Limiting foods that commonly trigger indigestion and emphasizing others within your diet can help prevent or minimize its symptoms, such as uncomfortable fullness. Eating slowly, chewing food thoroughly and avoiding stress during meals can also help. Before making significant dietary shifts, seek guidance from your doctor or dietitian -- particularly if you have a medical condition, experience frequent indigestion or have other symptoms.
Yogurt and Kefir for Probiotics
Yogurt and kefir -- a yogurtlike drink -- provide bacteria known as probiotics, which may benefit your health. In a study published in the Indian journal "Intas Polivet," 40 animal studies involving probiotics were analyzed. In all cases, the probiotics improved indigestion symptoms in previously undernourished animals. Yogurt and kefir also provide healthy alternatives to fatty protein sources, such as fried, red and processed meats, which can trigger indigestion. To benefit from probiotics, make sure your yogurt contains live cultures, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Vegetables are a vital part of most healthy diets and leading sources of fiber. Consuming 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day supports digestive health, cardiovascular health and weight control. If you're prone to indigestion, however, high-fiber foods could cause flare-ups. If fiber fuels your symptoms, replace particularly high-fiber varieties, such as beans, split peas and lentils, with vegetables lower in the carbohydrate. While 1 cup of cooked lentils provides nearly 16 grams of fiber, other vegetables, including canned beets, cooked corn and raw broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and cabbage, supply less than 5 grams per serving.
Fish for Omega-3 Fats
Eating fish instead of fatty meats can help manage indigestion by providing a leaner protein alternative. When possible, choose oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring, which are prime sources of omega-3 fatty acids -- healthy fats that help lower inflammation. This is particularly important if your indigestion derives from an inflammatory condition, such as gastritis. When preparing fish, use healthy cooking techniques, such as grilling, poaching and baking; frying adds unhealthy fat.
Peppermint Tea for Stomach Soothing
Peppermint calms your stomach muscles, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and improves the flow of bile your body uses to digest fats. This helps food pass more quickly through your digestive tract, helping to ease or prevent indigestion. While you shouldn't rely on peppermint for relief if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, peppermint tea provides a useful option otherwise. Sip peppermint tea instead of caffeinated drinks, such as black tea, coffee and soft drinks, which can cause or contribute to indigestion.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Indigestion
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Oral Probiotics: An Introduction
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Prebiotics and Probiotics: The Dynamic Duo
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber
- Colorado State University Extension: Dietary Fiber
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Gastritis
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Peppermint