10 Foods That Are Easy to Digest

Fiber is an important part of a balanced diet. It has many health benefits, such as supporting weight management, aiding digestion, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Despite the benefits of fiber, a high-fiber diet is not recommended for everyone. 

Fiber is bulky, which tends to make us feel fuller for longer. Soluble fiber can even slow down digestion, resulting in delayed stomach emptying. This can lead to symptoms like gas and bloating.

A low-fiber diet may be recommended to reduce certain symptoms and conditions related to digestion. Foods low in fiber tend to be easy to digest so choosing the following foods may help you feel better.

White Rice

White rice

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

White rice is well-known for being an easy to digest food. It is low in fat and fiber, making it easy on the stomach. 

Many athletes prefer white rice instead of brown rice because it is not associated with any gastrointestinal issues. In fact, white rice is considered a “safe starch” for athletes because it is a easy source of carbohydrates for quick energy.

To digest white rice even more easily, eat it alone or pair with other foods that are low in fat. Some foods that are high in fat, such as vegetable oils, take longer to digest and may cause discomfort.

According to the USDA, 1/2 cup of cooked white rice may provide:

  • 210 calories
  • 4g protein
  • 0g fat
  • 49g carbohydrates
  • 1g fiber

Opting for fortified white rice may provide more vitamins and minerals.

Bananas

Banana bunch

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Ripe bananas are a great fruit that is easy to digest for many people. While some fruits are high in fiber, bananas only contain a moderate amount of fiber. 

Bananas are also associated with improvements in both constipation and diarrhea, so people with a variety of digestive issues may experience relief when incorporating bananas into their diets.

Per the USDA, 1 medium raw banana contains the following:

  • 105 calories
  • 1.3g protein
  • 0.4g fat
  • 27g carbohydrates
  • 3g fiber

Cooking bananas makes them even easier to digest since cooking food can make some nutrients more available for absorption.

Make sure your bananas are ripe enough for consumption as unripe bananas will be more difficult to digest.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Cooked potatoes of all varieties are examples of easy to digest foods. Sweet potatoes are especially gentle on the digestive tract because they are mostly made up of insoluble fiber, which speeds up digestion and promotes regularity.

According to the USDA, 1 medium sweet potato that is cooked and peeled may provide:

  • 135 calories
  • 3g protein
  • 0.2g fat
  • 31g carbohydrates
  • 5g fiber

To make potatoes even easier to digest, remove the skins and mash the inside of the potatoes. Removing the potato skins decreases the fiber content, and mashing them up makes digestion easier.

Applesauce

Applesauce
Elise Bauer

Soft foods like applesauce are recommended for some conditions like gastroparesis. Applesauce is a great source of vitamin C.

According to the USDA, a 4-ounce serving of applesauce contains:

  • 90 calories
  • 0g protein
  • 0g fat
  • 22g carbohydrates
  • 2g fiber

Despite being made from apples, applesauce is low in fiber. Canned, cooked, or processed fruits tend to be lower in fiber and therefore easier to digest. 

Like ripe bananas, applesauce may help relieve both constipation and diarrhea. It is a go-to food to calm a variety of stomach-related ailments.

White Bread

Arnold white bread

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Like white rice, plain white bread is easier to digest than breads made with whole grains like wheat bread. This is because white bread is lower in fiber than other baked goods. 

Since white bread is a pantry staple in many households, you likely already have this food in your kitchen. Pair with low-fat toppings for an easy-to-digest sandwich for lunch or dinner, or try plain toast for breakfast.

Per the USDA, 2 slices of plain white bread may provide:

  • 150 calories
  • 4g protein
  • 28g carbohydrates
  • 2g fat
  • 1g fiber

In addition to being easy on the stomach, white bread is usually fortified with nutrients including folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin D3, and more.

Yogurt

Yogurt

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Many eating patterns allow for yogurt as a healthy breakfast or snack. Yogurt is associated with gastrointestinal health, weight management, and nutrient density.

According to the USDA, 1 cup of plain yogurt made from whole milk contains the following:

  • 149 calories
  • 8.5g protein
  • 8g fat
  • 11.4g carbohydrates
  • 0g fiber

If you follow a low-fiber diet, yogurt is an excellent choice since it is free of fiber. However, it is still a good source of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

People with an intolerance or allergy to dairy products should avoid yogurt made with milk. Non-dairy yogurt alternatives may be suitable, though nutrition facts vary based on the ingredients.

Melons

watermelon

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

While some fruits can cause digestive distress, others are known for being especially easy to digest. Melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and canary melon are great examples. 

What makes melons easy to digest is that they are made up almost entirely of water, making them nearly free of fiber.

Per to the USDA, 1 cup of diced watermelon provides:

  • 46 calories
  • 0.9g protein
  • 0.2g fat
  • 11.5g carbohydrates
  • 0.6g fiber

Watermelon is also an excellent source of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, biotin, and more.

Squash

Spaghetti squash

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Depending on your symptoms or condition, certain vegetables may be easier to digest than others. For example, people following a low-FODMAP diet should avoid vegetables high in FODMAPs. This can help reduce symptoms associated with IBS.

Low-FODMAP vegetables like squash are especially recommended for people with IBS who are looking for easy to digest foods that are still rich in nutrients. Eating a variety of vegetables can also improve the gut microbiome as well as ensure you are getting a range of nutrients.

There are several types of squash to incorporate into your diet, such as butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash and more.

According to the USDA, 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains:

  • 76 calories
  • 1g protein
  • 4.3g fat
  • 9.7g carbohydrates
  • 2.2g fiber

Oatmeal

Oatmeal crop

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Oatmeal is a high-protein grain. Certain types of oatmeal, such as steel cut oats, are an excellent source of fiber. Instant oats, however, have the least amount of fiber of all the oat varieties, making them easier to digest.

Per the USDA, 1 packet of plain instant oats contains:

  • 101 calories
  • 3.3g protein
  • 1.9g fat
  • 19.5g carbohydrates
  • 2.8g fiber

Opt for instant oats that are plain without added flavors or sugars for a quick, simple breakfast. Pair with other easy-to-digest foods like ripe banana and applesauce for meals that are easy on the digestive tract yet full of nutrients.

Chicken and Turkey

Chicken

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Lean animal proteins like chicken breast and turkey are naturally free of fiber, so they can be easy to digest. People experiencing digestive problems should consume lean animal protein like chicken and turkey breast over fattier options like certain cuts of red meat. Protein sources that are lower in fat are easier to digest.

According to the USDA, a 3-ounce serving of skinless, boneless chicken breast may provide:

  • 128 calories
  • 26g protein
  • 2.7g fat
  • 0g carbohydrates
  • 0g fiber

A Word From Verywell

Adopting a diet that is lower or higher in fiber may help aid in digestion. Easy-to-digest foods tend to be lower in fiber, but this is still an important part of a balanced diet.

Other habits that may help stimulate digestion include drinking more water, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress levels.

Was this page helpful?