‘SOOTHING TUMMY TIPS’
It seems there’s a whole lot of serious bellyaching going on out there judging by the profits the drug companies are making with the promise of relief from indigestion, heartburn and other common digestive complaints. While medications do have their place in the treatment of digestive disturbances it seems that once again Americans are too willing to reach for a pill instead of addressing the issue of poor quality food, too much food thrown in on top of a hectic life style. No wonder our stomach is complaining.
I have found that most individuals think that eating a healthy diet that won’t kill your belly means bland foods devoid of taste and texture. Nothing could be further from the truth. Spices, raw whole foods, nuts, fresh fruits are all possible and some actually ease digestive disturbances. The next time you find yourself suffering with indigestion try these tips before reaching for the Rolaids.
Digestive enzymes should be on everyone’s diet after about the age of 35. Studies show most individuals with minor to serious digestive disturbances are seriously lacking in enzymes which can cause nausea, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and heartburn. Too much cooked food devoid of enzymes leaves the entire intestinal tract struggling.
Ginger has been used since ancient times as a digestive aid and is a healing agent for the entire digestive tract. Use ginger to spice up beef or chicken (cooking-the preferred use for herbs) or sip a cup of ginger tea after a large meal to boost digestion and relieve nausea or indigestion.
Peppermint tea can help relieve indigestion caused by overeating. This herb helps relax the smooth muscles found in the stomach and intestines and relieves that terrible feeling of nausea that comes with serious overeating.
Chamomile tea is another old time herb that is wonderful for nausea, indigestion and heartburn. This herb is very similar to peppermint in that it helps relax the smooth muscles of the stomach and intestines. One word of caution- if you are allergic to ragweed chose something other than chamomile since it is a member of the ragweed family.
Other helpful tummy tips:
Eliminate caffeinated beverages (slowly) from your diet. Caffeine increases stomach acid, gas and intestinal cramping. Studies show that consuming more than three cups of coffee a day increases H. pylori in the stomach- the bacteria known for causing stomach ulcers.
Don’t smoke. Smoking also stimulates an over production of stomach acid, and weakens the muscles in the stomach causing food to leak out of the stomach before it is completely digested.
Eat smaller meals- 4-5 daily. Large meals overload the stomach and can force stomach acid and food back up into the esophagus causing heartburn and esophageal reflux disease.
Identify your personal trigger foods. Different foods affect different people in different ways so take the time to pinpoint what sets off your indigestion. Some more common triggers are fatty foods, fried foods, citrus fruits, carbonated beverages and dairy products.
These natural products will not only ease your symptoms but will boost energy, immunity and longevity via proper assimilation of foods. Why take a drug that will only mask symptoms when you can relieve the cause? Till next time, Rebecca