Luckily, combating indigestion and stomach pain is often just as simple as giving our stomach a break by eating foods easy on the stomach.
What Causes an Upset Stomach?
First, it’s essential to understand what causes an upset stomach, indigestion and stomach pain. The root cause of indigestion is often dietary. Poor diet habits from excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, excessive fast eating and overly fatty, spicy or acidic foods can all contribute to an upset stomach.
Diet is not the only thing that can cause stomach pain or an upset stomach. Stress or anxiety and taking certain medications such as aspirin on an empty stomach can also cause indigestion.
Indigestion can also be caused by problems in your digestive tract from underlying conditions such as gastritis, H. Pylori infection, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or even stomach cancer. All such conditions could explain indigestion that is unrelated to poor dietary habits, mental conditions or medications.
Improving your diet is an invaluable first step to easing an upset stomach and avoiding stomach pain. Another solid first step is understanding and incorporating more fiber.
The Difference between Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Dietary fiber is more than a buzzword for nutrition nuts; it’s one of the first steps to creating a diet that makes your food easy to digest. Fiber is the part of plant foods that does not get fully digested by your body but rather passes through your digestive tract.
Fiber is further divided into soluble and insoluble fiber, where soluble dissolves in water and insoluble does not. These types of fiber serve different purposes within the body but are equally important for making food easy to digest and fostering a healthy digestive tract.
Soluble fiber improves your digestive system by dissolving into a gel in water. It also reduces blood cholesterol and sugar and reduces your risk for diabetes.
Insoluble fiber draws water into your stool to make it softer, letting it pass more easily through your digestive tract. It also carries the same benefits to your general health and cholesterol as soluble fiber.
Incorporating these types of fiber into your diet will make your food easy to digest and improve your health by helping to control body weight, lower the risk for colon and breast cancer and help combat hypertension and regulate bowel movements.
Are Spicy Foods Easy on the Stomach?
Spicy foods, while often delicious, are not easy on your stomach. Spicy foods indeed affect everyone’s stomach differently; everyone has a different spice tolerance, which often translates into how easy spicy food is on your stomach. However, even if you are not significantly affected by spicy foods, it still will not be easy on your stomach.
Spicy foods stimulate your digestive system. If you’re already experiencing digestive issues like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, eating spicy foods can worsen your digestive issues. Instead, on a sick stomach, you should stick to more bland foods which will be easy to digest.
Are Fried Foods Easy on the Stomach?
Unfortunately, fried foods are even worse than spicy foods on your stomach since they can sometimes pass through your body before it has a chance to digest them. This process will either cause diarrhea or make you feel bloated as the undigested food will sit in your digestive system for longer than usual.
Fried foods are also generally bad for your stomach and digestive system since they are commonly low in fiber. As a result, much like spicy food, when you have an upset stomach or indigestion, the best policy is to hold off on eating fried foods for a while since they will slow down your digestive system.
What Foods Are Easy on the Stomach?
Now that we’ve covered some of the common causes of indigestion and foods to avoid, let’s explore some options for dinners easy on the stomach by looking at foods easy on your stomach and what food is good for your stomach.
#1: Cooked Vegetables
Cooked vegetables are a great, easy-on-the-stomach choice for dinners that will be easy to digest. Cooked vegetables are an excellent source of fiber that can aid the digestive process. By eating more dinners with cooked vegetables, your stomach will thank you by performing its digestive tasks more efficiently.
#2: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another great example of foods easy on your stomach that can help your indigestion. Like cooked vegetables, sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber which will be easy to digest and keep your stomach happy and healthy. Eating sweet potatoes will also help foster more good bacteria in your stomach.
#3: White Rice
Despite sometimes being considered less healthy than its brown counterpart, white rice is easy on the stomach and digestive system. While all rice can provide beneficial protein and calories, brown rice is so high in fiber that it can harm your digestive system, leading to bloating, diarrhea and gas. Instead, white rice is easier on your stomach, providing many of the same benefits as brown rice while being easy to digest.
#4: Very Ripe Bananas
Bananas are also very good for your digestion and easy on your stomach. Very ripe bananas, in particular, can be a great source of fiber. The ripening process helps break down the fiber and makes it easy for your stomach to digest. Additionally, bananas can provide extra fluid to your digestive tract, which can help you deal with diarrhea and constipation. However, for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bananas should be eaten with caution as they may trigger bloating and cramping, among other symptoms.
#5: Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are a great food to eat on a sick stomach that is very easy to digest. Eggs are very nutritious, providing a wide range of nutrition. They are also very easy to digest, making them ideal for those suffering from nausea or a sick stomach.
#6: Low-Fat Yogurt
Low-fat yogurt is an exceptional food for your stomach. By eating low-fat yogurt, you help introduce live culture bacteria that develop the gut microbiota. This process helps your stomach become healthier and digest food better. You should focus on low-fat yogurt since it’s also a great source of protein.
A Parting Reminder
Foods that are easy on your stomach are often high in fiber or those that don’t overstimulate your digestive system. You can also incorporate foods that help develop your stomach’s good bacteria to improve your stomach health. By carefully watching your diet, you can help your stomach avoid indigestion and stomach pain and improve your digestive tract. So, the next time your stomach is feeling queasy, consider eating some of the easy foods on your stomach.