Alan Tyson, physical therapist and owner of Architech Sports, recently wrote about the best foods for our bellies. There are seven. I was surprised by the last one! Add these to your shopping list and try to include them in daily meals.
1. High-Fiber and Antioxidant-Rich Vegetables
All veggies are good for you. They are high in vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants,
and fiber and are generally low in calories and low in fat. But certain varieties do contain “FODMAPs”, or rapidly fermentable carbohydrates that can aggravate your gut, that are difficult for some people to digest. Some suggest focusing only on low-FODMAP veggies, especially those rich in anti- inflammatory magnesium and other important minerals. Found in: leafy green veggies (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes.
2. Tummy-Trimming Fruits
Many sweet fruits have a balanced glucose-to-fructose ratio, which may be easier on your gut than those with more fructose. Found in: bananas and blueberries, cantaloupe and honeydew, grapes, oranges, pineapple, papayas, strawberries, raspberries.
3. Carb-light Grains
Almost all grains are carb-dense and therefore may be bad for your tummy. Many, like wheat, are also high in FODMAPs. But since grains are such powerful (and delicious) sources of fiber, we included those that are high-fiber, low-FODMAP, and relatively carb-light. Found in: quinoa, oats, brown rice.
4. Nuts, Seeds, Nut Butters
Nuts and seeds are great sources of energizing protein, low-fermentable (read: bellysoothing) fiber, and anti-inflammatory fats. But some nuts contain FODMAPs, so stick to this list. Nut butters made from these are also great options. Found in: almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.
5. Lean Protein
Naturally carb-light, protein usually doesn’t cause digestion issues. But choose lean sources, since many are high in saturated fat, which can trigger inflammation. Found in: eggs, fish, lean cuts of beef, pork, skinless poultry, seafood, tofu, and tempeh.