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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nutrition for better digestion

Also called: Gastrointestinal diseases
When you eat, your body breaks food down to a form it can use to build and nourish cells and provide energy. This process is called digestion.
Your digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube. It runs from your mouth to your anus and includes your esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Your liver, gallbladder and pancreas are also involved. They produce juices to help digestion.
There are many types of digestive disorders. The symptoms vary widely depending on the problem. In general, you should see your doctor if you have:

  • Blood in your stool

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Heartburn not relieved by antacids
    Healthy Eating for the Digestive System:
    Our diets can contribute to digestive system difficulties.
    Avoid eating processed food and sugar, and eat plenty of fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Poor eating habits, such as eating too quickly or skipping meals, can also be part of the problem.
    Following are lists of healthy foods that may be incorporated into your diet. Some people with digestive system difficulties might find that they have problems after eating certain foods. Through a process of trial-and-error, you can find a variety of healthy foods to add to your diet.
    To maintain health and body weight, or to improve health and reduce weight the following food group intakes are recommended on a daily basis:
    FRUIT: Servings per day 6-11 (depending on gender and caloric intake)

  • Apples

  • Kiwi

  • Avocados

  • Mango

  • Bananas

  • Nectarines

  • Berries

  • Papaya

  • Canned fruits (canned in fruit juice or water)

  • Peaches

  • Cantaloupe

  • Pears

  • Grapes

  • Prunes

  • Honeydew Melon

  • Watermelon
    VEGETABLES: Servings per day 6-11 (depending on gender and caloric intake)

  • Asparagus

  • Peppers

  • Radishes

  • Potatoes

  • Beans (green, kidney, lima, navy, soybeans, yellow)

  • Beets

  • Broccoli

  • Rutabagas

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Sauerkraut

  • Cabbage

  • Scallions

  • Carrots

  • Spinach

  • Cauliflower

  • Squash

  • Corn

  • Tomatoes

  • Cucumbers

  • Turnips

  • Kohlrabi

  • Vegetable

  • Leeks

  • Zucchini

  • Mushrooms

  • Eggs

  • Onions

  • Peas

  • Dried peas, beans, and lentils
    MEATS & PROTEINS: Servings per day 6-11 (depending on gender and caloric intake)

  • Fish

  • Lean meats

  • Nuts

  • Peanut butter

  • Poultry

  • Seeds

  • Tofu
    GRAIN PRODUCTS: Servings per day 6-11 (depending on gender and caloric intake)

  • Multigrain breads, cereals and crackers

  • Rice (brown or wild)

  • Whole wheat pasta
    Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
    c Copyright 1995-2006 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved

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