The digestive system, comprised of organs such as the stomach, liver, intestines, and pancreas, is responsible for bringing life-giving nutrients to your body. Without proper nutrition, your body will slowly and painfully start to deteriorate, causing a wealth of problems like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and so much more.
One of the ways to maintain a healthy digestive system is by giving it healthy foods. These foods ensure a smooth process from eating to excreting by breaking down the food, helping the nutrients absorb, and flushing waste from the body. It’s just like magic!
Many vegetables fall under this category, and today we’ll be talking about the best among the rest vegetables for your digestive system. We hope you make an effort to add these to your diet and enjoy a healthier gut!
Artichokes are the main characters in the digestive system world. These vegetables are chock full of a lot of stuff your digestive system needs to run healthily and smoothly.
Firstly, artichokes contain inulin, which is prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that “feed” your gut bacteria and allow them to flourish. The more gut bacteria you have, the more protection you have against pathogens and other icky things that live in your gastrointestinal tract.
Artichokes also contain cynarin, which is a compound that eases the effects of acid reflux, bloating, and other indigestion problems. Cynarin stimulates bile production, thereby hastening the digestive process. It also improves fat digestion, lessening bloating and flatulence.
Leafy greens are your best bet for insoluble fiber. This type of fiber does not dissolve in water and cannot be digested by the body.
To those unfamiliar with insoluble fiber, this might seem counterproductive. Why would you want something in your body that can’t be digested if you’re looking to improve digestion?
Well, insoluble helps to push out any excess waste out of your gastrointestinal tract and out of the body. It makes the stool more solid, allowing it to glide through your body and collect more waste along the way.
So, if you’re having trouble pooping, try adding a cup or two of your favorite leafy greens into your meal. Trust us, adding lettuce or kale may not seem like much, but it can actually do wonders for your digestive system, not to mention the rest of your body!
Meanwhile, squash is an awesome source of soluble fiber. This type of fiber turns into a gel when it absorbs water, making your stool smoother and bulkier. This is especially important for those with loose stools.
Loose stools aren’t ideal because it means your body is processing your food faster than it can absorb all of the good stuff. So, you need that soluble fiber to slow digestion down.
Squash can also help you maintain normal blood sugar levels. It prevents your blood from absorbing sugar too quickly, reducing spikes that can be dangerous for those with diabetes. It also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and improves good cholesterol (HDL), which is great for anybody trying to maintain normal blood pressure.
Add squash to your diet by steaming it, pureeing it for soups, or even adding frozen squash to smoothies!
Broccoli is another vegetable that’s packed with a ton of fiber and antioxidants, making it essential for a healthy digestive tract and bowel function. It’s particularly helpful for your excretory system—broccoli reduces inflammation in the intestines and also promotes regular defecation.
However, that’s not the only thing broccoli is good for—it helps protect your microbiome, which are the good, healthy bacteria living in your stomach. You need to have a diverse microbiome for smoother and quicker digestion. They help to break down carbohydrates in your stomach and have them absorbed into your bloodstream.
Some people have trouble digesting broccoli because of its high fiber content and tough exterior. Not to worry—cooked broccoli is just as good as raw. You could even ground the florets into “rice” and use that as a rice substitute.
Celery is a super crunchy vegetable that will fill you right up with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s known to be a diet superfood because of how satiating it can be with just 10 calories per stalk. You can eat a lot of these without feeling guilty about it!
It’s also high in water content. 95% of celery is made up of water, which we already know is great for your digestion. It helps break down the food in your stomach so it passes easily through your digestive system.
In addition to that, celery contains a pectin-based polysaccharide that aids in digestion. It thickens the lining of your stomach, making you less prone to stomach ulcers and acid reflux. So, if you’re suffering from any of these conditions or would just like to improve your stomach’s condition, then celery is the way to go!
While eating plenty of these vegetables will certainly improve your digestive health, you also need to do other things like drink water, avoid processed and sugary foods, sleep, and exercise as well. This is a winning combination that isn’t just good for your digestive system but also for your whole body.