If you have gastrointestinal issues, such as gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, or malabsorption syndrome, it's critical to eat foods that are easy to digest to avoid discomfort and help settle your digestive tract.
The best easy-to-digest foods include the following:
- Low-fiber grains:
- Carbohydrate-containing foods are among the easiest to digest. However, grains with more than two grams of fiber per serving should be avoided.
- High fiber content can contribute to digestive system issues.
- You can safely consume white rice and wheat.
- Lean protein:
- Fruit and fruit juice:
- Although most fruits cause no problems, citrus fruits and fruit juices can often cause heartburn.
- Some fruit juices contain sorbitol, a type of sugar that can cause diarrhea.
- Limit yourself to half- to one-cup servings of fruit juice per day to obtain the health benefits and lower digestive system issues.
- Well-cooked green leafy vegetables:
- Raw vegetables are more difficult to digest than well-cooked vegetables. Instead, make sure to eat two or more half-cup cooked vegetable servings per day.
- You can sauté spinach and lettuce and have them with meals.
- Fermented foods:
- Fermented foods are excellent for digestion because they contain probiotics that introduce beneficial bacteria into the gut and help fortify the intestinal lining.
- Fermented foods can include yogurt, curd, and kefir, and lower-lactose dairy products.
60 examples of easy-to-digest foods
- Whole grains
- White bread
- White flour
- White rice
- Fruit nectars
- Asparagus tips
- Green beans
- Toast (made of white bread) with butter
- Saltine and plain crackers
- Soups and stews
- Bone broth
- Cooked or canned fruits
- Sweet potatoes
- Boiled potatoes
- Boiled chicken
- Soft cheese
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil
- Fennel seeds
- Pickles and fermented vegetables
- Dairy-free yogurt
- Water kefir
- Crab and imitation crab
- Lean cuts of fish
- Skinless poultry or ham
- Canned tuna
- Low-fat hot dogs
What is gastritis?
Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining becomes red and swollen due to various factors. The stomach lining produces acid and enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food into nutrients. By secreting mucus, the lining protects itself from acid damage.
- In gastritis, a common condition with numerous causes, the lining becomes inflamed and produces less acid, enzymes, and mucus.
- Gastritis is usually not serious in most people and improves quickly if treated. However, if left untreated, it can last for years.
- People with gastritis frequently complain of severe, excruciating, and intense stomach pain, which is often described as burning or nagging.
- People may experience an uneasy feeling in their upper stomach since gastritis pain is typically felt in the mid-upper abdomen, just below the breastbone and above the navel.
Aside from pain and discomfort, people report the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach bloating
- Burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material
- Black, tarry stools
- Severe hiccups
People with severe gastritis may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, or an inability to tolerate any foods or liquids by mouth, in addition to a high-grade fever. Severe gastritis necessitates prompt medical attention.
What is gastroesophageal reflux disorder?
The lower esophageal sphincter is a muscle that regulates the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach. This muscle does not always close completely, allowing acid from the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. This abnormal condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux.
Symptoms of GERD may include:
- Heartburn (pain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feels like having a heart attack, which is the most common symptom of GERD)
- Sore throat
- Hoarseness of voice
- Bad taste in the mouth
When these symptoms become recurrent and severe, they are referred to as GERD, which can be caused by one of three conditions:
- Poor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus
- Too much acid in the stomach
- Delayed stomach emptying
Foods that are easier to digest can help manage various medical conditions, such as:
- Bowel-related disorders
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Digestion Issues? Try These 12 Easy-to-Digest Foods: https://efm.net.au/digestion-issues-try-these-12-easy-to-digest-foods/
5 Foods to Improve Your Digestion: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-foods-to-improve-your-digestion
Foods That Fight GERD: https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/ss/slideshow-foods-fight-gerd
8 Best Natural Remedies for Gastritis: https://foodnhealth.org/best-natural-remedies-for-gastritis/
Top Which Foods Are the Easiest to Digest Related Articles
Best Natural Treatments For GastritisGastritis is a condition in which the lining of the stomach gets red and swollen (inflamed) due to various causes. The lining of the stomach makes acid and enzymes that help break down food to nutrients.
What Is Gastritis? Symptoms, Treatment, and DietGastritis (acute and chronic) is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach Some people have no gastritis symptoms, but when they do occur they may include bloating, belching, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. H. pylori infection and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the two main causes of gastritis. Alcohol, caffeine, and high-fat foods also can cause gastritis. Fried, fatty, and spicy foods, and alcohol aggravate gastritis symptoms. Other stomach lining irritants that aggravate symptoms include cigarette smoking, acidic juices, caffeine, tomato products, peppers, and chili powder. Foods that sooth gastritis symptoms, and that help reduce and stop H. pylori infection growth in the stomach include apples, onions, garlic, teas, green leafy vegetables, coconut water, and wheat bran. Gastritis is diagnosed with endoscopy, blood tests, or stool tests. Some people get relief from gastritis symptoms with prescription and non-prescription antacids, histamine blockers like famotidine (Pepcid AC) or ranitidine (Zantac 75), or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like omeprazole (Prilosec) and esomeprazole (Nexium). These drugs will not cure gastritis. Complications of gastritis include gastric cancers, MALT lymphoma, renal problems, and death.
GERD PictureThe stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by stomach acid and enzymes. See a picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) and learn more about the health topic.
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are:
- regurgitation, and
GERD QuizWho is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about it.
Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include chest pain, burning in the throat, difficulty swallowing, the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and a burning feeling in the chest.
Causes of heartburn include dietary habits, lifestyle habits, and medical causes.
Treatments for heartburn include lifestyle changes, OTC medication,prescription medication, and surgery.
Acid Reflux (Heartburn, GERD): Symptoms & RemediesHeartburn is a symptom of acid reflux that causes chest pain when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Heartburn symptoms may mimic chest pain that occurs during a heart attack. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may produce other symptoms.
Heartburn vs. Acid Reflux (Differences and Similarities)
Heartburn and acid reflux are not the same thing. Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux. Heartburn gets its name because it feels like a burning sensation around the heart. Another symptom that occurs with heartburn is a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, usually when you eat or lye down. Heartburn affects more than 60 million people in the US at least once a month. Acid reflux, or GERD, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, which irritates it. Heartburn is just one symptom of acid reflux. Other symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Nausea after eating
- A feeling of fullness during or after eating
- Abdominal bloating
- Upset stomach
- Reflux laryngitis
- A tightness in the throat
- Problems swallowing
- In some people, vomiting
Causes of acid reflux and heartburn include:
- Being obese
- Slouching (poor posture)
- Medications like calcium channel blockers, theophylline, nitrates, and antihistamines
- Foods and drinks like caffeine, citrus fruits and vegetables, alcohol, and chocolate
- Increase in stomach acid
- Eating a heavy meal
- Eating before bed
The treatment for heartburn and acid reflux is to treat the underlying cause, for example, GERD, with over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, prescription medicine, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes like a eating a healthy, less fatty, spicy diet, not eating big meals, not eating before bed, and getting regular exercise to improve your posture.
Sometimes a heart attack can mimic heartburn and acid reflux because they feel very similar. If you have symptoms of chest pain, tightness in the chest, heartburn, acid reflux, jaw, tooth, or head pain; shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, discomfort in the upper middle of the abdomen, arm or upper back pain, or the general feeling of being ill, go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately because these are the symptoms of a heart attack.
American College of Gastroenterology. "Acid Reflux." 2017.
familydoctor.org. "Heartburn." Updated: Mar 2014.
National Library of Medicine; PubMed Health. "Heartburn and GERD: Treatment options for GERD." Updated: Nov 18, 2015.
How Do You Know if You Have Malabsorption?What is malabsorption and what causes it? Learn the signs and symptoms, causes of malabsorption and what to do about it with treatment.
IBS SlideshowWhat is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Learn about symptoms, causes, and foods that trigger IBS. Get lifestyle tips for managing IBS through diet and with IBS medications.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a GI (gastrointestinal) disorder with signs and symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating, increased gas (flatulence), abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and food intolerance.Two new tests are now available that may help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and constipation (IBS-M) irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Treatment for IBS includes diet changes, medications, and other lifestyle changes to manage symptoms.
IBS Triggers (Prevention)Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional disease that can affect the quality of those who suffer from this condition. People with IBS can make lifestyle changes that may modify or control the number and severity of episodes. Certain foods, medications, and hormone levels may trigger IBS episodes, for example fatty foods, dairy products, eating foods in large quantities, foods that contain high levels of sorbitol, foods that produce intestinal gas (broccoli, onions, cabbage, and beans), chocolate, caffeine, physiological stress, some antibiotics, some antidepressants, medicine with sorbitol, and menstrual pain. Exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes can decrease IBS flares, and prevent the number and severity of IBS episodes of diarrhea and constipation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) QuizWhat are symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Take this quiz and get quick facts on causes and treatment options for this common and uncomfortable digestive disorder.
What Can You Eat When You Have Gastritis?What is gastritis and how can you treat it? Learn what causes gastritis, what foods you can eat with gastritis, and how you can find relief for gastritis.
What Does Gastritis Feel Like?Usually, individuals with gastritis complain of episodes of gnawing, piercing pain in the stomach. This pain may either worsen or get better when eating or vomiting. People with gastritis may have uncomfortable feelings in their upper stomach just below the breastbone and above the belly button.