10 Of The Best Breakfast Foods To Improve Digestive Health

Digestion is a process of the body that requires extra care in order to maintain good overall health. Poor eating habits, stress, viral infections, harmful toxins from the environment and excessive antibiotic use can have a negative effect on your digestive system.

Many people suffer constipation and a bloated stomach after meals simply because they have no idea what to eat to help maintain good digestive health. There are many types of food that you can add to your diet to help improve digestive health.

Here are 10 of the best breakfast foods for improving digestive health:

1. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a very rich source of dietary fiber, two tablespoons contain about 10 grams of fiber. Boosting levels of fiber at breakfast time can help reduce bloating and regulate bowel function for the rest of the day. It has also been shown that chia helps to curb hunger and suppress appetite, which can also help maintain a healthy digestive system. [1]

Chia seeds are also an excellent source of omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation which helps with inflammatory digestive conditions such as Candida. It has also been shown that omega-3s can help support the proliferation of probiotic bacterial strains in the digestive tract. [2]

What to do:
• Sprinkle a tablespoon or two onto your cooked oatmeal or add to overnight oats.
• Mix a tablespoon or two of whole seeds into smoothies to add some crunch, or add ground seeds if you prefer.
• Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of the seeds over regular or Greek yogurt for a probiotic boost.
• Chia seeds can be mixed whole or ground into fruit juice.

2. Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, and rich in omega-3s as well, providing the same benefits for digestive health as chia seeds do. Flaxseed is also a great source of lignans, plant compounds that have been shown to inhibit the growth of colon tumor cells.[3]

What to do:
• Keep flaxseeds in the refrigerator as they can go rancid very quickly.
• Before eating flaxseeds, grind them lightly to remove the hard hulls.
• Sprinkle a tablespoon of flaxseeds onto yogurt for a nutty texture and flavor.
• The nutty flavor of flaxseed is a perfect addition to your morning oatmeal.
• Ground flaxseed can be used in pancakes, muffins, bread and other baked foods.

3. Papaya

Papaya helps with the digestion of nutrients, especially for the digestion of protein. Papaya contains a digestive enzyme known as papain, which is often used in digestive enzyme supplements that support the health of the digestive system. Papain is also used to treat digestive conditions, such as chronic diarrhea and indigestion.[4]

Papaya is a good source of dietary fiber and is also an excellent source of phytonutrients.

What to do:
• Papaya is delicious on its own or drizzled with a bit of lemon or lime juice.
• Mash some papaya into plain Greek yogurt for natural sweetness and flavor.
• Add some papaya cubes to your morning oatmeal for a splash of color and tropical flavor.
• The thick, creamy texture of papaya is great for smoothies and can also be mixed with other fruit.
• Papaya can also be used in baking recipes such as papaya bread and breakfast muffins.

4. Wild Salmon

The omega-3s found in wild salmon are a natural anti-inflammatory that help prevent digestive conditions caused by inflammation. We also know that omega-3s can help improve the health of gut flora.[2] The high protein content of salmon can also promote a feeling of fullness, which will help you to eat less during the day.

The most common types of fresh salmon available are the Atlantic salmon (farmed) and the Alaskan salmon (wild). It is best to go for wild Alaskan salmon as farmed salmon are most likely to have been treated with antibiotics and are easily infected with lice.

What to do: There several way to cook salmon fish. You can grill, fry, poach, bake or broil your salmon. Whichever cooking method you decide on, you will know when your salmon is cooked when the flesh appears opaque and can easily flake off.

5. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, which helps to eliminate candida albicans, a yeast infection that can upset the balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract.[6]

The medium-chain fats found in coconut oil are absorbed easily and used as a preferential source of energy, helping to increase the body’s metabolic rate.
The best form of coconut oil to use is the unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil.

What to do:
• Put a teaspoon of coconut oil into your morning coffee for a bit of a wake up boost
• Add a tablespoon or two into your morning oats for some extra flavor
• Use coconut oil for frying your eggs, it has a high smoke point making it ideal for frying.

6. Pineapple

Not only is pineapple a good source of dietary fiber, it’s also a source of bromelain, which consists of a group of proteolytic enzymes that help with the digestion of protein. Pineapple juice has also been shown to help reduce inflammation of the digestive tract in animal studies.[7]

What to do:
• Pineapple is a great addition to morning oatmeal
• Remember to leave the pulp in when juicing pineapple
• Pineapple can make green smoothies flavorful

7. Kombucha

Kombucha is made from regular black or green tea and a bacterial culture, which transforms the tea into a fizzy probiotic-rich drink by means of fermentation. Probiotic enzymes are one of the by-products of the fermentation process, which help support the digestive process.

What to do:
• Kombucha can be found in most health food stores in various flavors.
• You can quite easily make your own kombucha at home. You can flavor your home made kombucha with different types of fruit and herbs.

8. Leafy greens

Leafy greens are a great source of insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion by allowing food to pass quicker through the digestive tract. Leafy greens also boost immune cells which play an essential role in protecting intestinal health. [8]

What to do:
• Leafy greens can be blended with apple or pineapple to enhance the flavor.
• Spinach always works well with eggs, especially poached

9. Apples

Apples are an excellent source of the soluble dietary fiber known as pectin. Apple juice is ineffective as a source of pectin as most of it is removed when the apples are juiced.

What to do:
• Add apple chunks to your morning oatmeal.
• Add grated apple to Greek yogurt
• Use apple chunks in fruit salad

10. Bananas

Bananas are soothing to the gastrointestinal tract due to the high soluble fiber content. Bananas contain compounds known as protease inhibitors which help eliminate harmful bacteria like H. Pylori, which can cause inflammation of the stomach lining.[9]

What to do:
• Bananas are a great addition to oatmeal.
• Give your plain Greek yogurt some flavor with some chopped banana
• Bananas are one of the best fruits for making smoothies and protein shakes.
Best Breakfast Foods For Digestive Health Infographic

Image Source: Paleo Hacks