5 Healthy Digestive Tips to Help Get the Spring Into Your Step | #WellbeingWednesday
With the arrival of spring, it’s a great time to optimize the digestive system after a long and sluggish winter. I’ve had several patients this week complain of stomach pains, abdominal bloating and not so pleasant gas issues. So, for today’s Wellbeing Wednesday tip, I thought I would share with you some simple and effective ways to support the digestive system and heal the gut.
Lemon water first thing in the morning. I know I’ve mentioned this health tip before, but it really is such a great and simple way to start your day. It not only ensures you start your day hydrated, but the bitter flavour stimulates the liver, which in turn stimulates digestion. Take a ¼ of a wedge of lemon and squeeze it into a glass of warm water. Make this your goal daily for 2 weeks, you just might notice a difference.
Take your time and chew your food. This is a very important way to optimize digestion. Our saliva has amylase in it, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food. The more broken down your food is, the less work your stomach has to do. It’s that simple. The liver also secretes digestive juices which will digest food faster if it is already chewed up completely. The recommendation is to chew each bite 30 times, but in today’s busy and multi-tasking society we hardly do that. So next time you eat, think chew.
For those of you with bloated bellies, start using apple cider vinegar daily. Try 1-2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar in a ¼ cup of warm water before dinner. This simple drink supplies your body with enzymes, supports healthy stomach acid, and kills off unwanted yeast. It’s even been noted to have weight loss properties. If you’re not a fan of vinegar, the flavour is something to get used to, but I promise what your taste buds won’t like, your tummy will.
Try including pineapple or papaya into your diet daily. Pineapple is rich in bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as relieving indigestion. Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest food from the stomach, as well as reducing heartburn and reflux. Aim to eat ½ a cup of fresh fruit daily.
Try some Slippery Elm Tea. This is a wonderful herb to consider when someone has an upset tummy. Its mucilaginous properties coat and soothe the entire digestive tract, bringing relief quickly to an irritated digestive system. Simply boil 1 tbsp of loose herb in a tea strainer and steep in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. This herb is safe for people of all ages, but is not recommended for pregnant women.
I hope these healthy digestive tips help to get the spring into your step.
Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com