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How to Obtain a Beautifully and Boring Digestive System
There’s a certain type of people who live for the thrill of spontaneity - surprise dates, adopting a stray, quitting your job and moving hemispheres. And while we understand the appeal, is that the kind of lifestyle you want for your digestive system? We’re convinced that even the most impulsive person would turn down impromptu escapes to the bathroom, last minute parties in their stomach, heartburn and surprise visits from colitis, Crohn’s and IBS.
So how does one obtain the ever-so-desirable, mundane, routinely lifestyle for their digestive system? You give your body the best supplements and foods it could ever hope for. Here’s a list of our top 8.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Have you ever wondered if splashing apple cider vinegar (ACV) on your fish and chips makes it healthier? If you’re nodding, we don’t blame you. After all, it’s been used in natural medicine for thousands of years and boasts a heap of health benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar, decreased risk of heart disease and even cancer. So how can ACV improve your digestive system? It’s simply really. Because it’s high in acid, it’s able to help with breaking down those protein-heavy meals which often cause heartburn and gas. For example, when you down an eye-fillet (cooked anything but Well Done, we hope), ACV will create more Pepsin - the enzyme responsible for breaking down proteins and help with the digestion process. We recommend taking 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 mls) with a glass of water before a protein-heavy meal.
Ok, before your eyes glaze over, this supplement’s complex, science’y name, we urge you to give L-Glutamine a chance. Especially if you have IBS. If you suffer from symptoms like bloating, cramping in the abdomen, constipation, diarrhoea or get a case of the upside-down tummies, L-Glutamine is said to be a bit of a saving grace because of the support it provides for your intestines and other organs. Essentially, L-Glutamine is an amino acid so the tissues in your intestines need it to function. When you have the right amount, it’s able to protect the lining of your intestines, block nasty bacteria during digestion and help increase immune cell activity, preventing infection and inflammation in your gut. Sorry if that was a lot of information to digest, we promise getting your hands on this supplement is far more straightforward. Simply visit your local health stores, or grab your glutamine supplement online.
When experts say “a little bit of dark chocolate is good for you”, you simply don’t question it. And why would you? You’re allowed to eat chocolate! But if you look into
why dark chocolate gets the thumbs up, you’ll discover that it’s partly because it’s rich in Magnesium. This miracle mineral relaxes muscles within your digestive tract which means it’s great for digestion. It can also balance stomach acids and get whatever food in your intestines moving, so going to the bathroom no longer needs to be an hour long chore. If you’re not getting your recommended amount already, 320mg/day for women is advised and 420mg/day for men aged over 31. Magnesium capsules are easily available here, or you can get a healthy dose from a range of IBS friendly foods like berries, nuts, seeds or spinach.
- Chamomile Tea
Winter’s day. Winter’s night. Stressful afternoons - Autumn, Spring, even Summer.
There’s a reason why Chamomile tea is widely loved at any time - it’s because it’s great for so many parts of our body including our digestive system. This all-round achiever has been said to help lower the risk of certain gastrointestinal conditions, protect against diarrhoea and even prevent stomach ulcers by reducing acidity and the growth of bacteria. You can of course get these guys at your grocer and have it at any time of the day because it’s caffeine free. Yipee.
Basically, because Psyllium is great at absorbing water, it glues all your foods together giving it extra momentum to get out the door. These guys come in supplement form and even husks - which can both be found in health food stores. Alternatively, you can find it in many breakfast cereals and Metamucil.
So what if you don’t like Hawaiian pizza, pina coladas, or getting caught in the rain? (Sorry, we couldn’t resist). You needn’t worry because you can easily source Bromelain from supplements found online, and it’s kid and vegetarian friendly!
- Peppermint Oil
Believe it or not, December 3rd is National Peppermint Latte Day. Imagine that - a plant with it’s very own day. And entirely deserving of it, if we do say so ourselves.
Peppermint does a heap of impressive stuff for the human body, including helping keep digestive systems cool and calm. It’s not only great for relieving intestinal cramping and gas, but it has something called an ‘antispasmodic effect’ which helps alleviate symptoms of IBS and abdominal pain. It even reduces indigestion by helping stimulate the flow of natural digestive juices and bile. Yep, peppermint is pretty cool, and rather generous. If you’re with child, this herbal hero is said to have mild anaesthetic traits that can reduce nausea by soothing your stomach lining. If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, we recommend not waiting until December 3rd, but rather incorporate peppermint oils into your diet ASAP. You can get these guys from your local health food store.
So as you can see, you can still be spontaneous and impulsive while maintaining a wonderfully predictable digestive system. All you need to do is mix up your diet with any of the foods or supplements above. If you’re interested in learning about some other natural ways to help you do so, why not have a read of Foods to Improve your Digestive System, or our Enzymes Guide.