Digestive System

Digestive System

The digestive system is known for being the second brain of the body. Simply following and trusting your gut can allow the body to know what is going on before you consciously recognize it. The strength of the gut and how fast it can work primarily depends on the food that is entering the body, lack of better terms, a proper diet. Having a diet that consists of vitamins and nutrients through fruits and vegetables will not only make your digestion better, but it will also allow you to better trust your body. Here are 5 reasons why fruits and vegetables strengthen the digestive system.

1) Fruits and Vegetables are High on Fiber

Fiber is the primary starter for food digestion. The greater amount of fiber in your system will allow the body to reduce constipation. Many fruits and vegetables are high on fiber which allows for an easier time for the processing of foods inside the digestive system. Fiber-rich vegetables include artichokes, green peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. Fruits that are high in fiber are fruits such as raspberries, pears, apples, and pumpkin.

2) Plethora of Vitamins and Minerals

Diets that include fruits and vegetables contain several types of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the benefit of digestion. Your body will often let you know that it doesn’t feel right, and a quick fix to that would be to grab a piece of fruit for some natural energy. Natural fruits and veggies contain magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, folic acid, and potassium, which is one of the most important minerals for your health. Eating fruits and vegetables such as avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, prunes, and tomatoes are filled rich with vitamins and minerals.

3) Reduces Excess Gas and Bloating

If you’re someone who has issues with excess gas or bloating, reducing the amount of fructose sugar (fruit sugar) would deter digestive buildup. Your gut will let you know what is missing in your diet or daily food intake; ignoring these signs would make symptoms such as gas and bloating worsen. Fruits to avoid that are high in fructose are apples, pears, and mangos. However, having substitutes with fruits that have less fructose like berries, oranges, and grapefruits can make your stomach much more tolerable (and your stomach loves it!). Bananas are also another super fruit that is low on fructose, high on fiber, and contains insulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

4) Prebiotic foods

Prebiotic foods feed the healthy bacteria in your gut and continuously regulate it. These types of foods are positive feedback loops for digestive homeostasis, where it promotes sustainable gut health. They also contain compounds that have several types of dietary fiber (ex: fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides, etc) necessary for digestive health while creating and promoting strong gut bacteria. The foods that are considered as prebiotic are the following: asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, artichokes, leeks, onions, soybeans.

5) Polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant compounds that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory abilities that the bacteria in the digestive system, specifically Bifidobacterial and Lactobacilli, love! These compounds can also increase the regenerative abilities of the stomach tract. Many polyphenols are found when cooking with spices such as cloves and oregano. However, there are other types of vegetables that contain polyphenols such as artichoke, chicory, and asparagus.

The wide array of benefits fruits and vegetables have for not only the digestive system but also the rest of the body is spectacular. It is amazing to know that the different types of fruits and vegetables that are digested in the body can have such a level of impact on gut health and overall health. The following is just one of the many research examples on why fruits and vegetables are important for everyday health:

“A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber, plant-based foods improve gut bacteria diversity within two weeks, according to research published in Nutrients. Researchers assessed gut bacteria composition in 248 participants over a two-week dietary intervention that increased fiber intake. Those who consumed more fruits, vegetables, and grains improved gut bacterial diversity when compared to participants who did not change their diet. High-fiber diets increase bacteria associated with anti-inflammatory compounds linked to improved glucose’ tolerance and metabolism.”

Klimenko NS, Tyakht AV, Popenko AS, et al. Microbiome responses to an uncontrolled short-term diet intervention in the Frame of the Citizen Science Project. Nutrients. Published online May 8, 2018.

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