By: Monique Danae, HNC | September 19, 2020
Well friends, this is one of those topics that we’ll have to revisit a few more times. When it comes to digestive health, there is so much to be said!
Poor digestive health is overwhelmingly common…if you’re reading this, you’ve probably experienced chronic bloating, chronic constipation, increased frequency of diarrhea, or heartburn.. Maybe you have an inflammatory bowel syndrome. Or maybe you are experiencing the effects of a leaky gut (fatigue, headaches, joint pain, acne, and more).
Honestly, this is a short list, because we CLEARLY don’t have the time to talk about all things digestion right now. Don’t worry, we’ll get to it.
In the meantime, here is some GENERAL advice for improving your digestive system. Let me reiterate, this is general advice and is not a substitute for medical nutrition therapy. Please schedule an important with a holistic nutrition professional for individualized care.
- Eat more portion controlled & plant based meals. In other words, give your body and digestive system a break from those heavy, greasy, processed “foods”. By eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it will be easier to get enough fiber and PREbiotics in your diet.
- PREbiotics helps your “good gut bacteria” to flourish. You can find them in higher fiber foods like…fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread, and brown rice, also are prebiotic, gut supporting foods!
- PRObiotics: these are live “good” bacteria that also promotes good gut flora, normalizes bowels, and eases chronic constipation, diarrhea, IBD & IBS. They also improve the ability to digest fiber. You can find probiotics in fermented foods like pickles, kimchi, kraut, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, miso soup & more. (P.s. this is also great for skin health)
- Avoid overuse of NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and aspirin. Use lower quantities and less frequently when possible. Next time you get a chance, check out the side effects listed on the bottle. Many of them are digestive problems.
Evidence shows that 70-80% of your immune cells are your GUT.
Herbs, Oils, Foods & Fluids.
- Drink Water! Ya know… there are very few topics that don’t include more water as advice. There is a reason for that! So, just drink more water…your WHOLE BODY will thank you.
- Drinking Warm beverages helps to stimulate healthy digestion. Hot tea in the morning is one my favorite things! Bonus points if it’s ginger or peppermint tea.
- Peppermint (and other mints): improve digestion, ease gas and bloating and gut pain
- Ginger: relieves lower gut pain, fights bacterial growths, improves digestion and treats nausea. (caution: be careful if you are on blood thinners or have a bleeding disorders)
- Turmeric: to fight inflammation and stimulate digestion.
- Cinnamon: helps to heal gut damage and ease diarrhea
- Chamomile & Lemon Balm: helps with indigestion, gas, pain, & bloating
- Apple Cider Vinegar: increases gut acidity, improve nutrient absorption, relieves indigestion and heartburn
- Slippery Elm, Licorice & Marshmallow: helps to fight inflammation and tissue damage in the digestive tract, ie. leaky gut, reflux & gastritis
- Fennel Seed & Anise: great for quick relief from gas, pain, bloating, & nausea
- Avoid or decrease the following in your diet: fried foods, processed oils, extra butter, artificial sweeteners, and animal products.
- Consume probiotic foods such as Pickles, Yogurt, Kimchi, Kombucha, and Miso Soup.
- Go for a stroll after dinner. Movement is good for our bodies in SO MANY ways, including improving digestion after a meal. I am NOT suggesting that you go running after dinner. A “gentle” stroll will do the trick.
Please don’t be afraid to reach out to one of the following professionals if you have persistent concerns and individual questions regarding this topic: Primary Care Physician, Registered Dietitian, Licensed Mental Health Professional, etc.