Good digestive health is vital for our overall wellbeing and strengthening our immunity to illness and infections. So understanding what foods and drinks help or hinder our digestion can make you feel better in lots of ways.

Fibre

A diet rich in fibre or ‘roughage’ helps prevent constipation and lowers the risk of chronic diseases. For a healthy bowel, aim to eat 30g of fibre a day from a variety of foods such as: wholemeal bread, cereal, brown rice, fruit, vegetables, beans and oats. Take a look at our Tuscan Bean Casserole or Chilli Con Carne & Rice – for satisfying suppers, packed with fibre.

Some people find that the gluten in wheat can trigger bloating and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If this is your experience, try our Free From Gluten dishes such as Wild Mushroom & Butternut Risotto.

Liquids

It’s also important to drink enough liquids – around 1.5 litres (6-8) glasses a day, sipped little and often, helps prevent dehydration. This doesn’t have to just be water, and can include squash, fruit juice, tea and coffee. However, it’s best to opt for water more often than other drinks, particularly if you suffer from heartburn or IBS, which can be triggered by caffeine.

Rice

Some people find that non-gluten cereal grains, such as rice, are more easily digested. The starch, particularly in basmati rice, is slowly absorbed – providing a steady release of glucose into the blood for sustained energy. Rice is also used in natural medicine to treat and relieve digestive disorders such as mild diarrhoea and constipation.

Tuck into our medium spiced Beef Curry & Basmati Rice or Mini Fruity Chicken Curry – both served with basmati rice.

Pears and pineapple

Pears are very gentle on the gut and easily tolerated. They’re a source of the soluble fibre pectin and bioflavonoids which are powerful, protecting antioxidants. Pears also provide vitamin C and potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure. Include a little pineapple in your diet too, as it contains fibre and a certain type of enzyme that can improve digestion.

Treat yourself to our refreshing Fruit Salad that has pieces of tangy pineapple in it.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Prebiotics are nutrients which increase the numbers of probiotic bacteria in the gut. It’s these ‘good’ bacteria that support naturally occurring gut flora and the immune system. Prebiotics can be found in leeks, onions, wheat, garlic and artichokes. You’ll also find them in milk drinks and yogurts, as well as in a supplement form.

Vitamin B12

After the age of 50, your stomach produces less gastric acid. This can make it difficult to absorb vitamin B12, which is needed to keep red blood cells and nerves in top condition. Get the recommended daily intake of B12 by eating foods such as meat, fish, dairy and eggs, or ask your doctor about taking a vitamin supplement.

Why not start the day by dipping toasted bread soldiers into a soft-boiled egg. And for dinner, enjoy our Beef Lasagne or creamy Salmon Pasta Bake.

Herbal teas

Herbal teas are renowned for aiding digestion. Peppermint tea after a meal is good for preventing bloating and heartburn. Calming fennel and chamomile are said to help with IBS. And ginger tea may soothe upset stomachs and prevent nausea.

Of course, choosing the right kinds of foods is just the start for improving your digestive health. Eating regularly and at the right times of day – preferably not late at night when your gut is resting – helps too. Our wide range of perfectly prepared, high quality frozen ready meals, makes the cooking part simple, which gives you more time to sit, enjoy and digest your food properly. Why not look through our range now and see what takes your fancy? You’ll also see handy dietary symbols next to each dish, useful if you’re avoiding certain ingredients.