Nicole Pajer
byNicole Pajer
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An estimated60–70 million peopleare affected by digestive diseases and32.3 million patientsvisit their physician with digestive disorders as their main complaint. “About70% of our immune system lives in our gut,” says Alexandra Jatzke, lead registered dietitian withSimplex Health, a clinical nutrition practice with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Poor gut health has been linked toinflammation,关节炎,自身免疫性疾病,anxiety and depression, dementia and cancer.

“Any GI distress [gas, bloating, distention, belching, constipation, diarrhea] is a telltale sign that one’s digestion is not functioning optimally,” says Jatzke, which can hamperweight-lossgoals.

To help improve digestion, try some of the followinggut-friendly foods:


According to the Jatzke, having a healthy balance of gut bacteria not only improves digestion but also the immune system, brain function and metabolism. Thus, it’s important to snack on益生菌丰富的食物, which support “good” gut bacteria. Probiotics can be found in foods that have been fermented or cultured. Some examples include:

Historically, sauerkraut contains four species ofgut-friendly lactic acid bacteria, though other species can also be found in this fermented cabbage dish,” says Kristin Koskinen, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Kennewick, Washington. Sauerkraut has also been shown to containanti-inflammatory properties

Pickling is a form of fermentation, thus these products contain probiotics, which help in the gut,”New York City-based registered dietitianMike Franzone。然而,他警告说,腌制的蔬菜在钠中可能很高,这可能是心脏病的危险因素。因此,只有几汤匙腌制的蔬菜就可以解决问题。

This fermented black or green tea drink has become widely popular and for good reason. “It’s a functional probiotic drink that contains bacteria and yeast essential for gut health,” explains艾莉森·柴尔德雷斯(Allison Childress),德克萨斯理工大学营养科学系的注册营养师和助理教授。“Start with a few sips per day and work up to a maximum of one bottle/serving per day,” she suggests.

这种传统日本食品是由摇来摇去m fermented soybeans and grains, and is usually sold in paste form. “Miso adds a delicious umami flavor to any recipe and is a probiotic,” says Catherine Brennan a registered dietitian. Miso can be high in sodium, though, so it should not be consumed in excess. A serving size is about a tablespoon. Add it to沙拉敷料and marinades or make a traditional miso soup.

This fermented vegetable is found in many Korean dishes. “It is an excellentsource of gut-boosting bacteria,” saysChildresswho adds that a serving size is about 2 tablespoons as it is meant as a condiment, not as a standalone. Franzone adds that泡菜isloaded with vitamins A, B and E. But the most important part of this food is the healthy bacteria it contains called Lactobacilli.”

This is a fermented milk that many refer to as ‘drinkable yogurt.’ “Kefir can emulate thehealthy bacteriaalready living in your gut and is one of the most probiotic-rich foods on the planet,” notes Childress. The recommended serving size is 6 ounces or 2/3 cup.

High in probiotics, it’s also an excellent source of vitamin D,which helps skin and bones remain healthy, explains Ruth Pupo Garcia, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at White Memorial Medical Center.


The healthy gut bacteria that keep our digestive systems running smoothly love high fiber, nutrient-rich foods, known as prebiotics notes Jatzke. “We’ve seen [in our research] that consuming probiotics may not be sufficient, so consuming prebiotic-rich foods as well is critical,” addsAlex Ruani, a doctoral scientistat the University College London in nutrition science education and research director at The Health Sciences Academy. “Prebiotics feed probiotics. So probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria, while prebiotics nourish ‘good’ bacteria.”Natural sources of prebiotics include:

Cooked onions can be enjoyed as a part of a vegetable melange, sautéed as a side or steamed until sweet,” says Koskinen, who suggests eating them raw to achieve the full benefit.

Cellulose fibers from the stalks and stems of leafy greens are great to feed the bacteria we want to support,” explains Koskinen. “These are the parts of the plant that too often end up in the trash or compost bin. Rather than miss out on the prebiotic benefits, thinly slice and steam or sauté them, eat them raw, or toss them into a soup.”

Studiesshow Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, have prebiotic properties.Florencia Tagliavini, in-house nutritionist forThe NutraMilk补充说耶路撒冷洋蓟包含2.4g of fiber per cup. Koskinen suggests roasting them and serving them in place of potatoes.

According to Franzone, garlic is an excellent source of prebiotics since healthy gut bacteria like to feed on the high levels of果糖(a type of carbohydrate) it contains. However, those with IBS may want to avoid it because it’s difficult to digest, he warns.

Fennel is calming for the stomach and is oftenused for various digestive problems including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite and colic in infants,” says Jeannie Gorman, a registered dietitian withAligned Modern Health

“We’ve seen from our research that bananashelp soothe your stomach lining by stimulating the production of a thick mucus coating, which creates a barrier that protects against too much acid and ulcer formation,” says Ruani。She adds that bananas are prebiotic-rich and thus promote friendly microbiota growth.


“The glycyrrhizic acid contained in licorice root has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties and can help speed the repair of the stomach lining and soothe gastrointestinal problems like ulcers, heartburn and food poisoning,” says Franzone. Onestudysuggested licorice, in combination with other herbs, may be effective in the management of digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis.

This tropical fruit contains papain, a “proteolytically active constituent,”作为自然消化酶。实际上,木瓜是许多流行的商业化消化酶的活跃成分supplements“Beyond my clinical observations, a double-blind placebo controlledstudyof the effects of a papaya preparation called Caricol was found to contribute to the maintenance of digestive tract physiology,” says Koskinen.

“Someresearchshows that peppermint in the form of oils or tea can help conditions like indigestion and gas but may make others worse such as gastroesophageal reflux disease,” says Childress.Dr. Luiza Petre, a board-certified cardiologist and weight-management specialist, recommends drinking peppermint tea post dinner. “Mint has been used for centuries to aid digestion and tame troubled tummies. It has both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that beat bloat. Peppermint calms down the entire digestive tract and allows gas to pass,” she explains.

“Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties work wonders on bloat and this root is known as one of the best natural remedies for nausea,” says Petre. You can get your ginger fix in a variety of forms: make tea with freshly grated root and hot water or add fresh ginger to smoothies and salad dressings, which will bring in added flavor.

“These veggiesare very hydrating and easily tackle the water retention aspect of bloating,” notes Petre. They contain the flavonol antioxidant槲皮素被证明能帮助对抗炎症in the digestive tract and reduce leaky gut symptoms, adds Petre.


This herb is typically ingested in the form of a tea as a means of calminggastrointestinal disturbancessuch as flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It’s also been touted for its anti-inflammatory benefits, as the flowers of the plant containvolatile oils including alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A & Band matricin, which possess anti-inflammatory and antiphlogistic properties.

About the Author

Nicole Pajer
Nicole Pajer

Nicoleis freelance writer and health advocate that lives, works, and exercises in Los Angeles, California. She is published in The New York Times, Woman’s Day, Men’s Journal, Hemisphere’s, Men’s Fitness, and Parade. You can read more fromNicoleat herwebsite, or follow her onTwitterat @nicolepajer



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