If you’ve ever had a digestive issue (and, let’s be honest, who hasn’t?), you know how much they can get in the way of your daily life. From discomfort to pain to just being plain inconvenient, it’s one thing if they happen occasionally, but if you’re experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, cramping, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, bloating, excess gas, diarrhea, or constipation on a regular basis, it may be sign that you have a sensitive gut.
To help, you can try cutting out common food intolerances such as gluten, dairy, caffeine and/or foods that are very acidic, spicy, or greasy, and reintroducing them one at a time (once symptoms subside) to figure out which one may be causing you trouble. That said, here’s a list of things to get on your next grocery run to help your digestive system run a bit more smoothly.
(Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, too!)
Probiotics: By now, I’m sure you know our intestines are full of healthy bacteria that helps digestion. Luckily there are plenty of foods you can get to balance out your gut flora! Yogurt is the most common, but if you’re trying to avoid dairy, you can try a vegan alternative or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, and even over-the-counter supplements. Check the packaging for “probiotics” or “live and active cultures” to ensure you’re getting what you need!
Bananas: Easy to digest and delicious, bananas are high in pectin, potassium, magnesium and many other nutrients that help settle an upset stomach!
Applesauce/Cooked Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are key in ensuring your body gets all the dietary fiber it needs to function well. However, because sometimes it can be too much for a sensitive stomach, make sure to cook them first–the process helps make them more digestible by breaking down the fibers a bit.
Greens: Foods such as avocados, spinach, kale, nuts and seeds are high in magnesium (which helps cut down the hydrochloric acid in your stomach), and highly recommended when trying to keep your sensitive gut in check. Superfoods are super for a reason!
Herbs: If you want to try natural treatments to reduce your symptoms, clinical trials have proven that some herbal supplements such as peppermint oil, chamomile, licorice root, caraway, and lemon balm can be an effective solution. Just be mindful to not take more than recommended.
Ginger: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? Ginger has been used to help settle upset stomachs for centuries, so grab a little bit of this root to add to your daily smoothie or make into a cup of tea. Soothing, and tastes amazing!
Sourdough: Aside from being fermented, and much easier to digest because of it, sourdough is also a great substitute if you’re trying to avoid gluten (no, it isn’t gluten-free, but it has a much lower content than regular wheat bread).
Lean Meats/Scrambled Eggs: When in doubt, sticking to protein sources that aren’t high in fat are typically a great way to avoid risking an upset stomach. Just be sure not to over-season and stick to low or no oil when cooking it to avoid having the opposite result!