Best, worst foods for your digestive system

WASHINGTON – Not all foods are digested equally. Some, like those high in fat, are hard to break down and can easily upset any stomach. Fortunately, there are healthy and tasty options that can help your digestive system stay on track.

First for the bad news. Fried food is nothing but trouble, says It can result in acid reflux and heartburn, and also worsen systems for people with irritable bowl syndrome.

Chili peppers can also cause heartburn and irritate bowels. Dairy and alcohol are equally high in the upset stomach department, especially if you are lactose intolerant or experience acid reflux. Drinking can inflame the stomach and prevent nutrients from being absorbed.

Other culprits include: berries, chocolate, coffee, tea, soft drinks and corn. These guys are all hard to break down, despite their delicious nature.

Now for the good news.

Yogurt contains trillion of healthy bacteria that help digest food and replenish the gastrointestinal tract.

Kimchi, the go-to Korean staple, is a zesty mix of cabbage, radish or onion along with lots of spice. Cabbage just happens to be great for the colon, as well. Sauerkraut is helpful for the same reason.

For the best possible option, stick with lean meat and fish. They break down more easily than steak and contain less calories.

Also, stick to whole grains like whole wheat bread, oats and brown rice for a good dose of fiber. It keeps you full longer and puts those carbs to work in a good way, providing tons of energy to last throughout the day.

For people with abnormal bowel function, try bananas. They restore electrolytes and potassium to get your system back on track.

Finally, throw some ginger into your diet. It’s a great way to cure nausea, vomiting and motion sickness. But watch out. Too much ginger can lead to heartburn, so consume it in moderation.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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