Many of my patients complain of having sensitive stomachs and ask what they can do about it. Sometimes it is possible to discover the one thing that causes the problem and eliminate it from the diet, and the problem’s solved.
But what if you suffer from general discomfort with no known allergy or sensitivity? If you’ve had a test for allergies and sensitivities and come back clear, or only have minor issues, there are 5 foods here most people find easy to digest.
(Note: If you have a known food allergy or sensitivity, please avoid these options.)
5 Foods That Are Easy on Sensitive Stomachs
1) Low-fructan fruits
It has been known for a while now that fructose, found in many foodstuffs, particularly honey and fruits such as apples, cherries, pears, and peaches, can cause gastrointestinal problems. While fructose is usually absorbed in the small intestine, many people are intolerant to this sugar, so some passes through to the colon where bacteria ferment the fructose. This results in painful gas.
While it can be tempting to exclude fruit from your diet altogether, they contain vital vitamins and minerals you don’t want to miss out on. Here are some of the best fruits to eat if you have a sensitive stomach:
Avocados are a wonderful source of nutrients and antioxidants, but they also contribute to the health of our gut. An average avocado contains almost half an adult’s daily recommended intake of fiber, which is essential for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Avocados are also rich in magnesium which helps reduce the levels of acid in the stomach, reduces sensitivity, and relieves heartburn and stomach upset.
3) Fermented foods
If you’re sensitive to dairy, fermented foods are a great alternative to ensure you get beneficial probiotics. These probiotics help balance the gut so you’re less likely to experience symptoms like bloating and indigestion.
Some of the best fermented foods to include are:
4) Lean protein
Protein is vital for a healthy body. Proteins help build and repair muscle and bones and enable the body to make hormones and enzymes. But protein is not always easy to digest, so you should opt for lean protein options whenever you can. Lean protein sources include:
Salmon and tuna
Lean beef (10% or less)
In many ways, eggs are the perfect food. They are cheap and easy to obtain, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and come in individually wrapped portions! Culinarily speaking, they are extremely versatile and can be prepared in a huge number of ways, both savory and sweet.
In addition, cooked eggs are easily digested, particularly compared to many other forms of protein. When suffering from acute diarrhea, many people find eggs are a more bearable source of protein than fried meat, beans, or nuts.
Eggs are also thought to raise the levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the effects of aging in the eyes, and contain all the essential amino acids in the correct ratios.
Note: If you have a known food allergy or sensitivity, please avoid these options.
Dr. Nancy Rahnama, MD, ABOM, ABIM, is a medical doctor board certified by both the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her specialty is Clinical Nutrition, that is, the use of nutrition by a medical doctor to diagnose and treat disease. Dr. Rahnama has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of weight loss, gut health, improved mood and sleep, and managing chronic disease.