Indigestion, acid reflux, IBS, heartburn, gas, GERD, and bloating are all painfully uncomfortable digestive issues. Sadly, they are also all too common. And most people know their discomfort can probably be relieved by diet changes. But trying to figure out what to avoid is tricky and popping a few antacids instead offers a quick, easy fix. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t stop the digestive discomforts from the get go.
Treating these digestive issues doesn’t need to be as difficult as undertaking a restrictive diet. It likely could be as simple as adding a few simple, natural items to what you eat. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to avoid the post-meal muffin top and ever-awkward bodily gas releases with that kind of simplicity.
Below you’ll find 10 ways to relieve your digestive distress that are easy to incorporate into your daily life.
Here are 5 things to avoid
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While there is a lot of debate over just how many people actually have sensitivities to gluten, there is no arguing it can cause significant digestive distress. Wheat, barley and rye are all glutenous grains. Gluten can inhibit the microvilli on the small intestine from working properly, causing malabsorption of nutrients and excess gas.
These are Fermentable, Oligo, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. It is thought that these foods have certain carbohydrates that are difficult to digest, causing bloat and irritating those with IBS.
Common FODAMPS are:
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, artichokes
- Onions, garlic
- Legumes like beans, lentils
- Certain fruits such as apples, pears, watermelons.
The standard American diet and lifestyle are not friendly to the digestive system. Common digestive issue triggers are:
- carbonated drinks
- greasy, fatty and spicy foods
- sugar alcohols (common in reduced calorie sweeteners).
Drinking water with your food, –especially cold water!
Having a few sips with a meal is fine, but much more will dilute the Hydrochloric Acid in your stomach which is responsible for breaking down your food. Less broken down food means more bloat. You want to avoid cold water as it causes restriction of blood vessels, meaning they don’t absorb efficiently.
Combining starch and protein
Starches typically pass through the stomach and into the small intestine for digestion pretty quickly, whereas proteins do not. When forced to lag back with the protein they’ve been mixed with, carbohydrates begin to ferment, creating excess gas.
Here are 5 things to try
Healing plants and herbs
- Slippery elm is a herb that soothes irritated tissues of the digestive tract.
- Aloe vera juice works to cleanse the digestive tract of leftover food residue.
- Herbal teas such as chamomile, fenugreek and peppermint are known to help reduce acid reflux symptoms.
A couple simple tricks
- Chewing a stick of gum increases your saliva production, reducing acid levels in the esophagus.
- Sleeping on your left side has been proven to relieve pressure on the digestive system.
Eat smaller amounts, but more frequently
Eating too much at one time can overload the digestive system. When this happens it cannot break down food and absorb nutrients properly leading to excess bits fermenting and causing overall discomfort.
Natural remedies for pH balance
Try downing half a glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of baking soda. Because of its alkalinity, baking soda can neutralize excess acid.
On the flip side, try drinking some Apple Cider Vinegar to help stimulate acid production for better digestion.
A probiotic supplement
Adding probiotics and digestive enzymes through a supplement can be an easy, natural solution to poor gut health and digestive woes. Eisenstein Center’s Coco Betten-Aid is a well balanced, all natural option some of our readers have found useful.
Which of these 10 easy solutions to your digestive distress are you going to try out? None are too hefty of an undertaking. Personally, I think I’m going to try a probiotic supplement. Adding something natural that simply adds to and compliments what my body is already working to do sounds like an ideal solution to me.
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