by Melissa Chichester
They’re in sports drinks, skin creams, yogurt, supplements, and so much more. You might see probiotics for gut health so often that it might make you wonder: what else is for digestive health?
Well, there are many important nutrients that you can get from your diet to support digestion. Some of these are available as supplements.
Here are 5 other nutrients that can help support digestive health.
Papaya is best known as delicious tropical fruit. When you’re blending it up into a smoothie or enjoying papaya on its own, you may not know that it contains a digestive enzyme called papain.
Papain is a proteolytic enzyme and is used as a meat tenderizer because it breaks down protein.
Puritan’s Pride Papaya Enzyme contains papain and is a useful post-meal supplement and digestive aid.**
Pineapple is a beloved fruit all over the world for its vibrantly sweet flavor profile and its versatility. The fruit is thought to be native to Brazil; however, it has since been cultivated all over the world.
Pineapple also contains a digestive enzyme in its stem called bromelain, which can also be used as a meat tenderizer.
Bromelain helps digest protein in the gastrointestinal tract.** This helps make nutrients available for the body’s energy needs, cell growth, and other vital functions.**
Production of some digestive enzymes may decrease with age, including lactase. Before eating foods that contain lactose, consider a lactase enzyme to help with digestion.** Lactase is a digestive enzyme that helps break down the sugar in milk and dairy products.**
Supplementing with Lactase Enzyme can make milk more readily digestible to your system.**
Ginger root is an ancient spice used all over the world for health and wellness and in cooking. Because of its unique flavor profile, it is used in spicy, sweet, and savory cuisines.
There are many ways to enjoy ginger:
Ginger has been part of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic health practices for centuries.** It supports a healthy digestive system and can be used for occasional nausea.**
Fiber is an important nutrient in human health. It adds bulk to the digestive system to keep waste moving regularly and supports heart health.** Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for digestion that helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.**
It is preferable to get your daily fiber in a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, psyllium husks are a supplemental source of dietary fiber. They also support digestive and colon health.**
The best way to support digestion is by incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet and by drinking enough water. When choosing to add supplements, always discuss them with your doctor first.