Our digestive system is a vast, complex network that affects every aspect of our lives. Did you know that two thirds of our immune system is located in the digestive system? Or that we make 90 percent of our serotonin in our gut? That we have more nerve endings here than in our spine?
Problems with your digestive tract may cause low energy in your entire body and strain your fitness and mood, leading to poor eating habits, food cravings and difficulty managing body weight.
Digestive issues are rampant in our culture. Twelve percent of Americans have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and along with the common cold and back pain, digestive illness is one of the top reasons people see a doctor. According to the Digestive Disease Clearinghouse and Information Center, up to one-half of the population has digestive problems, ranging from mild or manageable—gas, bloating, GERD (acid reflux), constipation, diarrhea and IBS—to the more serious diseases like celiac, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cancers of the digestive system. Over-the-counter GERD medications are the most popular category of medicine, accounting for $17.4 billion in worldwide sales.
The good news, there is plenty you can do to prevent digestive problems and to find relief the natural way. Of course, if your symptoms persist, see a medical professional.
Here are some tips that might help you keep a healthy digestion:
• Stay Hydrated
• Chew your food well
• Eat in a relaxed way
• Eat Smaller Meals
• Limit sugar and sweets
• Give up carbonated drinks
• If your digestion is really poor, cook all food really well
• Increase your fiber intake
• Check for food sensitivities
• Use digestive enzymes
• Try Fermented Foods
• Try probiotics
• Use herbs, spices and herbal teas to enhance digestion
• Do a cleanse
If you would like to learn more about a healthy digestion, join me this Saturday March 23 at Dandelion Botanical Company for my Digestive Wellness Series. You will learn simple but effective natural ways to improve or support your digestive health. Click here for more info.
Source Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN, she is the Director of Doctoral Studies, and Education Director at Hawthorn University. She’s the author of Digestive Wellness.