Our digestive systems continuously extract water and nutrients from an astonishing amount of solid foods and liquids over our lifetimes, all the while fending off nasty microbes and processing waste. What we put into our stomachs is so important that it affects whether we feel well, how flat our bellies are and even our chances of avoiding certain cancers.

When it comes to digestion, women face some unique concerns. "Shifting hormone levels from menstruation, pregnancy and menopause all put a feminine stamp on your digestive tract.


Women have the same digestive organs as men, but they are squeezed, along with reproductive organs, into a smaller abdomen. "This means our digestive organs don't have much give when they get filled with excess gas, air or food.

Keeping your stomach healthy, soothed and lean can be as simple as making the right food and drink choices. Here some tips:

Eat to beat disease: citrus fruit, fibre-rich foods, leafy greens and yellow vegetables.

Help the good bugs: yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, bananas, garlic, asparagus, onions.

Choose foods that soothe: caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, ginger, mint, nutmeg, oatmeal.

Eat foods to flatten your tummy: avocado, brown rice, dark chocolate, nuts, oatmeal, olive oil, seeds.

These foods also help to decrease stomach cancers as we increase our fiber intake of 25g per day.