When you have digestion problems, you may find yourself experiencing painful symptoms. A big part of preventing these problems, though, is to find foods that digest easily. Here's how to get started.

1. Switch everything to whole grains. This includes cereal (granola and oatmeal), rice, and bread, all of which are available wherever you buy groceries. Rice, which can be white, brown, red, purple, or black, is considered one of the most easily digested grains.[1]

2. Look for foods with high water content. In other words, eat more fruit and drink more fruit juices and nectars. Apples, oranges, raspberries, and peaches work well because they are also high in fiber, which helps you go to the bathroom.

3. Combine foods at mealtime or for snacks. Every food differs in terms of digestive pHs, digestive rates, and enzymes required for digestion. Don't mix starches and proteins. And let these, along with fats, constitute the small portion of your meal, whereas vegetables, salads, and fruits should comprise the bulk of the meal. This means balancing an 8-ounce steak with a heaping of spinach salad-but saving the roasted potatoes for another time.

4. Consume fluids continuously. Although drinking lots of liquids won't help you get to the bathroom, not doing so can lead to dehydration, which is a cause of constipation. Water is always a solid choice, but try fruit nectar drinks from Brazil Gourmet and Dimes. Make sure to stay away from alcohol and caffeine.

5. Eat and drink stuff that relaxes you. The intestines react poorly to stress.[2] Foods with a calming effect include herbal teas, like chamomile. But don't add any table sugar; refined carbohydrates make you jittery. And here it's important to remember the golden rule concerning food digestion: eat well-balanced meals at regular times. You'll get a balance of nutrients in a stress-free environment.



[1] www.wholegrainscouncil.org

[2] www.whfoods.com