Our tips to help digestive problems
Your digestive system is a complex organism involving several different organs and requiring 4 phases. No wonder things can get complicated! How can you better identify the source of digestive problems so you can treat them more effectively? Here are our tips for better digestion.
Understanding your digestive system
Digestion is a process involving several closely linked chemical and physical reactions that transform food, foreign to the body, into various nutrients that can be assimilated into the blood stream and used by the body as a source of energy.
The 4 major functions of digestion:
- mechanical digestion: food is chewed and mixed with saliva in the mouth before moving down the pharynx, esophagus and stomach into the intestines. Along the alimentary canal food is transformed into nutrients.
- absorption: nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestine
- assimilation: blood distributes nutrients to the different organs in your body
- elimination: bacteria help breakdown the untransformed matter into faeces, while remaining water is absorbed by the body
Different digestive problems
Digestive problems can happen at any point in the digestion process. They are linked to the type of food ingested, or a poorly functioning digestive system, or can be attributed to a virus or stress.
Six digestive system problems:
- trouble swallowing because of a problem with the pharynx or esophagus
- heartburn due to eating acidic foods that cause acid reflux, acid return in the esophagus
- bloating caused by gas in the intestine, due to an accelerated fermentation process of certain foods, or to constipation
- vomiting, a violent upward surge of stomach contents, linked to different causes including the rejection of food the body sees as toxic
- diarrhea, chronic or temporary, provoked by a virus, a food, or an irritated bowel
- constipation caused by a particular complaint or medication, poor eating habits or stress
Avoiding digestive problems
The majority of chronic digestive problems can be treated with a change in eating habits. A few simple changes can help avoid daily digestion difficulties.
Six solutions for improving digestive health:
- take the time to properly chew your food to facilitate the job of the stomach
- avoid greasy food which slows digestion, including fried food, or food in heavy sauces, and buttery pastries
- eat enough fibre: whole grains, fruit and vegetables improve digestion
- but avoid too much fibre: an excess of fibre can cause irritations or diarrhea
- reduce consumption of highly acidic foods like vinegar, white wine, coffee in order to prevent heartburn
- get regular exercise to improve transit
Certain digestive problems can also be linked to stress.
Relieve digestive disorders with natural products
Natural medicine like homeopathy can be very effective in the treatment of digestive problems, as can plant-based infusions with recognized benefits for difficult digestion.
Six plants that help relieve digestive trouble:
- peppermint: an antispasmodic and anti-nausea remedy, it naturally stimulates digestion and the pancreas
- fennel: recognized for its capacity to encourage digestion as well as ease cramps and abdominal pain
- turmeric: activates the production of mucous that combats gastric acid and is a natural ally of the liver and the stomach, particularly in prevention of ulcers
- rosemary: an antispasmodic which eases bloating and cramps
- anise: a natural digestive stimulant
- ginger: encourages good digestion, and also helps against diarrhea