the body. The body breaks down nutrients from food and drinks into carbohydrates, protein, fats, and vitamins. A healthy diet provides these essential nutrients required for the proper functioning of the body and energy production and helps repair tissues.
Stick to the end of the article as we share some of the most easily digestible foods.
Digestion of food
Foods are broken down into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins.
Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fiber found in many foods. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex molecules. Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. Complex carbohydrates are starches and fiber in whole-grain bread and cereals, starchy vegetables, and legumes.
Foods like meat, eggs, and beans comprise large molecules of protein that the body digests into smaller molecules called amino acids1. The body absorbs amino acids through the little intestine into the blood, then carries them throughout the body.
Fat molecules are an essential energy source for the body and help the body absorb vitamins. Oils, corn, canola2, olive, safflower, soybean, and sunflower are healthy fats. On the other hand, Butter and greasy snack foods are examples of less healthy fats. The body breaks down fat molecules into fatty acids and glycerol 3during digestion.
Water-soluble vitamins include all the B vitamins and ascorbic acid. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Each vitamin encompasses a different role within the body’s growth and health. The body stores fat-soluble vitamins within the liver and fatty tissues, whereas the body doesn’t easily store water-soluble vitamins and flushes out the rest through urine.
11 Easily digestible foods
Food that is digested easily is helpful for various symptoms and ailments. Some popular examples are
- White rice
- Sweet potato
- Saltine Crackers
- Oats and other cereals
Why are fibers important?
Foods, vegetables and grains are a mixture of fibers that cannot be considered easily digestible foods. Fibre can help reduce bowel movements, gastroesophageal reflux disease4, digestive problems, pregnancy allergies5, and acid problems and effectively move harmful wastes into the colon. However, if fiber is not broken down, it can cause gas or digestive upset when entering the stomach. Including foods with less fiber in a meal can lower the number of undigested substances that travel around your body.
Are grains a better option?
Although considered easily digestible, choosing your grains can help prevent digestive issues. High-fiber grains such as whole-grain offer much more nutrition than products made with flour and are not often considered healthy. Grains are naturally rich in fiber. It helps to maintain the overall body weight and body mass. It lowers the risk of heart ailments, diabetes, and high blood pressure and ensures regular flow of blood in the body and more energy into the body.
Whole grains help us feel fuller for an extended time. This increased sense of satiety helps us avoid overeating. The high fiber content in whole grains slows down the absorption of carbohydrates, keeping your blood glucose level steady, which is essential for fending off potential diabetes complications like cardiovascular disease, renal disorders6, nerve damage and stroke.
Whole grains have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, promoting the expansion of healthy bacteria within the gut, which helps digestion and metabolism. It also reduces allergies effectively.
Taking food from our easily digestible foods list can help avoid food-related GI issues. However, food choices in bland diets are determined by digestive disorders that cause symptoms of autoimmune diseases. For celiacs, you must avoid gluten, too.
Having a diet that is full of lean protein, folate vitamin K oatmeal, gluten-free bread, soluble fiber, wheat bread, vegetable juices, dairy products, raw fruits, refined grams, cooked vegetables, sweet potatoes, brown rice, white rice can make your digestion easier.
Why is white rice considered the most nutritious among all grains?
Rice is versatile, easy to cook, and light on the stomach. This grain has been an integral part of the Indian diet forever. White rice is a source of carbohydrates; it also has 4 to 5 grams of protein in one serving and almost no fat; infact, it comes under the category of easily digestible foods. Other than that, it is also a good source of vitamin B and antioxidants.
- It can stabilize your blood sugar levels: While you might have heard that white rice has starch and is comparatively high on the glycemic index, the truth is that when accompanied by other foods, such as vegetables, it can prevent blood sugar spikes. But if you are diabetic, check with your doctor before including it in your diet.
- It is gluten-free: Rice is a hypoallergenic food7 and a blessing for people allergic to gluten or with celiac disease. A gluten-free grain, rice can also be easily turned into flour, noodles, and bread for people who opt for gluten-free options.
- It is a powerhouse of energy: Since rice is a carb-rich food, it provides much energy quickly. And that’s why even athletes prefer white rice over brown rice when they need an energy boost.
- Aids heart health: When you opt for whole grain rice, you help your heart health. Even the American Heart Association agrees that whole grains improve blood cholesterol levels and further reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
- Rice is very easy to digest: Not just easy to cook but also very easy to digest. Unlike brown rice, white rice doesn’t have a compound called phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that causes digestive issues.
- Keeps the gut healthy: Even when you eat refined white rice, you get a hefty dose of soluble fiber i.e. resistant starch called butyrate. Butyrate 8can boost your gut health by reducing inflammation.
Besides providing good nutrition and vitamin B9 in rice is excellent for people with gluten intolerance. White rice has a higher density of nutrients and low calories, making it a nutritious meal to lose weight quickly.
Foods to Avoid
Some people find the digestive-supportive probiotics in fermented foods very beneficial. This is considered a valuable bacterial species helping digest food. However, be aware of adding salts or sugar to food items. Some food items that you should definitely avoid are
- dairy products
- red meats
- fried foods
- junk foods
- fermented foods
- acidic foods
- excess alcohol consumption
- low-fiber foods
- artificial sweeteners
- low sugar diet
What causes stomach upset or indigestion?
Indigestion or dyspepsia is a painful or burning feeling in your abdomen (belly). It is also called a sour stomach; indigestion may happen once in an exceedingly while or often. About 25% of individuals within the U.S. experience indigestion every year.
Symptoms of stomach indigestion include:
- acid reflux
- abdominal swelling
A healthcare provider will review your case history, symptoms and lifestyle habits. Your healthcare provider will do a physical exam. They’ll check your belly for swelling or tenderness. Other diagnostic tests may include blood tests to assess your liver, kidney and thyroid function; breath tests to test for H pylori9; Imaging exams to test for blockages or other problems within the intestines. Imaging exams may include X-ray, CT scan or upper endoscopy; Stool test to test poop for H. pylori or other bacterial infections.
Indigestion is typically caused by drinking an excessive amount of alcohol or caffeine, eating an excessive amount of food or eating too fast, eating fatty, spicy or acidic foods, experiencing stress or anxiety or taking certain medications, including aspirin, especially on an empty stomach.
Sometimes indigestion means there’s a problem in your epithelial duct. Your systema alimentarium contains organs that help your body break down food and absorb nutrients.
Indigestion may well be an indication of the following:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
- Hiatal hernia.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Peptic ulcer disease.
- Stomach cancer.
Sometimes chronic (ongoing) indigestion isn’t associated with any of those causes. In this case, it’s called functional indigestion.
Best foods for stomach upset
- Toast: Toasts help break down starches in bread and help with digestion. To help ease the stomach, it’s best to toast white bread instead.
- Oatmeal (porridge): An excellent breakfast option, oatmeal can aid in stomach pain. Its nutritional content makes the preparation easy, and it is an easily digestible food.
- Plain bagels: For bagels, you need to apply the same rule to whole grains or white bread. Keep an eye out for this one. Bagels have a variety of sprinkled toppings, causing indigestion and stomach problems.
A healthy soul resides in a healthy body, and a healthy body can be built only by adding essential nutrients to one’s diet. Being healthy is a blessing to be cherished. It’s tough to look for the time and motivation to devote to a healthy diet and workout routine and to balance those factors with other activities, including some easily digestible foods.
However, the mental and physical benefits of following a healthy lifestyle are significant; therefore, consideration should be given to easily digestible foods.
You can start by making small changes, like replacing soft drinks with water and adding a 10-minute walk to a daily routine. Consume a balanced diet, including easily digestible foods, to help heal the body.
- Li, Peng, et al. “Amino acids and immune function.” British Journal of Nutrition 98.2 (2007): 237-252. ↩︎
- Lin, Lin, et al. “Evidence of health benefits of canola oil.” Nutrition reviews 71.6 (2013): 370-385. ↩︎
- Pagliaro, Mario, et al. “From glycerol to value‐added products.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition 46.24 (2007): 4434-4440. ↩︎
- Kahrilas, Peter J. “Gastroesophageal reflux disease.” Jama 276.12 (1996): 983-988. ↩︎
- Schatz, Michael, et al. “The safety of asthma and allergy medications during pregnancy.” Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 100.3 (1997): 301-306. ↩︎
- Chevalier, Robert L., and Michael S. Forbes. “Generation and evolution of atubular glomeruli in the progression of renal disorders.” Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 19.2 (2008): 197-206. ↩︎
- Pi, Xiaowen, et al. “Food irradiation: A promising technology to produce hypoallergenic food with high quality.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 62.24 (2021): 6698-6713. ↩︎
- Hamer, Henrike M., et al. “The role of butyrate on colonic function.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 27.2 (2008): 104-119. ↩︎
- Magalhães Queiroz, Dulciene Maria, and Francesco Luzza. “Epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection.” Helicobacter 11 (2006): 1-5. ↩︎