The 5 Best Fruits For Improving Digestion

Buy all fruits and vegetables organically grown, if you can. Fresh is preferred, but frozen will do when fresh is unavailable.

The philosophy and practice of natural colon cleansing can be dated back to ancient Greece. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said more than 2000 years ago that, “death sits in the bowels and bad digestion is the root of all evil.” Simply stated, death begins in the colon.” Hippocrates regarded the colon as the life-center of the body and one of its most important organs. Today more than ever, we need to revisit such sage advice and focus more or our attention toward digestive health. This begins with the food we eat. Here are 5 of the best fruits for improving digestion and digestive health.

1. RASPBERRY

Just 1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries contains 8 grams of fiber, that’s about 1/3 of the recommended amount of fiber we should be consuming each and every day. Raspberries are also low in sugar and contain a proportionately high level of beneficial antioxidants. See also: The Truth About Ellagic Acid and Red Raspberries.

The recommended intake for total fiber for adults 50 years and younger is set at 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women, while for men and women over 50 it is 30 and 21 grams per day, respectively, due to decreased food consumption – National Academy of Sciences 

A 2001 study evaluated the effects of dietary black raspberries and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory bioactivities on ulcerative colitis. The study indicated that raspberry treatment for 7 days suppressed inflammatory tissue levels, including the development of tumors as well as protection for colonic injury. Therefore, it was concluded that raspberries may protect and help heal the colon in those who suffer from ulcerative colitis.

Raspberries may help to fight disease, support overall digestive tract health, as well as support healthy bowel movements.

2. APPLE

‘‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” This Welsh proverb from the 1860’s, and the impetus for the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, is as applicable today as it was 150 years ago.

Apples, as well as berries and oranges, contain a soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin as well as other types of soluble fiber, increase the viscosity and volume of our poop. This makes soluble fiber a supportive agent for those with either constipation or diarrhea. Increased fiber, especially from fruit and vegetables, can also reduce the risk for the development of hemorrhoids and polyp growth in the large intestine. Additionally, a diet rich in soluble fiber will support those of us who would like to lose a little weight, and it’s also been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol.

My personal recommendation is to eat either the Granny Smith or Red Delicious variety.

A ‘sad fact’ brought to you by Janssen Pharmaceutica: Until 2002,  the soluble fiber, pectin was one of the main ingredients used in Kaopectate, an OTC medication used to treat diarrhea. The main active ingredient now is Loperamide. Loperamide works similarly to morphine, decreasing the activity of the intestinal nerve plexus (branching network of nerves).

Loperamide was first synthesized by Janssen Pharmaceutica in Belgium (1969), following their previous discoveries of Diocalm, an opioid treatment for diarrhea (1956) and fentanyl, a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication (1960).

Fentanyl, the drug that killed singer Prince, is 50-100 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl is so potent that an amount the size of three grains of sugar can be lethal to an adult. Learn more here – Fentanyl Death Toll Rising

3. Date and Fig

Both dates and figs contain a specific type of dietary fiber known as, prebiotic. Prebiotics act as a food source for the good bacteria in our large intestine. Prebiotic is a fiber, but not all dietary fiber is prebiotic.

Some health benefits associated with prebiotic intake includes modulation of gut bacteria (probiotic) growth and diversity, improved absorption of minerals, improved blood sugar and insulin profiles, protection against intestinal infections, possible reduction in the progress of some inflammatory bowel conditions, and possible protection against colon cancer.

Try adding chopped dates or figs to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, or just eat them raw!

4. AVOCADO

Avocado is one of my all-time favorite fruits and foods. I’ve eaten it many different ways and almost daily for over 4 decades. Avocado is a fruit, a healthy fat, and a supportive food for the adrenal gland (stress management), nervous system, digestive tract, and heart. Like dates and figs, avocado can be added to salads, sandwiches, smoothies, or eaten raw with a little sea salt and black pepper.

Hass avocado composition and potential health effects.

Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008.

5. BANANA

Not only does banana contain fiber, about 3-4 grams of fiber per banana, but also contains the soluble fiber pectin. As well as the benefits listed in the apple section above, pectin has also been shown to help decrease and heal stomach ulcers. I’ve studied this research and I’ve used it. It does translate to humans.

Bonus. PRUNE There was so much stigma associated with prunes that the plum growers fought for and won permission to change the labeling of  “prunes” to “dried plums.” Whether it’s a prune or a dried plum, it will still help you or your grandma go poop. Prunes are one of the most well-known digestive friendly fruits there is. Prunes promote both a healthy intestinal tract and bowel movements. Prunes do this by providing an ample supply of prebiotic, water-soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, magnesium salts, and a sugar called sorbitol. These compounds  help the body eliminate waste, reduce inflammation, add bulk and moisture to the stool, as well as  promote the movement of stool through the intestines, called peristalsis.

CONCLUSION The bottom line here is simple, add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. If you are experiencing any issue with your digestive system and need some help figuring it out, please give me a call. This is more than 50% of my practice and an area of expertise for me.

Marcus Ettinger

Medical Detective & Digestion Coach at Advanced Healing Center of Orange
If you would like a personalised solution for your health challenge, either in-office or as a distance patient, please call us at 714-639-4360 for more information.