Food is life.
It gives us the energy we need to think, to move, to exist.
But if that food isn’t digested properly, if our bodies don’t absorb the nutrients as quickly or as easily as they should or if the resulting waste spends too long in our colons, then the discomfort can make thinking, moving and existing very difficult.
We have always known that there is a strong connection between the way we feel and the way that our bodies process nutrients and waste.
If you’re feeling fatigued or rundown, if you’re struggling to sleep, are depressed or are generally just not feeling yourself and if there are no other obvious reasons, then the issue may be with your digestion.
So what natural remedies can you use to fix this and get back to feeling human again?
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A diet rich in whole foods, water and exercise really is the panacea for most cases of digestive distress.
If you have such a diet but you’re still having problems then there may be another cause, such as IBS. If not and if you simply can’t bring yourself to make such a drastic change to your diet, then the following supplements can help to naturally relieve digestive discomfort.
Detox Organics: A superfood mix that combines many of the world’s healthiest foods into one delicious drink. It’s the ultimate health food fix for anyone who struggles to maintain a balanced, healthy, whole food diet, but it can also be taken by healthy individuals who just want to make life easier for themselves.
Milk Thistle: A natural herbal extract that has been used as a digestive aid for centuries. Milk thistle can support liver function, relieve heartburn and indigestion, and generally help your body to restore balance
Ginger: This fiery spice can alleviate digestive distress instantly and is often used to eliminate nausea.
Peppermint: Great as a tea, peppermint can improve digestion and aid with the pains/gas associated with indigestion. Although prescribed as a remedy for heartburn and other GERD symptoms, peppermint tea actually triggers heartburn in most sufferers and is therefore not recommended if you suffer from this ailment regularly or have been diagnosed with GERD.
Licorice Root: This is a digestive aid that humans have been using for many hundreds of years. Consuming licorice root in its unprocessed form can lead to some unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects, so practice caution and use only food grade licorice.
Do Enzyme Supplements Work?
Enzymes are the things that break your food down and it should go without saying that if you have more of these then the food will be broken down quicker and you’ll feel more benefits.
However, the enzymes we need are already in our bodies and the only ones we don’t have are the ones that breakdown fiber, which is an essential part of a healthy gut because it’s not broken down.
Unless you have a digestive disorder of some kind, then you shouldn’t need to consume enzyme supplements.
They won’t do you any harm when bundled in with whey protein and superfood shakes as they often are, but they certainly won’t trigger any drastic improvements in your digestive health.
Constipation in the United States is often said to be a modern epidemic, one triggered by everything from our prevalence for processed food and our sedentary lifestyles, to the huge rise in opioid prescriptions and abuse.
But this issue actually goes back a lot further, with a report from 1989 recording nearly 100,000 hospital visits for constipation per annum, as well as around 900 deaths.
The situation is certainly worse now, but it’s always been there, suggesting that the issue is endemic in our society.
If you eat whole foods, get plenty of exercise, drink plenty of water, avoid stress, eat lots of fiber and cut down on drugs and alcohol then your risks of developing severe constipation are slim to none.
If you’re struggling to change your ways and need a quick fix, then there are some natural remedies available:
Senna: This is a natural laxative and one that has been used as a constipation remedy for many hundreds of years. If you don’t want to drink the tea or take the pills, then stock up on rhubarb, which is a potent natural source of senna.
Probiotics: Your constipation could be the result of a limited amount of intestinal flora. This is the gut bacteria that does all of the work down there and helps to keep you healthy and regular, but the levels of this bacteria can be reduced through bad diet, drug use and antibiotics. To remedy this problem you just need to introduce some probiotics to your diet. These can help to maintain balance and regularity and while they are not effective in getting rid of severe cases of constipation, they can reduce the odds of such issues occurring again.
Aloe Vera: Not only is it great for your skin and hair, but taken orally it is also an effective laxative. You can purchase aloe vera pills or aloe vera juice to experience these benefits.
Psyllium Husk: This is a bulk-forming agent that forms a gelatinous clump in your stomach and then passes through your intestines, forming with other fecal matter and helping to push it out. Make sure you drink plenty of water when taking this or it may make things worse.
Magnesium Citrate: If all else fails and the constipation is becoming a problem, then it is time to call in the big guns. Magnesium citrate is incredibly effective at curing constipation, it’s just not very pleasant. It is not designed for long-term use and should be reserved for constipation that has failed to respond to other treatments.
Gas and Bloating Remedies
There are a few simple but effective ways to ease the pains and… other problems associated with an intestinal build-up of gas. These include:
Chamomile: A relaxing herb often consumed as a tea. It can soothe both your bowels and your mind.
Spearmint: Works in much the same way as peppermint.
Natural Probiotics: Fermented foods like bio-yoghurts, sauerkraut and tempeh are great ways to get some natural probiotics into your body, helping to restore some normality and reduce all kinds of digestive distress.
Turmeric: A component of Detox Organics, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory spice that is also said to have anti-cancer properties. It can reduce pains and other digestive discomfort and in sufficient quantities may be able to eliminate gas.