Belly troubles have a way of taking over your life. When they show up it’s nearly impossible to focus on anything but your crampy tummy.
And no matter whether you’ve come down with a bug or are battling some temporary bloating, constipation, diarrhea or digestion problems, stomach troubles simply make you feel miserable. And eating can become a guessing game.
Of course, if your belly is feeling rocky chances are you don’t have much of an appetite to begin with. I get it.
But your body still needs fuel. And skipping too many meals can leave you feeling weak and with hunger pains, adding to your misery.
The solution is to choose some easy to digest foods. They will provide you with the energy your body needs to function.
But they’ll do it without causing your shaky tummy, or rough bowels, any extra stress.
More on those easy to digest foods in just a moment. But first let’s take a quick look at what happens during digestion.
Understanding digestion and easy to digest foods
Your digestive tract has six parts…
- small intestine
- large intestine
Digestion starts with you chewing up your food, of course. As it moves through your system, your body mixes in different enzymes and acids.
This helps break the food down so the nutrients in it can be absorbed and the energy to fuel your body is formed.
But keep in mind a number of the foods that we label “difficult” to digest aren’t bad. In fact, many of the healthiest foods are ones that take longer to digest which can cause gas, bloating and in some cases heartburn.
High fiber foods, such as healthy fruits and vegetables are often “difficult” to digest, for example. And, in fact, fiber makes its way through your system essentially undigested.
But when you’re having tummy troubles easy to digest foods are the best choice. These stomach friendly selections don’t require as much processing, so they can pass through your digestive system quickly.
Try these easy to digest foods to calm your tunny
Following are our top four choices for easy to digest foods to calm your belligerent belly.
1. White rice:
No, that’s not a typo. And yes, I know you must be shocked. But it’s true. I’m actually recommending you eat white rice. Stick with me here and I’ll explain.
It’s true I typically tell you to steer clear of white rice. And I am always encouraging you to pick the brown variety, which is far healthier, if your dish requires rice.
But the very same reason I tell you to avoid white rice… that it’s been stripped of its bran and germ… is also the reason why in this case it’s a perfect choice.
White rice has almost zero fiber. It’s essentially pure, easy to digest carbs
And while that’s usually a bad thing, when you’re battling a temporary tummy problem it’s actually good. Just make sure to eat the rice when it’s still warm. Cooling it down increases creates resistant starches which take longer to digest.
And as soon as you feel better make the switch back to brown.
2. Ripe bananas:
Bananas are another easy to digest food. Like white rice, they are a high carb choice. But the key to them being tummy friendly is to choose only ripe ones.
Now if you’re a regular Healthier Talk reader, you may recall me recommending green bananas recently. And I still do, especially if you’re trying to shed a little weight.
Green bananas are much higher in healthy, slower to digest, resistant starches. But that’s exactly why you should avoid them when you’re trying to stick to a temporary diet of easy to digest foods.
A green banana contains around 75 percent starch. While a ripe banana is only about one percent. Meaning it’s easy on your tummy.
3. Instant oatmeal:
I know. I’m just FULL of surprises today. Don’t worry; I’m still Team Steel Cut Oats. Once again, this is just a temporary green flag for a food I usually tell you to avoid.
Since the oats in instant oatmeal are more refined and thinner than steel cut or rolled varieties they’re quicker to cook and quicker to digest. So go ahead, make an exception and choose the instant oats until your digestion troubles are under control. Just don’t pick the ones which are loaded full of sugar.
Depending on the cause of your tummy troubles, you might not feel like eating dairy. But if your digestion issues are less stomach bug and more bloating, constipation or diarrhea yogurt can be a terrific choice.
When you pick the right yogurt, you will be getting a healthy dose of probiotics. These friendly bacteria help keep your gut bugs healthy.
And researchers say they could also help reduce a number of digestive complaints from bloating to diarrhea.
But make sure to read the label. Pasteurization kills off most of the probiotics that are naturally in yogurt. So you need to make sure you choose a brand that has them added back in. Look for one that says it contains live and active cultures.
The next time tummy troubles strike, reach for these four easy to digest foods until the storm passes.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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