If you suffer from common digestive complaints such as bloating or indigestion, you'll know that what you eat – and when you eat it – can make a big difference to how you feel. While it's always worth visiting your GP to rule out any medical conditions, paying close attention to your diet and lifestyle may help to ease your symptoms naturally.


Recent research into gut health has rapidly expanded our understanding of the important role of the digestive system in our overall well-being. Within our guts is a complex ecosystem of microbes called the microbiome, and studies have shown that what we eat and drink can hugely affect the diversity and population of the microbiome. You can read more about the research behind this in our guide to good gut health.

Our Healthy Diet Plans are designed to help promote good health and include plenty of probiotic and prebiotic ingredients to boost gut bacteria. If you haven't already, sign up today to receive free online access to the plan.

Nutritionist Kerry Torrens shares her three top tips to improve your digestion, plus discover how the recipes from our latest Healthy Diet Plan can help you achieve your goal.

You'll find lots more bonus content from our experts which is designed to help you feel your best. Find out how to get more active, how to cut back on sugar and how to support your immunity.

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5 tips to improve your digestion

1. Eat mindfully

Woman looking in the fridge

Give your food the time and attention it deserves. Make a rule never to eat on the go, or when your attention is directed elsewhere. Take time to notice the textures and flavours of your food and chew it properly – the first step in digestion. Being distracted by TV, laptops or smartphones means that you're more likely to absent-mindedly snack.

Read more about how to eat mindfully.

2. Eat probiotics and prebiotics

Berry Bircher layered in a glass

Choose wisely, focusing on foods that supply good gut bacteria (probiotics) as well as the fuel these bacteria need to thrive (prebiotics). The berry bircher pots in our Healthy Diet Plan are the perfect combination of yogurt and oats, which means they're rich in fibre that feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

Discover the top 15 probiotic foods that support gut health.

3. Eat lightly at night

Puy lentils with smoked tofu

If you're eating late, a lighter dinner can help to satiate hunger without making you feel uncomfortably full. The dinners in our Healthy Diet Plan are light and flavoursome, including this colourful bowl of puy lentils with smoked tofu.

Struggling to sleep? Here are 10 tips for improving your sleep hygiene.

4. Pack in plenty of plant foods

Goan-style vegetable curry with kitchari

Studies show that increasing the amount and variety of fruit, vegetables and fibre in your diet will help to support your gut health. This is because it feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and may improve digestion.

With our Healthy Diet Plan, you'll easily surpass the recommended 30 plant foods a week and you're guaranteed to hit your 5-a-day. Take this Goan-style vegetable curry with kitchari it's packed with fibre, vegan and gluten-free.

5. Find your favourite fermented foods

Chicken & lemon skewers

Most fermented foods contain bacteria that have a potential probiotic effect. These bacteria may help restore the balance in your gut and alleviate any digestive issues. From kefir and kimchi to miso and sauerkraut, there are lots to choose from. Read our list of the 12 healthiest fermented foods. Our chicken & lemon skewers are made using yogurt coating and topped with pickled red cabbage, both of which are good for gut health.

Find out more about our latest Healthy Diet Plan.

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All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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