While we’re lucky there are so many whole foods (like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, tubers, and animal proteins), that provide us with the nutrients that we need to thrive, and feel good in our bodies.
There are, however, certain foods that can be harder on the digestive system to process. Foods like leafy greens and raw vegetables contain a lot of something called “insoluble” fiber, which can be really tough for our gut to process in large amounts.
In this article, we’re going to be covering 5 nutrient-dense foods that are easy on our digestive system to process, which helps us get the most goodness out of them as possible.
Liver (from good quality sources like grass-fed, organic beef liver), is like nature’s multivitamin.
Liver is high in protein, bioavailable vitamin A, B vitamins, folate, and minerals like copper and iron. The iron specifically found in liver is something called “heme” iron, which is the most absorbable form of iron by the body.
You can enjoy liver as part of your nutrition, as a protein component of your meal. If you don’t, however, have the pallet for liver (as some people don’t!), you can find desiccated liver in capsule form (with is freeze-dried), and use that as an alternative.
Sardines are fatty fish that are, you guessed it, packed with essential nutrients.
These small fish are a great source of omega-three fatty acids, protein, calcium, B12, and vitamin D. These nutrients are important for hormone and cognitive health, to combat inflammation, support healthy bones, and
They’re also, fortunately, one species of fish that tends to be lower in mercury levels, compared to larger species, where there is more bioaccumulation of it.
Sardines are a great superfood to have on hand when you’re in a pinch for a healthy, well-rounded meal. You can stock up on a few tins of them, and have them alongside some veggies and crackers for a quick meal in a pinch.
Oysters are one of the ocean’s superfoods — they are a source of bioavailable protein, selenium, iron, B12, D, and an amazing source of zinc.
Great for energy, hormone support (especially the selenium for your thyroid!), bone health, immune support, digestive health, and more, oysters are a nutrient-dense food that could make a great staple in your life.
Oysters, like sardines mentioned above, are a great pantry item to have on hand, when you need a nutrient-dense, high-protein meal in a pinch. Grab a few tins next time you’re at the grocery store to have on hand!
Berries are small but mighty, boasting an impressive nutrient profile. Berries — blueberries, raspberries, haskap berries, strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, etc. — are chalked full of polyphenols, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and more.
They feed and support your gut bugs, support a healthy immune system, and protect against oxidative stressors.
Compared to their raw counterparts, cooked greens are not only jam-packed with nutrients, but is much easier on the digestive system.
These foods contain nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, and more.
Leafy greens, while great sources of nutrition, can be really tough on the digestive system. They contain insoluble fibers, which are indigestible by the digestive tract. They provide us with a lot of “roughage,” and can lead to common digestive symptoms like bloating, distention, and abdominal discomfort when eaten in excess.
Cooking greens (like spinach, dandelion greens, chard, kale, etc.), starts to breakdown these insoluble fibers, making it easier on the digestive tract to process. It can also increase the bioavailability of compounds like antioxidants and minerals like calcium.
Struggle to get through a salad without blowing up like a balloon? Sauté, steam, or roast them instead!
It’s great to aim for getting a diversity of whole foods in on a daily and weekly basis. That being said, loading up on a ton of raw veggies and leafy greens, as mentioned above, can lead to some tummy troubles!
Including the foods mentioned above on a weekly basis are a great way to get in some gut-supportive, easy-to-digest nutrients.
To learn more about how to make foods easier on your digestive tract (especially some of those that could be contributing to digestive issues!), check out this blog post.