Eating foods that are easy to digest and absorb can provide relief if you suffer from heartburn, ulcers or nausea; have gastroenteritis or dyspepsia; or are recovering from stomach or intestinal surgery. Consuming certain highly digestible and absorbable foods for a period of time helps provide your body with sufficient nutrients. In turn, you avoid digestive discomfort, and your bowel gets the rest it needs to recover. If you have questions, talk with your doctor about when it's appropriate to add other foods back into your diet.
Fruits and Vegetables
While fiber plays and important role in proper bowel function, it slows digestion and absorption. Well-cooked vegetables and fruits without seeds or skins are easier to digest and absorb than most raw fruits and vegetables because their fiber is tenderized during the cooking process. Bananas, vegetable soups, broths and fruit-based foods, such as applesauce, are good, easily digestible choices. Fruits blended in juices are also good options. Include mashed potatoes, but resist the urge to load them with difficult-to-digest fats such as butter or margarine.
Mild, easy-to-digest carbohydrates can help relieve digestive discomfort. Add foods such as hot rice cereal or wheat cereal, grits, crackers and toast to your list of easily digestible foods. Rice and pasta are also good choices, but eat them without fats like butter or margarine or spicy sauces that can make them more difficult to digest. Choose refined grain products over whole-grain products because they have less fiber and are easier to digest.
Poached or boiled eggs, skinless chicken and steamed, baked or grilled fish without added fat are easy to digest and absorb and give your body a boost of protein, which is essential in the development and repair of skin and other body tissues. In addition, blending meats, fish, poultry or eggs with broths or vegetable juice makes a nutritious soup that's easy on the digestive system. Tofu, a soybean product, is an easily digestible vegan choice.
Other Digestive Considerations
Certain foods like whole grains; raw vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower; and fresh fruit, such as berries, are packed with nutrients but are also loaded with fiber, which slows down digestion. Fats are also more difficult to digest and can increase the likelihood of diarrhea, according to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. In addition, acidic foods, such as orange juice and lemonade, and spicy foods like salsa can irritate your stomach or gastrointestinal tract. For people who are lactose-intolerant, dairy products can cause digestion problems.