5 tips to stop digestive discomfort
It’s something a lot of people are embarrassed to talk about.
Gas pain, burping after meals, bloating and cramping. Digestive discomfort is a common complaint for many of my clients, so I’ve put together five things you can try now to alleviate those uncomfortable symptoms.
1. Start your day with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Before you drink coffee or even brush your teeth, drink a glass of filtered, room temperature water with half a freshly squeezed lemon. This will stimulate your digestive juices, provide your immune system with a boost of vitamin C, act as a gentle cleanser and detoxifier. And although lemon is acidic, it acts as an alkalizer in your body, helping to calm inflammation. To minimize any acidic damage to your teeth, drink with a reusable straw and brush your teeth afterwards.
2. Take a good quality probiotic
You’ve probably heard a lot about probiotic supplements and foods. But not all of them are created equally. You can get beneficial bacteria from fermented food sources like kefir, miso, tempeh, kombucha and kefir water or properly prepared pickles and sauerkraut. Good bacteria is essential to a healthy, functioning digestive system.
If you’re not eating enough probiotic foods or have taken prescription medication that destroys healthy gut bacteria (like antibiotics, acid blockers, birth control) you should be supplementing with a high quality probiotic. I recommend Metagenics and Genestra brands to get more health-promoting bacteria into your system.
3. Chew your food
I realize this sounds obvious, but if you’re eating at your desk while working, in your car driving to work or standing up in your kitchen, you’re not slowing down enough to properly chew (or even taste!) your food. Digestion begins in your mouth, as your saliva starts to break down what you’re chewing. If you typically chew once or twice and gulp things down mostly whole, you’re making a lot more work for your body to break that food down enough to process.
And here’s a pro tip: If you’e seeing undigested food in your stool that’s not designed to pass through your system whole (like corn) you aren’t properly digesting your meals. And if you’re not digesting things properly, you’re also not absorbing the nutrients in the food you are eating.
4. Check your transit time
This is always a fun game. Eat some roasted beets or grate half a raw one into a salad… then wait. Food you eat should move through your system in 12-24 hours. When you see stool with a red or pinkish hue, count back on the clock to see how quickly things are moving through your system. If it’s too fast you’re not absorbing nutrients well and if it’s too slow you’re constipated and need to boost your intake of water and fibre-rich foods like chia seeds, pears, avocado and watermelon.
5. Add digestive bitters
There are a lot of supplements you can take to aid digestion and tests you can do at home to determine if you have low stomach acid. But if you want to try something right away, I always start by adding digestive bitters.
Simply add 1 mL to some water and drink it about 10 minutes before every meal. Designed to relieve digestive upset and stimulate digestion, a little shot of bitters can help you break down your food while relieving discomfort from gas, bloating and burping. You can buy my preferred brand with a 10% discount in my virtual dispensary.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online. Photo licence