Certain types of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins are lower in fiber and may be easier to digest. This could help relieve digestive issues, such as gas or bloating.

Foods that are easy to digest tend to be low in fiber. This is because fiber — while a healthy part of the diet — is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that isn’t digested by your body.

As a result, the fiber passes through your large intestine and may cause several issues, from gas to bloating to difficult-to-pass stool.

Eating foods low in fiber lessens the amount of undigested material and may ease your symptoms.

High fat foods can also be difficult to digest, as they move through the digestive tract slower and can cause uncomfortable symptoms.

Learn which foods are easy to digest.

What are the easiest and fastest foods to digest?

Foods low in fiber are typically easy to digest. These can include:

  • canned or cooked fruit without seeds or skin
  • canned or cooked vegetables without seeds or skin
  • lean meat and other lean protein
  • refined grains, like white bread
  • low fat dairy products, if you aren’t lactose intolerant
  • fermented foods, like sauerkraut and pickles

Keep reading to learn which specific foods are easy to digest.

Whole fruits contain high amounts of fiber, but cooking them helps break down the fiber significantly, which makes them easier to digest. Peeling the skin and removing any seeds helps lower the amount of fiber.

Low fiber fruits include:

Fruit juices that don’t contain pulp are also low in fiber.

Just like fruit, whole vegetables have a lot of fiber. Once cooked, the fiber is partially broken down and easier to digest.

You can cook your vegetables at home or find canned varieties at your local grocery store.

Low fiber vegetables include peeled and well-cooked:

  • potatoes
  • yellow squash
  • spinach
  • pumpkin
  • beets
  • green beans
  • carrots

People tend to digest main courses of lean protein well. This can include:

How you prepare meat can also affect how easy it is to digest. Instead of frying it, try grilling, broiling, baking, or poaching it.

High fat can sometimes be uncomfortable to digest because fat moves through the gut more slowly, so you may want to consider removing poultry skin and draining fat from cooked ground meats.

Refined flours (grains) have been modified to remove the bran and germ, making them easier to digest. Common examples include:

  • white bread
  • plain bagels
  • pasta noodles
  • pretzels
  • white crackers

You can also find low fiber dry or cooked cereals at the grocery store.

If you’re lactose intolerant, dairy may upset your digestion or cause diarrhea. Look for products that are lactose-free or low in lactose.

Otherwise, low fat dairy is low in fiber and may be easy to digest for many people. Dairy products to try can include:

While not low in fiber, fermented foods have the potential to help digestion. Fermented foods can include:

These foods typically contain “friendly” bacteria like probiotics, which support gut health. Probiotics can also produce digestive enzymes that predigest food and help you better absorb nutrients.

Cutting any food you eat into small pieces and chewing each bite well before swallowing can also help digestion. Make some time for your meals so you aren’t eating in a hurry.

When eating a diet low in fiber, you may notice that your stools are smaller and your bowel movements are less frequent.

Ensure you drink plenty of fluids — such as water and herbal tea — throughout the day to avoid constipation.

Some foods contain lots of fiber and can be harder to digest.

Fresh or dried fruits

Most fresh fruits contain a hefty amount of fiber, especially if they have skins or seeds. You may want to avoid the following varieties in particular:

  • berries
  • coconut
  • canned fruit cocktail
  • pineapple

You may need to avoid any fruit juices that contain pulp. Citrus fruits may be especially difficult for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Raw vegetables

You may need to avoid raw vegetables as they contain much more intact fiber than cooked or canned options.

High fiber raw vegetables you may need to avoid include:

  • beans
  • broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • mushrooms
  • onion
  • peas
  • peppers
  • tomatoes

Tough meats and other protein sources

Any meats that are tough or fibrous may be hard to digest. These include:

  • meats with casings, such as hot dogs, sausage, and kielbasa
  • lunch meats
  • shellfish

Other protein sources may give you some trouble going through your digestive system. These can include:

  • beans and legumes
  • chunky peanut butter
  • whole nuts
  • whole seeds

Whole grains

Whole-grain bread, pastries, and other whole-grain flour-based items may be more difficult to digest. You may need to avoid grain products, like crackers and cereals, that contain certain ingredients, such as:

  • raisins or other dried fruits
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • bran

Other foods

People who are lactose intolerant may want to avoid most dairy products.

Generally speaking, other foods and drinks that may be difficult to digest can include:

  • high fat foods like butter, oils, and full-fat dairy products
  • alcohol
  • carbonated drinks like soda
  • caffeinated drinks like coffee
  • fresh or whole spices
  • jams and jellies that contain seeds
  • spicy or fried foods

What is the easiest and fastest food to digest?

The easiest and fastest foods to digest are typically low in fat and fiber. Some examples include:

  • applesauce
  • bananas
  • chicken breast
  • white bread
  • white rice

Is peanut butter easy to digest?

How peanut butter is digested depends on the brand, how it’s made, and what other ingredients are included. For one that is easier to digest, look for a natural creamy peanut butter that doesn’t contain lots of sugar.

It’s best to eat smaller amounts, as the high fat content can make peanut butter difficult to digest.

What’s the best thing to eat to improve your digestion?

Fermented foods like kimchi or yogurt can provide digestive support but foods that support digestion aren’t necessarily easy to digest for everyone.

To improve overall digestion, it’s essential to focus on a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods that are rich in fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics.

It’s a good idea to consult with a doctor or dietitian if you plan on making significant changes to your diet. Before you cut out all potentially hard-to-digest foods, you may find it helpful to keep a food diary or use an app to log your meals.

Record what you’ve eaten, what time you ate it, and how the food makes you feel. That way, you can identify and avoid foods that cause gas, bloating, stomach pain, or other discomfort.

You can also provide this information to your healthcare professional to help diagnose and treat any underlying medical conditions that may contribute to your symptoms.