It is no secret that the foods we eat greatly influence the health of the digestive system. To sustain nutrient breakdown, absorption, and elimination, your diet needs to be rich in fibers, enzymes, and other essential compounds. In this article, we will discuss four fruits whose content is beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract.
Fruits that Promote Digestion
Fruits have been the staples of a healthy diet for millennia as they can soothe hunger and nourish the body. But did you know that some varieties are beneficial for digestion as well?
Here are four fruits that you should include in your diet to support regular bowel movements.
Bananas are notorious for being a healthy source of dietary fiber, which grants them many digestive benefits. One single fruit consists of 70% insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to food and helps it pass through the gastrointestinal tract smoothly.
Bananas prevent constipation and reduce inflammation at the level of the stomach and bowels.
The other 30% percent of a banana’s composition is made of soluble fiber, which is also essential for the digestive health. When the fiber mixes with the fluids in the stomach, it becomes a gel, lubricating the intestinal walls and delaying the absorption of carbs and fats.
This keeps blood sugar levels within healthy ranges, which is good for our overall wellbeing.
In addition, bananas contain potassium, which sustains the smooth movement of the muscles in the digestive system. One large fruit provides roughly 500 milligrams of potassium out of the total 4,700 milligrams required daily.
Therefore, the benefits of bananas go far beyond their high fiber content.
The digestive benefits of apples stem from their content of a type of soluble fiber called pectin. This compound can be found in the cell walls of plants and binds cells together. It draws off water and other liquids from the stomach to form a gel.
This promotes the heathy breakdown of foods and maintains the feeling of satiety for longer.
For this reason, apples are also a good food choice for those who are on a weight loss diet. What’s more, consuming unpeeled apples brings insoluble fiber to your diet via the skin of the fruit.
This type of insoluble fiber is called cellulose, which might sound familiar if you know what paper is made of.
Thanks to cellulose, your stool will bulk up and pass more easily thus offering you constipation relief and preventing other intestinal ailments.
However, for the full benefits, you will also need to increase your water intake. If you consume dietary fiber without proper hydration, you might achieve the opposite result.
No discussion on gut-friendly fruits would be complete without guava. This delicious tropical fruit has many health benefits, like boosting immunity, sustaining heart health, improving eyesight, and lowering the risk of serious disease like cancer or diabetes.
When it comes to the gastrointestinal tract, guava is amazing at fighting constipation.
One single guava contains as much as 12% of a person’s recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. What’s more, guava seeds have laxative properties as they prompt vigorous bowel movements.
Therefore, consuming the fruit whole, seeds and all, is a great way to facilitate the digestion of meals and elimination of waste.
Papaya is a delicious fruit native to Mexico that makes a great addition to any smoothie or fruit salad.
Its healing properties extend to a variety of bodily functions and systems, but perhaps the most notable one is linked to the gastrointestinal tract and its processes.
The consistent consumption of this fruit relieves constipation and regulates intestinal transit.
Unlike the other fruits on our list, papaya’s top benefit is due to an enzyme known as papain. This compound, which facilitates food breakdown, is also used to tenderize meat by the food industry.
In addition, the tropical fruit is rich in fiber and has a high water content, which further adds to its many benefits.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to a healthy gastrointestinal tract and encouraging bowel movement, nothing quite beats the benefits of fiber.
Add enzymes and minerals to the mix, and your digestion will improve tremendously. The four fruits mentioned above are all equally good choices for your gut health, so have your pick.