Apart from taking antacids when feeling uncomfortable after consuming heavy foods, one can facilitate digestion by eating foods that contain natural digestive enzymes. Eatingwell, a US health information outlet, has listed foods that contain natural digestive enzymes, which can help improve digestion.
Pineapple: Pineapple contains bromelain, which helps digest protein. Like other digestive enzymes, bromelain is also sensitive to heat, so eating fresh pineapple is the best way to increase intake. Try blending it into a smoothie, slicing it into salads, or using it in jelly desserts.
Avocado: If you feel uncomfortable after consuming a fatty meal, try eating avocado. The lipase in avocado breaks down fat. Avocado is also easy to use in various dishes. Add it to your morning smoothie, chop it into small pieces and put it on a salad, or make avocado toast.
Banana: Bananas are well-known for their high potassium content, but they also contain enzymes such as amylase and maltase. Amylase helps break down complex carbohydrates found in bread or cereals, while maltase helps break down maltose, a sugar found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as grains and vegetables. Try topping cereal or oatmeal with banana slices, or eat a banana as a snack.
Mango: Like bananas, mangoes contain mylase, which breaks down starch into smaller carbohydrate molecules that are easier to absorb. Eat mango as a snack by slicing it into small pieces, or add it to your salads.
Papaya: Papain, an enzyme in papaya, helps break down protein. Since it can be destroyed by heat, it’s best to eat papaya fresh. Enjoy it with meals, chop it up into salads, or add it to a smoothie.
Raw honey: Honey contains diastases, invertases, and proteases, which respectively help break down starch, sugar, and protein. Eating raw honey can greatly aid digestion. However, commercial honey is often processed at high temperatures, which can destroy beneficial enzymes. Add it to toast, yogurt, or oatmeal to add sweetness.
Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk product that contains beneficial bacteria and yeasts. These microorganisms produce enzymes that help break down lactose, making kefir easier to digest for those who are lactose intolerant.