If you’re suffering from stomach pains or digestive discomfort, you may need some easy-to-digest foods. We have compiled a list of foods that may help you recover from whatever upset your tummy.
Digestive problems, including bloating, abdomen pains, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting can be caused by any number of issues – like, for example, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroenteritis, food poisoning, pregnancy, eating too fast, and fatty foods.
By eating easy-to-digest foods, your digestive system is rewarded with a rest from breaking down food. This allows it time to recover during or after any digestive problems you may be experiencing.
10 Easiest Foods to Digest
Making sure we fill our diets with lots of fiber has been drilled into most of us from a young age. Yet, there come times when fibrous foods may not be so beneficial to our guts. This is because these foods are not so easy to digest.
Whatever symptoms you may be experiencing, one remedy may be to eat easy-to-digest foods that are plain and bland. The 10 low-fiber foods on or list are gentle on your digestive system and will help to ease any pain or discomfort.
1. White Toast
Depending on how severe your symptoms are, thin slices of white toast with nothing on them may be the best option for you. White flour has had the fiber removed as it is more processed and refined, and so is one of the easiest foods to digest. Toasting the bread is also beneficial, as toasting bread breaks down some of the carbohydrates, which are otherwise more difficult to digest.
We recommend buying local when it comes to bread. Not only will this help local businesses, but it will also help reduce the environmental costs of buying factory-processed products that often travel from afar to reach your supermarket shelves. Buying locally also helps to reduce waste and packaging. Why not bring your own reusable bread bag to your next bakery visit and cut out packaging altogether?
2. White Rice
Much like white bread, white rice is also the better option for someone experiencing digestive problems. This easy-to-digest food is better than brown, red, or black rice, as the grains have been refined, making it easier to digest and more gentle on the digestive system.
When buying rice, make sure to purchase brands that use sustainable growing methods. Rice production is a major source of methane emissions, uses large amounts of water, and requires extensive air miles as most rice is produced in Asia. Workers are also generally underpaid and overworked. Look out for the fairtrade symbol to help support small-scale rice farmers. Better still, buy your rice package-free to reduce plastic waste.
3. Saltine crackers
Saltine crackers are simple snacks that don’t have much to them, making them a great food to eat when you have a funny tummy. The salt they contain also functions as an electrolyte, which can be especially helpful if you are dehydrated from diarrhea.
Bananas are really easy-to-digest foods and so work very well when your tummy isn’t at its best. And the browner the better. This is because the brown spots on bananas turn starches into sugars, making digesting these fruits smooth-sailing for your gut.
They are a great source of potassium, carbohydrates, and numerous important minerals and vitamins. They can also be constipating, which is an added bonus if you are suffering from diarrhea.
Buying fairtrade and organic bananas when and where possible is important. Banana plantations are predominantly monocultures, and so use huge quantities of water and pesticides. Not only is this harmful for the environment, but for the health of the workers themselves, who suffer from poor working conditions and exposure to harsh chemicals.
5. Applesauce (or any cooked fruits)
Fresh fruits are considered a staple in a healthy diet as they are rich in antioxidants and nutrients. However, they are also very high in fiber, meaning they can lead to digestive problems for some.
Thankfully, you can still enjoy your favorite fruits even when you have tummy problems. By cooking fruit, the fiber is broken down and so becomes much easier to digest. We recommend applesauce, as the apples have already been broken down and as such are more easily digestible. Plus, applesauce is tasty, nutritious, and contains vitamins that you are most likely lacking if you are eating easy-to-digest foods. Try our homemade unsweetened applesauce recipe for a delicious snack that your tummy will thank you for later.
We recommend cooking (and blending) all other fruits yourself as well. Cooked fruits bought in the supermarket come in unnecessary packaging, inflicting further strains on the environment. Why add to the problem when cooking fruit at home is so cheap, easy, and tasty?
Watermelon is an easy-to-digest food due to its high water content. This makes it a great source of hydration for when you are suffering from diarrhea. It also has hardly any fiber in it, meaning there is little that needs to be processed in the end. Cantaloupe and honeydew are fruits with very similar properties so can also be eaten when you are having digestive problems. And did you know you can even eat watermelon rind?
Watermelon production is mostly located in countries such as China and Iran. Thankfully, the US is also a leader in growing melons. So make sure to look out for US-grown melons to help reduce your carbon footprint next time you’re at the supermarket.
Instant oatmeal, or ‘quick oats’, are processed oats, making them much easier to digest compared to regular oats.
Plus, the US is one of the biggest oat producers in the world, so finding locally grown and certified organic oats in your supermarket should be no difficult task.
Eggs can be helpful when you are suffering from nausea or the stomach flu. Hard-boiled eggs are best, as they are cooked all the way through and so very easy to digest. Scrambled are also good, but avoid adding full-fat milk, cream, or butter. Go for plant-based or low-fat milk instead.
Buying organic and local when it comes to eggs is a must. Especially when free-range eggs straight from your local farmer’s market are sure to be fresh and delicious.
9. Sweet Potatoes and Other Cooked Veg
Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibers, which help to maintain a healthy digestive system. They also contain antioxidants that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut. On top of that, they are also very high in Vitamin A, which helps to boost your immune system. This easy-to-digest food is thus a go-to for those suffering from an irritated gut.
Mashed or baked, this food is delicious, nutritious, and easiest to digest. For those suffering from severe stomach problems, peel the skins of the potatoes as the skins have the most fiber in them.
Any other cooked vegetable is also recommended, especially spinach, pumpkin, and carrots. They are similar to sweet potatoes in that they are kind to the gut when cooked and easy to digest.
Canned vegetables are an easy solution, but these products are bad for the environment as they promote further and unnecessary waste. Cooking vegetables yourself at home is an eco-conscious and cheaper way to improve your own gut health, as well as the health of the planet.
10. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Non-fat Greek yogurt is the best dairy product to eat when you are experiencing digestive problems. Digesting fats is complex, and so low-fat foods are better and easier for your gut. Another advantage of low-fat greek yogurt are the probiotics, which aid in developing better gut health.
Eating Easy-to-Digest-Foods: What to Look Out For
However helpful it may be in the short term, be mindful of eating an easy-to-digest diet. Although these foods are best for when you are experiencing digestive issues, they are not nutrient-rich foods and are therefore not recommended for the long run.
Other tips you can follow include cutting your food into small pieces and taking extra time to chew the food down. This will help with digestion, so make sure not to rush your meals. Eating a low-in-fiber diet may also give you smaller and less frequent stools. Take care to drink lots of fluids throughout the day to avoid constipation. Water and unsweetened herbal teas work best.
If you are experiencing severe, permanent, or recurring gut problems, please seek professional guidance from a doctor.
Which Hard-to-Digest-Foods to Avoid
Most fresh fruits pack an impressive amount of fiber, and so should be avoided when you are looking for easy foods to digest. Particular fruits to avoid include dried fruits, pineapple, coconut, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and frozen berries.
Raw vegetables contain a lot of fiber, much more so than cooked or canned veggies. Make sure your vegetables are cooked and peeled if you are suffering from any digestive problems.
That being said, if you eat raw vegetables like carrots and legumes on a regular basis, the fiber they contain may aid in developing a strong digestive system and avoid digestive problems in the long run.
Wholegrain products should be avoided if you are looking for easy-to-digest alternatives. Make sure to keep a sharp eye on snacks like crackers and granola. These can contain extra ingredients like nuts, seeds, and raisins, which are harder to digest. Also, stay away from multigrain products that have cereals or bran in them. These snacks may be tasty and healthy if you are, but they are packed with a lot of fiber, so won’t be easy on your gut.affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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