There are many factors that affect the digestive system. Ranging from poor feeding habits to environmental hazards, infections as well as the use of certain medications, there is no shortage of factors that threaten to disrupt the proper functioning of the digestive system. As one of the most critical systems in the body, it is imperative to take good care of the body.
There are a number of natural remedies that you can incorporate into your daily program in order to ensure that your digestive system remains healthy. The different remedies, in addition to improving digestion, also help reduce the occurrence of bloating and abdominal discomfort. Look out for the following remedies and find a way to incorporate them into your lifestyle to improve digestion.
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: Fresh peppermint leaves. You may also use peppermint oil in a cup of warm water
Peppermint is loved for its amazing effects on the digestive system. This is attributed to the presence of anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that help calm an upset stomach and get rid of toxins from the system thus streamlining digestion. Additionally, the cooling effect of the peppermint is thought to speed up the healing process.
- Sort the fresh peppermint leaves and sprinkle generously on your dishes or desserts.
- Alternatively, place a few drops of the oil in a glass of water and add warm water.
- Stir the mixture well and take this drink thrice daily.
2. Ginger Root:
Time Required: 25 Min
What you Need: Fresh Ginger root, a cup of water and strainer. Honey is added as a natural sweetener (optional)
Ginger root has long been used as a natural remedy for the improvement of the digestive system, and for good reason. Ginger has anti-bacterial properties that help get rid of any infections while effectively dealing with bloating, flatulence and indigestion. Its anti-inflammatory properties also go a long way in soothing an upset stomach, a benefit which has been harnessed and put in place to treat a number of disorders of the digestive system. The ingestion of ginger tea using the directions indicated below enhances the production of saliva and gastric enzymes, all of which help improve digestion.
- Wash the ginger root and proceed to peel before chopping into small pieces. Place aside.
- Bring the cup of water to boil in a pan.
- Once boiled, add the ginger pieces and allow to steep for ten minutes.
- Strain the mixture and discard the used ginger.
- Stir the honey in the drink and sip on it slowly.
Time Required: Varies depending on the choice form of oats
What you Need: Oats in cereal form. Other alternatives include oat flour and oatmeal.
Oats are a perfect addition to your daily diet if you would like to improve your digestion. Oats are very rich in fiber, and it is this fact that allows their use for a healthy digestive tract. Typically, the increased amount of fiber improves peristalsis in the digestive tract allowing food to move through the system with ease. The result is better bowel movements and a great gut. Additional benefits of consuming oats regularly include reduction of heartburn, improved immunity and better mental health.
- The simplest way to indulge in oats is to eat it as cereals, preferably accompanied with a fruit.
- Alternatively, use the oat flour to prepare your favorite pastries in place of regular flour.
4. Probiotic Yogurt:
Time Required: 15 Min
What you Need: Probiotic yogurt
Yogurt is a simple method of improving your digestion while cooling from the summer heat. The choice of ‘probiotic’ yogurt varies from regular yogurt because the former is packed with lactobacilli – this is the good bacteria that flourishes in the gut and keeps digestion going seamlessly. This has the advantage of preventing indigestion, relieving constipation as well as reducing bloating.
Tip: When purchasing yogurt at the store, look out for labels that include ‘active’ or ‘live’ cultures as this show the presence of the good bacteria. If you can, go for yogurt brands that incorporate fiber. The other way to go round about this is to use fruit or honey to sweeten the yogurt as the two are generally healthier alternatives.
- Serve your probiotic yogurt at least twice daily, making sure you add your preferred dried fruit for improved digestion.
5. Bone Broth:
Time Required: 8 Hrs
What you Need: 2 lbs of bones, 1 medium sized onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 2 tablespoons of Apple cider Vinegar (ACV), a large stock pot, oven and strainer. Optional ingredients include spices, garlic sea salt and herbs.
Difficulty: Moderate since the preparation process is a bit lengthy.
Preparing bone broth at home and consuming it has got to be one of the best ways to improve digestion. This is because broth is packed with nutrients, minerals and amino acids that are integral to the proper health of the gut. Most of all, broth contains natural gelatin which soothes and relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. This improves digestion while providing nutrients for the body. To get the most of this broth, you allow for 8 hours for the cooking time.
- Place the bones in the oven to roast in order to give them a great flavor.
- Use the following settings: 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes have elapsed, transfer the bones to the pot and add enough water so that it completely covers the bones.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the ACV and stir to distribute evenly.
- Allow the bones to remain in the vinegar water for 30 minutes. This is key because it allows the complete release of nutrients from the bones and into the soup.
- Sort and wash the vegetables before chopping them up and adding to the pot. (Do not include the garlic at this stage if you opt to use it).
- Follow this through with the addition of the herbs and spices if you opt to use any of them.
- Boil the broth so that once it starts bubbling, you reduce the heat and allow the broth to simmer.
- In the first couple of hours during simmering, you may need to eliminate any impurities that float to the soup’s surface. You may need to repeat this every half hour to get rid of the froth-like substance.
- Let the simmering continue for a couple more hours before you add minced garlic in the last half hour.
- Turn the heat off and allow the broth to cool just a little.
- Pass the broth through a strainer to remove any tiny bones as these could pose injuries.
- Allow the broth to cool so that it is just warm enough. The broth can be refrigerated and used within 5 days. If you want to prolong its life, simple freeze the broth for use on a later date.
- Drink a cup of this broth daily for better digestion as well as to calm an upset stomach.
6. Avocado Fruits:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Avocado Fruit
Avocados are one of the tastiest and healthiest fruits available as they are not only laden with fiber, they are also packed with healthy fats hat are easily digested. These properties make avocado a perfect choice for the proper functioning of the digestive tract. The fruit’s ability to synthesize Vitamin A from its precursor form beta carotene also enhances the health of the digestive tract.
- Simply add avocados to your daily intake either as a fruit on its own or as an accompaniment for your meals.
7. Take Plenty of Water:
Time Required: Varies depending on the amount of water taken and pre-existing medical conditions
What You Need: Drinking water. Lemon wedges or cucumber slices (optional)
Staying hydrated is one of the key steps in building a healthy digestive system. the reason for this is that proper digestion requires enough water intake. Daily activities cause you to lose water through sweating and urination. Replacing this water is important if digestion is to proceed smoothly. If you need some getting used to with increasing your water intake, add lemon wedges or cucumber slices for a refreshing taste. It is said that 8 glasses of water is the recommended daily intake. The truth of the matter, however, is that this will vary sharply from one individual to another, keeping in mind factors such as weight, health status as well as age. For this reason, seek medical advice before settling on how much water you need to take daily.
- Stagger the number of glasses of water throughout the day for the best benefits in improving digestion.
8. Add Natural Supplements to Your Diet:
Time Required: Scattered throughout the day
What You Need: Herbal supplements of your choice. These may include plantain, slippery elm and marshmallow.
The aforementioned herbs are medically referred to as demulcents. This is because they form a layer on the lining of the digestive tract thus promoting healing. This is beneficial for individuals because it also promotes seamless progression of the digested food from the stomach to the small intestines and finally to the large intestines. Most pharmaceutical companies combine the three herbs for the best effects. Note however, that if any improvements are to be made, the supplements must be taken over an extended period of time, say 3 months or longer.
- Follow the stated dosage on the supplement packaging.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Raw beetroot, chopping board, juicer and gloves (optional)
Beetroot is one of the easiest home remedies to use for a better digestion system. This colorful vegetable wit its characteristic deep red color is rich in betaine. Betaine works by increasing the concentration of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, a factor which contributes to the regulation of bacterial populations. This also helps to keep the yeast in the digestive system in check, thus making you less intolerant of foods. Betaine has also been shown to reduce the occurrence of bloating. Other benefits that beetroot has for the digestive system include increased dietary fiber, a higher concentration of Magnesium and Potassium.
- Clean the beetroot well to get rid of sand and other particles.
- Place it on the chopping board and adorn your gloves. Beetroot has a deep red color which easily stains, so you may need to take precaution.
- Chop the beetroot into sizable pieces before transferring the pieces to the juicer.
- Juice the vegetable to get juice whose consistency you are content with.
- Sip on the beetroot juice at least twice daily. You may also opt to use the beetroot in food, but its benefits are best enjoyed in its raw state.
Other ways in which you can improve digestion include exercising for at least half an hour, eliminating stress triggers as well as eating mindfully. All of these factors have a direct bearing on your overall health, so it goes a long way to ensure that you eat well.