13 Gut-Healthy Foods
Put them on your list, toss them in your cart—and ease bloating, gas, constipation and other digestive issues.
Strawberries and raspberries can help keep your stomach from feeling like a balloon, because they're low on the list of gas-producing foods containing FODMAPs. The acronym stands for "fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides-, monosaccharides and polyols"—and, foods with minimal amounts shouldn't make you feel bloated.
Sip a cup of the herbal tea before bed, and you should drift off to dreamland with a happy stomach. In addition to having sleep-inducing benefits, turns out chamomile has been found to help alleviate indigestion; the herb may have a sedating effect on the digestive tract, suggests one study .
Bok Choy, Fennel and Other Veggies
While bok choy is technically a member of the cruciferous vegetable (aka cabbage) family, the hearty green won't make you feel uncomfortably stuffed in the way some other cabbage can (savoy cabbage, for instance, is a high-FODMAP food, while bok choy is a low-FODMAP one). Other low-FODMAP veggies you may not already be eating include fennel and spaghetti squash.
This root has a reputation for being able to reduce nausea and vomiting, and it also appears to relax the digestive tract, so food can move through comfortably without getting backed up. Ginger candies can soothe your gut too—though you'll want to opt for the soft, chewable kinds, since sucking on hard candy may result in you swallowing extra air.
In a small study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, participants who ate oatmeal daily for just one week saw growth of good bacteria in the gut. The research found that oats may have prebiotic properties, meaning they feed the beneficial microorganisms in the digestive tract.
Pickles and Other Fermented Foods
Yogurt may be the best-known source of probiotics—the friendly live bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut—but there are dozens more that also help displace bad bacteria in the gut. Among them are fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and many pickles.