Those of us who have a sensitive stomach don’t really need anyone to diagnose it for us. Oh, we’re well aware of the cramps, weird-looking and downright painful bowel movements, and occasional nausea. Luckily, there are ways to work around this particular issue. We just have to watch what we eat.
Spicy, heavy food won’t do us any favors. What’s more, anything that’s too sugary, oily, or processed will make us feel as if we’re being tortured. And we can forget about everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure — fried foods and alcohol. Sensitive stomachs demand gentle treatment.
Best Food for a Sensitive Stomach — Our Top Contenders
So what’s the best food for a sensitive stomach? Well, it’s important to note that every stomach is unique. But our bullheaded tummies might have an easier time digesting these healthy, nutritious foods.
When it comes to food for a sensitive stomach, there’s no better bet than toast (but no butter!). It’s what our moms used to give us when we had a tummy ache as kids.
The toasting process breaks down some of the hard-to-digest ingredients of toast and makes those carbs easier on our stomachs. If you’re having a particularly difficult day, we recommend reducing your meal to a few slices of white bread toast. Of course, you can also go for the healthier version of whole-wheat toast, which will be more nutritious.
Wanting to start the day right and hit the ground running is a daily objective for many of us. What’s more, we don’t want to ruin our morning by upsetting our stomachs. That’s why a delicious and nutritious breakfast of oatmeal is an excellent choice.
Oatmeal is extremely gentle, and most stomachs won’t have an issue digesting it. It’s also full of fibers that boost digestion and whole grains that are an excellent source of energy. Pair the oatmeal with some berries that are not only delicious but also full of antioxidants, and you’ll have a breakfast that your stomach will digest like a champ.
3. White Rice
When it comes to sensitive stomachs, “healthier” doesn’t necessarily mean “better.” Whole-grain options aren’t always superior, especially when it comes to rice.
White rice has a lot of minerals such as iron and vitamins that will ease the digestion even further. Maybe even the best food for a sensitive stomach, white rice is best when it’s plain, but we recommend topping it with some steamed lean meat or vegetables.
4. Carrots and Celery
While on the topic of vegetables, if you’re craving some but are worried about how your stomach will handle it, cook some carrots and celery. We must eat them well-cooked because raw vegetables are not our stomachs’ friends.
Raw carrots can cause gas, irritable bowel, and nausea. Cooked carrots, on the other hand, are an excellent source of energy. The cooking process will break down the fiber in the vegetable, thus, making digestion easier.
5. Chicken and Turkey
The leanest of the proteins, chicken and turkey meat has a lot of minerals and vitamins. The most prominent one is vitamin B, which helps all our cells regenerate. What’s more, it also has a vital role in generating energy from nutrients.
Chicken and turkey meat, especially white meat, has no fiber. Therefore, even extra sensitive stomachs won’t have an issue digesting it. We recommend removing the skin before grilling, broiling, or baking the meat.
Bananas aren’t superfruit, but they come pretty close to that title. Sure, they have carbs, but they also have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and, most importantly, potassium. Those of us who have constipation or diarrhea know that the fluids and minerals bananas have are lifesavers.
7. Non-Fat Yogurt and Kefir
Fermented food like kefir is a probiotic. That means it contains live cultures that assist and boost the digestion process. The best food for a sensitive stomach is the one that will ease the existing pain and troubles. Yogurt does precisely that.
However, keep in mind that yogurts with a lot of sugar and fat in them won’t be as beneficial as the non-fat versions. Sugar will only exacerbate the issues we have because it’s the favorite food of the harmful bacteria that are wreaking havoc in our digestive tracts.
We all think of fruit as a healthy sugar alternative. But the truth is, fruit has a lot of fiber that might cause issues for people with sensitive stomachs. Now, having a high fiber intake isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if we’re ingesting good fiber such as pectin. Still, if we’re having a bad stomach day, it’s best to avoid too much fiber.
We can do that by cooking fruit before we eat it. Raw fruit and veggies can cause tummy aches, but cooked versions are easier to digest. Applesauce is a fantastic remedy for an upset stomach because it has folate, potassium, and sodium.
9. Ginger and Turmeric
Ginger is a well-known antioxidant, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it’s an excellent remedy for upset tummies. This spice can help with stomach discomfort, gas, cramps, nausea, and painful digestion. Putting fresh ginger in mint or camomile tea, or even making ginger tea will surely be helpful when you’re having digestive issues.
Similarly, turmeric can also ease inflammation. Thanks to curcumin, it’s a fantastic remedy for irritated tummies. Don’t try to chow it down on its own, as it tastes rather dreadful. Instead, add it to your meals or mince it into your tea.
Papaya can be a gift from heavens when it comes to tummy ache because it has a potent active ingredient papain. Papain can act like a little coach that will encourage our stomachs to digest food better and easier. If we’ve had a particularly hearty meal and ate a lot of meat (red meat, for example), eating papaya afterward can be quite helpful, as papain helps break down protein.
11. Sweet Potatoes
If we must ingest fiber, it’s best to eat foods with soluble fiber than insoluble. Sweet potatoes are rich in soluble fiber that’s much easier to break down. These yummy veggies also have a lot of good bacteria, so, much like yogurt, they boost the stomach’s natural bacteria and help it digest food.
A Few Parting Words
Sensitive stomachs are a pain to live with; there’s no doubt about it. However, as you can see, we don’t have to just roll over and take it. We can do something to ease our own pain and discomfort and only eat food for a sensitive stomach when we’re having issues. These foods will surely help with not only digestion but also our overall health, as they are both delicious and nutritious.
Keep in mind that these foods aren’t magical cure-all pills. What’s more, because every tummy is unique, some might not be as helpful to you as they are to others. So try them all out in small quantities to see which ones are the best fit for you.