The Best Therapeutic Foods for Digestion: A Comprehensive List

May 4, 2020

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Last updated on April 12th, 2023 at 10:42 am

Digestion is a huge part of wellness and health, but sadly it doesn’t get the attention it should.  In reality, your health and wellness hinge on how well you digest and absorb food.  Of course, there is no need to panic, and so many therapeutic foods for digestion can support good health.  Follow along and learn about the beauty and power of whole real foods for good digestion.

You are not only what you eat but also what you absorb.  When your digestion isn’t functioning as it should, you won’t be able to assimilate all the essential nutrients your body needs to thrive – this is a fact.  Therefore it is important to intentionally add all the foods for good digestion into your diet.

Every cell that makes up every tissue that makes up every organ depends on the body’s digestive system to provide the nutrients it needs to keep functioning optimally.

I have written a couple of other posts about digestion, “Why Stomach Acid Is Good For You and How to Support it Naturally” (based on this phenomenal book we had to read in Nutritional Therapy School) and “Simple Steps To Improve Digestion Naturally.” First, start with these two posts to understand better why digestion matters.  Afterward, come back to this post to see what specific foods for digestion you need to incorporate into your diet to support your digestive system.

I love that you can use specific foods as medicine for particular issues – natural foods are so unique, aren’t they?

The best therapeutic foods for digestion


Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic, anti-inflammatory enzyme.  In short, it is helpful in the small intestine and pancreatic dysfunction.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a high acid content that helps digest proteins in the stomach by lowering stomach pH.


Beets contain high levels of folate and manganese that support gallbladder function.

Cabbage (Juice)

Cabbage juice contains Vitamin U, an ulcer remedy―for stomach and duodenum ulcers.  Also, the abundance of sulfur content helps kill parasites.


Papaya contains the enzyme papain (especially underripe papaya and its seeds), which helps digest protein, resolve mucus, and has strong vermicidal action – killing parasites.

foods for digestion


Garlic contains allicin, which is anti-parasitic.  We love eating roasted garlic with dinner or pickled garlic for a snack most days.


Radish contains a high content of sulfur, which helps remove deposits and stones from the gallbladder by improving bile flow.  Furthermore, the high vitamin C content can calm gastric discomfort and act as a laxative.


Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, trace minerals, and the anticancer coumarin compound.  Moreover, fennel is an intestinal antispasmodic, carminative, and stomachic.  In short, fennel is a truly healing food when dealing with digestive dysfunction.  You can eat it raw, braised, steamed, baked, in soups and stews, and use it instead of celery.  Altogether, a genuinely versatile, aromatic food.  Another easy way to include fennel into your diet is by making a fennel herbal decoction to sip on.

Jerusalem Artichoke

Artichoke is a rich source of inulin which promotes healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract.

foods for digestion

Dandelion Root

Dandelion root enhances the flow of bile by increasing bile production and the flow to the gallbladder.  It also directly affects the gallbladder by causing contractions and releasing stored bile.  Also, dandelion root improves liver congestion, bile duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones, and jaundice.  Furthermore, it also contains inulin which promotes the growth of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus.  Dandelion root is an excellent choice for a herbal decoction. 


Ginger contains carminative that promotes the elimination of intestinal gas, relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract, inhibits the formation of inflammatory compounds, and stimulates digestion.  All in all, ginger tea is an excellent option if you don’t use ginger in cooking and recipes.

Lemon Water

Lemon water stimulates acid production.  The pH of lemon is alkaline but acidic in the stomach.  Drink warm or at room temperature.

foods for digestion

Apple, Beet, Carrot, and Lemon Juice Relish

This little grated salad combo supports gallbladder function and aids digestion.

Psyllium Husk

The high fiber content in psyllium husk helps retain water in the stool.  It stimulates intestinal peristalsis through an acetylcholine-like mechanism.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is a fantastic way to help soothe the digestive tract and to support the integrity of the gut lining.  I love both chicken and beef broth.


Okra contains fiber, and the mucilage soothes the digestive tract.

I hope this list will be a helpful tool to show you how simple it can be to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods for digestion into your diet.


Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is for educational purposes only.


To order bulk organic and sustainably harvested herbs and spices, visit Mountain Rose Herbs!

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