Monday, March 28, 2011

Digestive Woes

You probably agree with me in saying that most of our day-to-day ailments stem from problems within the digestive system: "tummy aches", ulcers, indigestion, food poisoning, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn are just a few.  These maladies are incredibly uncomfortable and debilitating to our active lives.  Who has the time and energy for that?

Before you go reaching for an antacid, take a moment to stop and consider your daily diet, exercise and lifestyle habits.  Why haven't you thought to take a more proactive approach instead of the easy (and expensive) solution of slapping on a pharmaceutical band-aid? 

Here are a few proactive diet additions to help with the inconvenience of digestive ailments. 

  • Apple cider vinegar - (Read this previous post for the health benefits)
  • Cayenne Pepper- Cayenne aids in the assimilation and elimination of foods and actually helps rebuild the lining in the stomach, making it a great herbal medicine for ulcer sufferers. 
  • Garlic- A daily dose improves digestion. Garlic assists in normal functioning of the intestines and also has antibacterial properties that make it hard for pathogens to live in the body.  Try to incorporate more garlic into your diet when you are traveling to deter acute intestinal infections. 
  •  Probiotics- Probiotics are live microbial bacteria aka "good bacteria" that are naturally present in the digestive tract.  In addition to taking a supplement, you can also find them in foods like: yogurt, miso, some soy products, and milk.  Just look for the words, "live active cultures".  They help treat digestive ailments like diarrhea, constipation, IBS, Crohn's and also aid in fighting other ailments such as yeast infections, and urinary tract infections.  They are most commonly recommended by health practitioners during and after antibiotic use. 
When we are in digestive distress, it's hard to enjoy anything else going on around you.  On a personal note, I had a stomach ulcer a few years back and was prescribed pharmaceutical..  I took it for 4 days and abandoned it because of the horrific side effects.  That's when I started doing research on food and natural remedies.  It's actually part of what led me to health coaching, as I was in need of a complete diet and lifestyle overhaul.  Don't always go for the easy fix.  Your body may be telling you to take a step back and take a look at your diet and lifestyle.  If you think you are in need of a "health makeover", sign up for a consult here.  It's free and you've only got your health to lose.

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