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Monday, April 10, 2017

6 Natural Foods That Aid in Digestion

Tired of daily digestive problems like constipation, nausea, and gas? Before you head to the digestive support aisle of your pharmacy, consider natural, food-based alternatives that can be just as effective and even healthier.

Ginger

The ginger root has a unique way when consumed to stimulate saliva, bile and gastric juices that aid in digestion. When made into tea, ginger offers muscle relaxant properties that can help relieve built up pockets of gas in your intestines and alleviate bloating too. Instead of tea, you can also drink a ginger “shot” - buy in a whole or natural foods store, or make your own with grated ginger root, a little honey, orange juice and pinch of turmeric. Ginger shot benefits include reducing feelings of nausea and indigestion as well as a reduction in blood sugar, inflammation and muscle pain.

Zucchini

The water-rich, non-starchy zucchini is a member of the summer squash family and is technically a fruit, though many refer to it as a vegetable. Low in calories but offering appreciable amounts of potassium, Vitamin C and fiber, zucchinis are believed to help fight inflammation in the gastrointestinal system as well as clean the walls of the intestines helping eliminate potential toxins.

Water

That’s right, simple clean water is a must for healthy digestion. In conjunction with eating fiber-rich meals and cutting back on fatty, processed foods, drinking water with meals can help break food down faster and aid in constipation. Experts recommend getting 8 to 9 cups of water a day with the most common reminder being to drink a cup of water with each meal.

Greek Yogurt

The healthy probiotics found in greek yogurt play a miraculous role in fighting off bad bacteria in your gut that can make you sick. Probiotics are simply “good bacteria” that can be found in full force in greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is technically the thicker, more protein-rich product after the whey is strained out from yogurt. With live active cultures of bacteria including S. Thermophilus, L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, Bifidus and L. Casei, greek yogurt helps balance your gut flora and replace the good bacteria that may be lost (like when you take antibiotics).

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, or shredded cabbage that is fermented, is what experts call a lacto-fermented or “cultured vegetable.” Sauerkraut offers health-promoting detoxifying powers, beneficial enzymes, vitamins and gut-pleasing probiotics. When consumed, naturally fermented sauerkraut assists in breaking down other foods and making them easier to digest. Other fermented foods like kimchi, pickles, and kefir play similar roles in activating healthy digestion.

Black Beans


Potent black beans pack a serious fiber punch (116% of your daily value per serving!), helping prevent constipation and encourage regular bowel movements. Fiber helps keep things moving in your digestive tract and removes toxins, waste and materials your body doesn’t need. In addition, it absorbs fluid and adds bulk to your fecal material making it easier for your body to eliminate.

If it sounds like your stomach is talking to you sometimes, you might want to consider holding off on taking another pill or powder and try natural digestive aids instead. Fiber, probiotics, and other naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients found in foods like ginger, cultured vegetables, and greek yogurt could be your ticket to digestive wellness.

This is a guest blog entry.

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