Relieve bloating, indigestion and improve your gut health with 5 simple changes, so you can live each day comfortable and pain-free!
This post is sponsored by Traditional Medicinals. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
The last thing we all want while going about our day is uncomfortable gas and bloating. Am I right? But the health of your gut isn’t just for comfort and feeling “regular”. The health of your gut is tied to other health conditions, including heart disease, arthritis and cancer. For immediate and long-term benefits, I’m sharing how you can improve your gut health with 5 simple changes.
IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH WITH 5 SIMPLE CHANGES
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While attending college, my dietetics professor was known for always saying, “If the gut works, use it!” Receiving nutrients through TPN (IVs) was only a last resort. You’d think taking a shortcut and getting the nutrients straight into the blood system would be optimal, but our gut (intestines) actually plays a bigger role than just breaking down and absorbing nutrients. The gut plays a huge role in the body’s immune system, and that is why it’s important to make sure your gut is healthy. Let’s dive into how you can take the reins of your gut health.
Inside your gut is a community of bacteria known as the microbiome. The good/helpful bacteria that keep your gut healthy are called probiotics. They improve intestinal cell health and prevent bad disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the walls of the intestine. You can find them in supplements or in foods like yogurt and fermented foods. Probiotics can play a part in helping to manage IBS, IBD, diarrhea and even eczema.
I like to eat a bowl of Greek yogurt every day to get in my probiotics. Topping it with berries and granola not only makes it tasty but helps me consume more fiber too (see #2).
Eat More Fiber
Fiber keeps you “regular’ by bulking up your stools, so waste continues to move throughout your gut, avoiding constipation. It’s also the food for the good bacteria which helps reduce inflammation throughout the body, lower cholesterol, keep blood sugar in balance and reduce the risk of some cancers. High fiber foods include:
VEGETABLES – peas, broccoli, carrots, peppers, spinach, Brussels sprouts, potatoes…
FRUIT – raspberries, pears, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries…
LEGUMES, LENTILS, NUTS & SEEDS
WHOLE GRAINS – barley, oats, bran flakes, air-popped popcorn, brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.
Just be sure to consume lots of water in conjunction with a high fiber diet to avoid build up. If you aren’t used to eating lots of fiber, slowly ease into it.
Drink Traditional Medicinals Herbal Tea
Drinking certain herbal teas after a meal is a simple habit that will help aid in digestion and reduce bloating.* Tea is a great way to consume more water without additional calories. Just the act of drinking stimulates the movement of the digestive system and helps keep the waste moving along, keep things regular.
Peppermint and ginger are herbs that have been shown to particularly aid in digestion, have a soothing effect on the stomach and help reduce bloating.* Ginger particularly helps relieve nausea associated with motion or pregnancy.* I love Traditional Medicinals teas because they use organic, pharmacopoeial grade herbs to ensure you are getting the full, intended benefits.
My favorite blend of tea for when I am feeling indigestion has been Traditional Medicinals’ Ginger Aid®. It has a strong and spicy, yet soothing slightly sweet taste, perfect for sipping after a meal. At the end of the night, their Chamomile with Lavender is a great way to both settle your stomach and relax your nerves at the same time – two benefits in one tea.* You can find Traditional Medicinals herbal teas at your local Target or Walmart.
Recent studies have shown that exercise influences the microbiome (gut bacteria). Those who exercised were found to have higher amounts of microbes that produce short-chain fatty acids, which aid in reducing inflammation in the gut and the whole body, as well as reduce insulin resistance. Although exercising right after eating can cause indigestion, having a regular exercise regimen has a positive effect on digestion. Exercise helps relieve constipation and strengthens your digestive muscles. It also helps relieve stress, and therefore has been beneficial to those with IBS. To avoid indigestion, wait two hours after a meal to exercise.
Reduce Junk Food Intake
Eating large amounts of processed foods with high amounts of fat and sugar often means fruits and vegetables are displaced, decreasing fiber intake. The bad/unhelpful bacteria in the gut feed off of sugar; therefore, when you eat a high sugar diet, the bad bacteria grow while the good bacteria decline. You don’t need to completely eliminate all junk food, but eat it in moderation to make sure you get adequate amounts of fiber before getting full of fat and sugar. A delicious Turtle Brownie every once in a while won’t destroy your gut flora.
By following these 5 simple changes, you will not only find that you experience less indigestion, but you will also see other health benefits throughout your body due to the amazing effects healthy gut bacteria have on your immune system. Enjoy, and stay healthy!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.