So you know the drill that the mainstays of your diet should be fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.
But as you wander the grocery aisles, you're wondering, "What should I purchase that will truly benefit my digestive health?"
I have often wondered that as well, which is why -- after perusing several health information sites -- I have selected five foods to always toss into my grocery cart.
It contains whole soy protein that serves as a good, occasional replacement for red meat and chicken. Soy is being studied for many properties, not the least of which is its potential to attack the fat hidden in your liver.
Soy protein appears to benefit fat metabolism in liver cells and to lower triglycerides, a study from the University of Illinois has suggested.
Whole grain bread
The more grains, the better. I look for loaves not only with whole wheat flour, but also barley, oats or rye. Health experts say not to shy away from bread unless you truly have gluten intolerance or a food allergy.
Whole grains help provide the fiber your digestive system needs, along with fighting heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Blueberries or strawberries
Blueberries have been touted as a "superfood," and they frequently are mentioned when the topic is disease prevention. Along with strawberries, blueberries contain a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanidin.
So I choose one basket of berries or another, depending on the season or what's available in the frozen food aisle, knowing that berries are a good addition to the mix of fruits that everyone must eat to take in sufficient fiber for digestion.
Again working with the idea that a variety of fruits and vegetables will aid digestion, I choose broccoli because of its many documented health properties and because I never get tired of it.
Cruciferous vegetables contain lots of good vitamins and minerals. Cauliflower is a good alternative.
Speaking of fiber, it's a good preventive measure against diverticula, the small sacs that can form on your colon and can occasionally lead to a painful condition called diverticulitis.