Digestive Health

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Your digestive system takes nutrients from food into your bloodstream and eliminates potentially harmful substances.

  • A poor diet, such as fried food can cause digestive problems.
  • Digestive complaints may be caused by intolerance to certain ingredients, such as dairy products or wheat.
  • Your doctor can help you identify which ingredients are causing the complaint.
  • Psychological factors greatly influence your intestinal function and the secretion of digestive juices.
  • Gastrointestinal ailments can be triggered by your emotional state and stress level.
  • Poor elimination of waste products can lead to constipation or hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of poor digestion

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

How to manage digestive problems

  • Chewing food properly is vital, as it stimulates digestive juices.
  • Avoid types of food or stressful situations that bring on gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • A high fiber diet will help your body eliminate waste effectively.

Try eating smaller amounts more frequently. Certain herbs, nutrients and fiber supplements can help your body detox by removing toxins and supporting healthy liver and digestive functions.

Fiber

As well as helping maintain healthy digestive function and regularity, fiber also supports friendly gut bacteria. Healthy sources of fiber can come from high fiber cereals, fresh fruit, salads and vegetables, or using a fiber supplement such as oat bran or psyllium.

Friendly bacteria

Friendly gut bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis are important for a healthy digestive tract. Acidophilus in particular may be effective at improving digestion if you’ve had a poor diet, medications like antibiotics, or if you suffer from bloating, gas or flatulence.

Ginger

Ginger has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for centuries to relieve queasiness, improve appetite and enhance digestion. Ginger has the additional benefit of also relieving intestinal flatulence.

Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm has long been used in Western herbal medicine to relieve irritation in your throat and digestive tract and soothe the lining of the stomach.

Golden Seal

Golden Seal is a herb that helps to lubricate mucous membranes to aid the flow of food through the digestive system. It may relieve intestinal complaints and digestive disturbances.



Published November 20, 2012
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