A well-functioning gut is important. It ensures that the body breaks down food efficiently and that nutrients are distributed throughout the body. A healthy gut is also able to get rid of waste before it becomes harmful toxins.
Signs of digestive problems
Common digestive problems include constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gas, diarrhea, heartburn, allergies or food intolerance and weight gain.
There are also a number of symptoms of digestive problems that you shouldn’t ignore. They include;
- Bad breath that is still there even after brushing your teeth.
- Body odor which is caused by the chemicals in the gut when they are absorbed back into the body and eliminated through the skin.
- Feeling tired after eating which is caused by your body straining to digest food.
- Brittle nails which indicate that you are not producing enough stomach acids to digest food properly.
- Anemia or iron deficiency which can also reduce the amount of stomach acids needed for digestion.
- Skin conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis which begin in the digestive system because vitamins are not being broken down and absorbed to keep skin healthy.
How to improve digestion naturally
If you have a problematic digestive system, try the following natural remedies before reaching for drugs;
1) Include fermented and cultured foods in your diet. These are high in good bacteria which are helpful for regenerating the gut flora naturally. Try kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, kefir, and Kombucha.
2) Support liver function by eating foods like beet root, carrots, leafy green vegetables and fresh fruit juices which help to cleanse the system. Dandelion and milk thistle also improve liver function.
3) Stay well-hydrated by increasing your intake of water. In addition to plain water, drink at least one glass of water that has a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar daily. Herbal teas are also refreshing and hydrating.
4) Have a stress management plan. Stress wrecks havoc on the digestive system. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Try a daily walk or run or do yoga or meditation.
5) Detoxing periodically is a gentle way to rest and restart your system. There are detox products you can buy or you can go on a diet of fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and soup. Do this only for a few days then slowly reintroduce solid food.
6) Take glutamine. This is one of the most important nutrients needed by the body for repair and regeneration of the intestinal lining in the body. It can be taken as a supplement and is also found in fish, meat, dairy products, eggs, beans, beet roots, spinach and fresh vegetable juices.
7) Include probiotics in your diet. These are the good bacteria that keeps things moving in the gut. Take a serving of probiotic yogurt every day or take a supplement.
8) This one sounds simple but it’s important; chew your food properly. Breakfast and lunch are often rushed and this will often be felt later on as an upset stomach.
9) Exercising can help a number of issues in your body and digestion is one such issue. Try to walk more, lift a few weights, take an aerobics class and engage your body in physical activities in order to naturally aid your digestive system.
10) Schedule yourself. Try to get your body on a regular schedule by exercising, sleeping, and doing other things at around the same time every day.