A nutritious diet is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system, and may prevent and treat certain digestive symptoms.

August 27, 2013

1 Min Read
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The market for targeted health and wellness foods is dynamic and promising, with products addressing digestive health a driver of the business. According to the American Gastroenterological Association, Bethesda, MD, good digestive health is the ability to process nutrients through properly functioning digestive organs, including the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, esophagus and gallbladder. Most people who are in good digestive health are of appropriate weight and do not regularly experience symptoms such as heartburn, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea or abdominal pain. A nutritious diet is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system, and may prevent and treat certain digestive symptoms.

Sounds so simple and easy, yet the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, estimates that as many as one in five Americans today suffers some type of gastrointestinal (GI) distress. This includes excessive bloating after consuming cruciferous vegetables, intolerances to certain dietary components, such as lactose, and autoimmune intestinal disorders, such as celiac disease, which interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

More is known about the latter two, which basically require managing lactose consumption and avoiding gluten, respectively. Less is known about digestive discomforts that impact overall well-being, which in turn affect day-to-day activities and regular bodily functions.

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Donna Berry, president of Chicago-based Dairy & Food Communications, Inc., has been writing about product development and marketing for 13 years. She has a B.S. in food science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She can be reached at [email protected].

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