Restoring Your Digestive Health

Restoring your digestive health with the right natural indigestion remedies and sensible strategies can help with uncomfortable, painful symptoms and recovery. You do not have to suffer with chronic gas, heartburn, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and food sensitivities. You can feel better and enjoy better health by getting your digestive system working at its best.

restoring your digestive health

Your Digestive System

Your digestive system runs from your mouth to your anus and fills a lot of space in your torso. It is responsible for getting nutrients into your body, digesting and assimilating those nutrients, and getting waste and toxins out.

Your intestines are home to a few pounds of bacteria, helpful and harmful, and yeasts. Almost all your serotonin is made in the intestines to regulate its movements. 

Lymph tissue lining your digestive system produces over 60% of your immune cells.When this lining is compromised, so is your immune system. This increases your risk of infection, autoimmune diseases, gut flora imbalances, joint problems, skin issues and faster aging.

When something goes wrong in the digestive system, whether it's in the stomach, gallbladder, liver, intestines or elsewhere, trouble can ensue. Distressing abdominal symptoms occurring after meals may mean you are poorly digesting food. When this happens, your body cannot assimilate all the nutrients you need and you experience gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, inflammation, pain and/or heartburn. 

Strategies for Restoring Your Digestive Health

Are digestive troubles making you miserable? Do over-the-counter remedies help in the moment, only to have your symptoms return or worsen with every meal? Billions of dollars in sales of indigestion remedies reflect how common tummy troubles have become. Often these remedies only mask symptoms without correcting the problem and can make it worse.

There is a better way. Easing discomfort and restoring your digestive health is possible with the help of the following strategies and natural remedies for indigestion. 

  • Listen to your body. If you draw a connection between a certain food, beverage or lifestyle habit that upsets your digestion or elimination, avoid it. Something as simple as drinking too much tea or coffee can cause constipation because of the drying tannins and caffeine. 
  • Do not overeat during meals and in general. Leave room in your stomach for your foods to churn and mix with the acids and enzymes. Chew well. Digestion starts when you break down foods and mix them with the salivary enzymes in your mouth. Too much belly fat pressing on your organs can cause heartburn and other digestive issues.
  • Reduce sugar consumption. The average American downs over 100 pounds a year. Intestinal yeast and bad bacteria feed on sugar. When their population overgrows, good bacteria are crowded out. Balanced gut ecology is a key factor in restoring your digestive health.
  • Eliminate aggravating foods.  When your gut is imbalanced, food does not break down efficiently. Try an elimination diet for 21 days of the following foods: added sugar, peanuts, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and glutenous grains. If you feel better at the end of the trial, add back one offender every few days until you find the culprits. Keep those out of your diet. If you have reflux or heartburn also experiment with eliminating citrus, chocolate, spices, peppermint, alcohol, carbonated beverages, coffee and non-herbal teas. If symptoms flare, stop eating that food. Blood tests are available to identify food sensitivities.
  • Reduce inflammation. Commonly diagnosed digestive troubles are due to inflammation caused by problematic foods. Experiment with the elimination diet. Cut out trans-fats permanently and keep animal foods to less than 15% of your diet. Anti-inflammatory herbs such as ginger and boswellia, and Omega 3 rich foods help reduce inflammation. 
  • Reduce stressAn important part of restoring your digestive health is being mindful of the connection between body and mind. Too much stress wreaks havoc on your ability to absorb and assimilate food. Excess cortisol inhibits blood flow to the digestive system and may lead to constipation. Do not eat when your stressed. Calm down first.
  • Eat fiber-rich foods. Most Americans do not get enough fiber. Freshly ground flax seeds, chia seeds, whole grains, berries, beans, and vegetables are all good choices. Ground flax and chia seeds can be incorporated into many recipes or stirred into a big glass of water. An added benefit of flax is that the oil lubricates the intestines, making it easier to eliminate feces after a few days of use. Fiber slows digestion so you feel full longer, traps toxins and makes feces easier to pass. Be sure to drink plenty of water with fiber or you can get plugged up.
  • Support natural detoxification. Limit toxic exposure as much as possible. Good bacteria, fiber, water, and super green foods such as spirulina and chlorella promote healthy detoxification in your intestines. If they are not eliminated there, toxins are reabsorbed into your bloodstream.

Natural Indigestion Remedies

Many people swear by antacids which neutralize stomach acids. Antacids are problematic because without acid food cannot be properly digested and assimilated. Plus, the real problem is often too little acid, which causes the reflux. Unless too much stomach acid is a diagnosed issue for you, reducing stomach acid is often counter to restoring your digestive health. 

Healthful natural remedies for indigestion and gut health can ease symptoms in the short-term and help heal your gut over time.  

Experiment with the following digestive remedies and see if they help.

Probiotic-rich foods and supplements.

natural indigestion remedies

Beneficial bacteria are essential for restoring digestive health. They are major players in having a healthy gut, detoxification, and strong immunity.

Chemicals in our food, medications, foods you are sensitive to, and chlorine can all take their toll on healthy gut bacteria. When there is an imbalance between the trillions of positive bacteria, unhelpful or unhealthy bacteria and yeast in the intestines, proper digestion, assimilation, detoxification and wellness are all compromised.  

  • Always follow a course of antibiotics with plenty of probiotics for at least two months to replenish their colonies and keep the other bacteria and yeasts in check. Bifidus longum is especially susceptible to antibiotics.
  • For maintaining and restoring your digestive health, enjoy a few spoonfuls of probiotic-rich cultured vegetables, raw sauerkraut, tempeh or miso with daily meals. If you tolerate dairy, drink kefir or eat live culture yogurt. Avoid sugar-rich varieties.
  • If none of these foods are acceptable to you, take high quality probiotic supplements that are processed to survive stomach acid. Look for supplements with Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. brevis, L. plantarum, Bifidus longum, B. lactis and Bacillus coagulans.  
  • B. coagulans is good for limiting growth of unwanted bacteria. It has also been shown in studies to reduce chronic constipation and diarrhea and IBS. Aim for 300-750 million spores per day for 10 days. (Alt Med Rev 2002)

Betaine HCL or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with your meal will boost stomach acidity and aid digestion. Here is how to find your dose of betaine HCL. At each meal, increase your dose by one tablet until you feel a burning sensation. That is too much so cut back by one tablet next time. You may need less for smaller meals. Experiment until you find the amount that is right for you.

Broad spectrum digestive enzymes are important for restoring your digestive health. They are needed to break down food. Raw food contains live enzymes, but cooked food does not. As humans age, our enzyme production dwindles, resulting in poor absorption and abdominal discomfort. 

Take enzyme supplements with the first bites of food. Some enzyme formulas also contain betaine HCL. Look for a supplement with amylase to break down starch, protease for protein digestion, lipase to break down fats, cellulase for indigestible polysaccharide in dietary cellulose, and lactase for digesting milk sugar.

Bitter herbs will get your digestive juices and enzymes flowing. Many of us do not have enough of these healthful, detoxifying herbs and foods in our daily diets. 

  • Chamomile, gentian, fennel, dandelion root and peppermint are popular herbal indigestion remedies. Take a dose of bitter herb tincture right before your meal.  You can also drink chamomile, dandelion root or fennel tea. Fennel seeds and root are a tasty addition to meals. 
  • Bitter foods include arugula, kale, bitter melon, coffee, Jerusalem artichoke, turmeric, saffron, dill and sesame seeds.

Prunes are a  wonderful constipation natural remedy. Eat two prunes twice a day or drink an eight-ounce glass of juice and see if that helps. Or try a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in the morning to quiet your stomach and get your intestines moving. Lemon juice is another popular remedy. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into warm water and drink first thing in the morning. The Vitamin C and acid detoxify the body and break up intestinal blockages and ease bloating. 

If symptoms persist, see your doctor. You may have a serious health issue causing your digestive distress. If you are on medication, that could also be the problem. 

Restoring your digestive health is possible when you follow these healthy habits and use natural digestive aids. Good digestion promotes optimized nutrient absorption, waste elimination, neurotransmitter creation, and healthy immune function. Your rewards are overall better health, a happy gut, and improved energy.

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