Digestive complaints have become a common issue for many Americans these days, both children and adults from all walks of life are suffering the consequences of our fast paced world and need for instant gratification. The hustle and bustle of everyday life has left many families reaching for fast and processed and packaged foods on a daily basis. These man-made foods are loaded with chemicals, are fattening, and leave the consumer wanting more… they are highly addictive. They weaken the digestive tract, which affects all other digestive organs: stomach, intestines, liver, kidney and pancreas.
A healthy digestive system is imperative for good health stove and oven repair san gabriel, as is good food. Poor eating habits has prompted those burdened with digestive complaints to seek the help of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Microwaves have also taken the place of stoves and ovens in many homes. The foods cooked in them, are far from natural or healthy. If the food were healthy to begin with, the microwave tends to overcook and destroy any nutrients the food may have had. Other factors that contribute to an unhealthy digestive tract include:
· Eating too fast and not chewing adequately
· Poor food combining – eating too many foods at one time.
· Excess water (or beverage) taken with meals
· Excessive use of raw foods, without proper knowledge of a highly raw diet.
· Overeating – this is a common problem. Many literally inhale their food.
Flatulence and indigestion are primary indications of an unhealthy digestive tract. Bloating, acid reflux, upset stomach, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, and bad breath can also be signs and symptoms of an imbalance.
A balanced diet of whole natural foods will result in optimal health throughout the body. Protein is needed to repair damaged tissues and cells, it also helps stimulate and maintain the body’s metabolism. Healthy unsaturated fats and oil help our body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. Eating natural foods (closest to nature) will provide our body with ample amounts of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. Our body can and will assimilate these types of foods. Natural foods are also digested and eliminated more easily and sooner, which is crucial for a healthy digestive tract. In order to attain and maintain a healthy digestive system, limiting refined carbohydrates (white flour and sugar) is imperative. As is adding quality protein and fat diet to the diet.
A healthy and balanced diet (protein, fat and carbohydrates) can cost less and help lessen cravings for processed foods and bring about optimal digestive health. Once a person understands what healthy foods are, preparing them is simple and doesn’t take a lot of time.
Kitchen spices used in home cooked meals are a great and easy way to help prevent and alleviate digestive problems. There are many herbs and spices that can prevent and relieve gas. Aside from giving food flavor, the following is a list of some of the more common spices and their role in digestive health:
Basil — great for indigestion
Bay leaves — great for indigestion
Black pepper — stimulates digestion
Caraway — for indigestion/gas
Cardamom — for indigestion/gas
Cayenne — for indigestion
Chives — helps digest rich foods
Cinnamon — digestive aid
Cloves — for digestion/flatulence
Fennel — used to treat gas
Garlic — improves/cleanses digestion
Gentian — increases digestion
Ginger — excellent for indigestion
Horseradish — stimulates digestion
Marjoram — for upset stomach
Mustard seed — mild laxative
Rosemary — for indigestion/gas
Sage — helps digest fatty meats
Turmeric — increases bile flow
These and many more herbs can be used in teas, purchased in capsule or tincture form, and used in recipes. The following recipe was taken from Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar (2008). It is helpful for reducing gas and bloating. The recipe does not give exact measurements; you may consider mixing equal parts of the following:
· Anise seeds
· Cardamom seeds
· Cumin seeds
· Dill seeds
· Fennel seeds
Gladstar recommends chewing them at and between meals. One teaspoon may be plenty for some. Starting with a small amount will give you a better idea on your personal recommended dose. If no relief of bloating or gas is obtained, you may consider taking more next time. Also, your dose may depend on the types of foods eaten.
“Foods that are either too easy or too hard to digest can cause physical weakness” The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.
Improving your diet, drinking enough water (between meals), eating slowly, exercising, and eating less will help to improve your digestion and prevent further problems from arising.
Digestive enzymes can also be taken to help break down foods such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Pre and probiotics are for the good bacteria in our digestive tract. Yogurt is a good example of a food that supports digestive health. The friendly bacteria that form during the fermentation of yogurt helps most anyone, even those with lactose intolerance can benefit. Please know, not all yogurts are created equally, so you’ll want to read labels.
Eating sensibly can help reverse and prevent a weakened digestive system and imbalance throughout your body. An unhealthy digestive tract not only affects other organs, it lowers your immune system causing you to age prematurely from head down, inside and out. It’s been said… death starts in the colon. Optimal health does as well.