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 a number of issues, from gas to bloating to difficult-to-pass stool.

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

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

Good choices in this food category include:

  • very ripe banana
  • cantaloupe
  • honeydew melon
  • watermelon
  • avocado
  • applesauce

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

Just like fruit, whole vegetables have a lot of fiber. Once they’re cooked, the fiber will be partially broken down and easier to digest.

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

Good choices in this food category include:

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

Main courses of lean protein like chicken, turkey, and fish tend to digest well. Tender cuts of beef or pork and ground meats are other good options.

Non-meat sources of added protein include eggs, creamy nut butter, and tofu.

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

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. Processed cookies that don’t contain dried fruits or nuts may be gentle on your system.

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, dairy is low in fiber and may be easy to digest for many people. Try drinking plain milk or snacking on cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and other fermented foods have the potential to help digestion.

These foods typically contain “friendly” bacteria like probiotics and helpful digestive enzymes. The bacteria predigest food and help you better absorb the nutrients.

The following foods are generally safe to eat on a low fiber or soft foods diet:

  • ground herbs and spices
  • honey
  • margarine
  • marshmallows
  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • oil
  • soy sauce

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.

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

Stay away from any fruit juices that contain pulp. Citrus fruits may be especially difficult for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Raw vegetables

Raw vegetables should be avoided as they contain much more intact fiber than cooked or canned.

You may want to avoid the following in particular:

  • 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

Beans, chunky peanut butter, and whole nuts are other protein sources that may give you some trouble going through your digestive system.

Whole grains

Unprocessed, whole-grain bread, pastries, and other flour-based items may be difficult to digest.

Look out for grain products that contain raisins, nuts, and seeds, such as multigrain crackers. Also, avoid cereals that contain nuts, dried fruits, and bran.

Other foods

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

Generally speaking, you should limit or avoid:

  • 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 food to digest is typically low in fat and fiber. Some examples include:

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

Is peanut butter easy to digest?

Peanuts are generally easy to digest. However, how peanut butter is digested depends on the brand, how it’s made, and what other ingredients are included.

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

Fermented foods like kimchi or yogurt can be great for in-the-moment digestive support.

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

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.

Record what you’ve eaten, what time of day you’ve eaten 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 could be causing your symptoms.