The digestive process is what lets your body get nutrients from foods. And later, it gets rid of the waste that you don’t need.
It is no coincidence that both Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, arguably the two oldest systems of medicine on the planet, consider digestion to be one of the key factors influencing our health. These forerunners of modern medicine discovered through thousands of years of clinical practice and observation that a very direct link exists between a person’s digestive health and their physical and mental wellbeing.
Your digestive system is where it all begins. You won’t produce energy, have a balanced mood, or fight illness if you can’t digest, break down, and absorb nutrients. There are many simple things you can do to keep your digestive system healthy, many of which are completely free. Whether it’s exercise, stress reduction, or even enzyme or probiotic supplementation, all can provide enormous benefit to digestive processes.
4 Tips for Healthy Digestion:
The colon functions much more effectively when abdominal muscles are strong and consistently in motion. Crunches are an excellent way to strengthen these muscles and to improve your appearance at the same time, but simple walking can keep your digestive system healthy by improving blood flow to the intestines and colon. One study showed that women who walk daily were 31% less likely to develop colon cancer.
You can’t discount the connection between your mental health and physical health. Stress is one of the most pervasive killers in our society. And while we can’t control every circumstance that causes stress, we can change the way we respond. When we’re stressed, our body goes into the “fight or flight” mode, switching off our digestion so we can run away or deal with the problem head on. Meditation is an excellent way to relax and reduce stress; and studies show that relaxation is a powerful method for improving digestive health.
Though not an herb, water is one of the most important things your body needs to digest food properly. Not drinking enough water slows your digestion and can make your stool hard, and difficult to pass. Staying hydrated is one of key elements to good digestion.
Consuming fruit is important for overall health, though the fiber in fruit will help greatly with digestion specifically. Plus, they are loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Fortunately, we have some natural remedies. Because of their interesting properties, they help to promote proper intestinal function:
Mint leaves have essential oils, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. These help to boost your digestive process.
Using it in a tea is a traditional, natural remedy for gas, constipation, and heartburn.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of mint leaves; 1 cup of water
-Heat a cup of water, when it starts boiling, take it off of the heat and add the mint leaves.
-Cover the tea and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
How to drink it:
-Drink the tea when you feel digestive problems.
-As a preventative measure, drink it before large meals. You can drink it up to two times per day.
Ginger has been used in natural medicine as a supplement that fights gastrointestinal infections and constipation.
Its active ingredient is gingerol. This helps to reduce abdominal inflammation and fights the production of excess gases.
Ingredients: 1 cup of water; 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger; 1 tablespoon of honey
-Bring a cup of water to a boil and add the fresh ginger.
-Cover the tea and let it steep for 8 to 10 minutes.
-Then, strain it and sweeten it with honey.
How to drink it: Drink a cup of this tea after each meal.
Natural marshmallow tea is an old digestive remedy.
It reduces inflammation, heartburn, and uneasy stomachs.
Ingredients: 1/2 tablespoon of marshmallow; 1/2 tablespoon of chamomile florets; 1 cup of water
-Add the plants to a pot with the water. Then, let them boil for 5 minutes.
-Cover the tea and let it steep for 10 more minutes.
How to drink it: Drink 2 or 3 cups of the tea per day when you have digestive problems.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory and rich in both Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber (important for proper bowel movements).
5. Caraway (Carum carvi)
Caraway is often used for loss of appetite and for digestive disorders.