With all the delicious foods to choose from during the holidays, and in spite of our best efforts to keep food indulgences to a minimum, there are times when we find that it’s nearly impossible to resist an extra helping of treats.
To deal with our temporary lack of constraint that can produce an upset tummy, here are some natural and inexpensive remedies to jump start your digestive system back into high gear.
Our digestive system is an important key to living a long and healthy life. Digestive function is made up of numerous organs working together to break down, absorb, and process nutrients in the food we eat. Without healthy digestion, the body can become malnourished and toxins may build up, leading to degenerative diseases.
Using herbs and whole foods is a simple way to support the natural detoxification organs of your body.
Below are some simple tricks to turn foods you already have in your cabinets into goldmines for the digestive system.
Caffeine-free herbal teas can reduce an uncomfortable, bloated system. Warm and soothing, these medicinal leaves become digestive support upon contact.
* Peppermint – Used for centuries to ease the digestive system. Assists with dissipation of gas and indigestion.
* Chamomile – With anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, the calming effects of this tea also help relieve stress, which is often linked to digestive problems.
* Lemon grass – Soothes the digestive system and calms the nerves.
Green juices are packed with nutrition. Drinking emerald sunshine enables the release of stored toxins throughout the system. Green juices can cleanse your digestive system, helping to move things along while providing an extra dose of readily available nutrients.
Start with vegetables that are gentle on your system like celery and cucumbers, adding a little apple to sweeten things up.
Pineapples contain the digestive enzyme bromelain, and papayas contain papain. These natural enzymes support the digestive system in breaking down and absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat. Consuming the fresh juice from these fruits can help relieve gas, upset stomach and occasional constipation and diarrhea.
Warm lemon water is used in many ancient remedies to alleviate digestive distress, support liver detoxification, normalize digestive juices, and reduce intestinal bloating. Lemon activates the liver to release toxins and helps to cleanse and move any roughage that stays behind in the intestines.
Mix half of a juiced lemon with eight ounces of warm water. Drink upon waking on an empty stomach.
Spice it up
Ginger stimulates digestion by speeding up the movement of food from the stomach into the small intestine. Widely used all over the world for many digestive disturbances, ginger has been found to soothe the digestive lining and balance gastric juices, making it a great remedy for overeating.
Peel and slice a two-inch piece of fresh ginger. Add to three cups of boiling water. Brew for five minutes, strain and sip the tea slowly. You may add some natural sweetener to taste.
Naturally high in probiotics, foods such as raw sauerkraut provide beneficial enzymes that increase the digestibility of any food. This enhances lactic acid which in turn promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestines as well as preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and increasing nutrient absorption.
Even though the temptation to indulge may be more likely to occur during the holidays, these simple, natural remedies can promote healthy digestion any time of the year.
Sources for this article include:
http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/1424/ http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/bromelain-000289.htm http://www.whfoods.com
About the author: Heidi Fagley is a Holistic Nutritionist and has two culinary arts degrees – one in Raw, Living Foods and another in Natural Foods. Educating others about nutrition and the benefits of using whole foods to heal and prevent disease is her passion. She is currently writing a series of unique books on the art of eating and using food as medicine and how to re-educate the palate to enjoy healthy foods. Heidi teaches that healthy eating is a lifestyle, and her recipes and food products embrace this energy. No guilt, pure pleasure and 100% taste!
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