The digestive system plays a very crucial role in our health and general wellbeing.
The fact that 60-80% of the body’s total energy is reserved for digestion alone with the remaining 20-40% going to the other body systems just underlines how important of a process this is.
It’s a process we never really give a second thought to, but your gut health, in general, is one facet of your anatomy you need to pay more attention to.
Simply because when your digestive system is off, your health can go out of whack in all sorts of ways, whether that be through simple digestive disorders like diarrhea, constipation or IBS, or chronic health conditions that manifest if some of these symptoms are left unchecked.
Good thing is, a few dietary and lifestyle changes can ensure a healthy gut, and by extension, good health.
Here are 7 natural remedies to improve digestion.
The benefits of papaya are well-known.
This is one of the most universal natural remedies to improve digestion, and it accomplishes this by deploying several munitions in its arsenal.
As you probably are aware, papaya is the best source of papain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps break down protein.
When you wake up in the morning feeling puffy and swollen from a cheat meal you consumed the night before, you might want to turn to papaya to extract this de-bloating enzyme. It eases digestion and soothes bloating.
The high amount of fiber in papaya also helps in digestion of other substances, as well as aid intestinal functional by adding bulk to stool, ensuring you stay, er, regular.
Speaking of which…
Get Plenty of Fiber
It is an open secret that fiber plays an important role in digestion.
Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber absorbs water from the food you eat and is responsible for adding that bulk to stool we just mentioned.
Insoluble fiber, for its part, serves as a giant toothbrush, helping your digestive system to keep things moving along smoothly.
Nuts, seeds, legumes and oat bran are good sources of soluble fiber, while you can get insoluble fiber from whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran.
Papaya contains both (approx. 60% soluble fiber and 40% insoluble fiber).
Take Prebiotics and Probiotics
While we are still talking fiber, making prebiotics a part of your regular diet can help improve your digestion naturally.
Just so we’re clear, prebiotics is a type of fiber that feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut known as probiotics. In other words, prebiotics is food for probiotics (but we should mention probiotics can also be acquired from certain foods, mostly fermented).
The human gut cannot digest the fiber that is prebiotics. But this fiber is easy fodder for your gut flora (probiotics).
Happy probiotics = a happy digestive system.
You can extract prebiotics from many fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Good sources of probiotics include fermented foods such as low-fat yogurt, kefir milk, kimchi, and kombucha.
Which leads us to the next point…
Load up on Fruits and Vegetables
Always eat your daily portions of fruit and veggies, Aunt Mary loves to say.
The benefits that come with consuming fruits and vegetables are countless.
Sticking to digestion, the importance of fruits and vegetables is they help keep the digestive system running smoothly and efficiently.
They are stacked in fiber that scrapes and pushes out all that bad stuff you might have eaten – a high-fat meal, for example.
However, go slow with the veggies as doing 0 to 100 in minimal time can cause gas buildup in your tummy.
Show your Liver some Love
Helping your liver to function effectively and efficiently is one of the most effective natural remedies to improve digestion.
How do you do this, you ask?
Well, you could start by reducing or abstaining from alcohol and instead opting for liver-loving drinks such as freshly squeezed juices.
Beetroot, carrots and green leafy vegetables are also your liver’s friends.
Opt for Glutamine
Glutamine is one of the most important nutrients you can consume as it plays the important role in facilitating the repair and regeneration of the intestinal lining, not to mention soothing inflammation.
While available in supplement form, we recommend taking glutamine in its natural form through foods such as fish, eggs, meat, dairy products, parsley, beans, spinach, beet, and fresh vegetable juices.
Water and Herbal Beverages
Drinking plenty of water has to be one of the most shopworn advice in the world of health and nutrition.
But no less important.
A well-hydrated gut is a happy gut.
If you are not big on water, opt for healthy alternatives like fruit and vegetable juices, coconut water, nimbu paani, and herbal beverages known for their digestive supporting properties.
Examples include chamomile, ginger, peppermint, fenugreek, and fennel.
Dandelion tea with milk is a good substitute for coffee for those looking for a healthy natural pick-me-up.
These 7 natural remedies to improve digestion will ensure your tummy is a happy digestive place.