Some common digestive disorders are linked to dietary issues such as not getting enough fiber. With a few changes in your diet, you can keep your digestive system healthy. A fiber-rich diet helps to alleviate certain digestive disorders and lowers your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Fruit is loaded with dietary fiber that helps to keep you regular, reducing your chances of having digestive problems.
Berries are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing antioxidants, fiber for digestion, vitamins and minerals. Raspberries are high in fiber and contain 8 g of fiber per cup. That is one third to one half of your daily requirement for fiber. The recommended daily fiber intake for women is 21 g to 25 g, and for men it is 30 g to 38 g per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Strawberries contain 3.8 g of fiber per 1 ¼ cup, blueberries have 5 g per cup and blackberries 8.8 g per cup. Adding a few berries to your morning cereal or yogurt can help maintain healthy bowel function and reduce digestive problems.
Dried fruit helps to support your digestive enzymes. Dates, figs and prunes contain soluble fiber, which helps to move waste and toxins through your digestive tract. These fruits help digestion and reduce digestive problems such as constipation and diverticulitis, an inflammation in your digestive tract resulting in abdominal pain, fever, nausea or changes in bowel regularity. Dates help to digest sugars and starches, according to a study published in the April 2007 issue of the “Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.” The study found that sucrose and starch alone do not break down at a normal intestinal pH of 7.4. When dates are added to the mix, they affect the breakdown of both sucrose and starch in the intestines.
Pineapple is a great snack that can satisfy your sweet tooth and help your body break down and digest foods. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps to break down proteins. Bromelain from pineapple has an anti-inflammatory effect and is used to treat ulcerative colitis, a bowel condition that causes swelling and ulcers in the intestines, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Papaya is commonly used as a digestive aid and is available in chewable tablets. The papain in the papaya is an enzyme that aids in digestion and can help to restore your intestinal tract to normal. The papain in papaya can also help to kill worms or parasites in your intestinal tract that can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain or nausea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Cleveland Clinic; Eat Right
- Blueberry.org; Blueberries FAQ; 2002
- MayoClinic.com; High-Fiber Foods; November 2009
- Continuum Health Partners; Bowel Function
- "Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences"; A Study of the Digestive...; S.A. Said; April 2007
- National Institutes of Health; Bromelain; November 2010