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Diets for Poor Digestion

by Sava Tang Alcantara

About Sava Tang Alcantara

Sava Tang Alcantara has been a writer and editor since 1988, working as a writer and editor for health publications such as "Let's Live Magazine" and "Whole Life Times." Alcantara specializes in health and fitness and is a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer. She does volunteer work regularly and has taught free public yoga classes in Santa Monica, Calif. since 2002.



Eating fast food on the run or eating food that might be too spicy or rich can make digestion tough. If you frequently have indigestion, rule out any serious reasons by seeing your doctor. If nothing turns up, you could consider changing your diet. The rule of thumb is to literally follow your gut: what you sense you are not able to digest, do not continue to eat.

Consider a Bland Diet

Consider eating a bland diet based on vegetables, whole grains, legumes and small amounts of lean animal protein that are not heavily seasoned. Include vegetables that are cooked fork-tender, because eating raw vegetables will create more work for your digestive system. According to the National Institutes of Health, a bland diet might include eggs and lean proteins that are baked, poached or steamed with no added fat. Consume whole grains such as brown rice, millet, oats and quinoa. Use adequate water and cook until soft, so the grains are plump from the water.

Select Easily Digested Protein

Eat easily digested proteins. Live-culture yogurt is made with acidophilus bacillus and other probiotics that can help improve digestion by keeping the friendly flora in your gastrointestinal system colonized. People who may have trouble digesting cow’s milk, which contains lactose in the milk sugar, can often tolerate yogurt because it includes the lactase enzyme that helps digest the lactose. Kitchari, a dish made with legumes — especially mung beans cooked until soft — and served with basmati rice, is a popular Ayurvedic remedy for people who have been ill and must eat easily digestible food. Ayurveda is a holistic system of healing from India that is practiced worldwide.

Vary Proteins

Vary your protein sources. Include nut milks such as almond, hemp seed, rice and, if you are not sensitive to it, soy milk. Today, these nut milks are available in fortified formulas so that they also have calcium and vitamins D and B12. Generally, people with digestion issues can tolerate nut milks. It is possible to make nut milk at home by combining two cups of the nuts with eight cups of water and soaking overnight. The next day, discard the soaking water, add another eight cups of water with the nuts in a blender, blend, then pour the nut milk through a fine sieve. Most nut milks will keep for about three to four days.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.