I'm Dr. Elizabeth
EPIDEMIOLOGIST TURNED HOLISTIC HEALER, MEDICAL INTUITIVE AND YOUR HEALTH ISSUES’ WORST NIGHTMARE
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What are some of the best natural ways to improve digestion? This is a common topic I find myself discussing with clients.
Digestion problems and gastrointestinal disorders are some of the most common chronic health issues in the world. Today 40% of adults worldwide are living with a functional gastrointestinal disorder.
Living daily with any digestive issue or discomfort can be anywhere from a minor distraction to completely debilitating. It can cause anxiety over what to eat, what clothes to wear, and what social engagements to attend. An upset stomach, uncomfortable bloating, constipation, or diarrhea can completely ruin the day.
It’s no secret that poor or uncomfortable digestion creates a less than optimal quality of life and increases dependency on health care. Traditional diagnostic testing for digestive disorders is costly, time consuming, and often painful and embarrassing for the patient.
Once a diagnosis is identified, the treatments to manage digestive problems are expensive and do not offer a cure or pathway to heal. These treatments are simply suppressing the surface level symptoms a person is experiencing so they can manage their daily life better.
There are natural ways to improve digestion, reverse chronic gastrointestinal issues, and prevent the onset of future problems.
Throughout my own healing journey digestive issues have been some of my most challenging health problems to resolve. I went to half a dozen traditional specialists for help and went through years of painful and upsetting testing. After I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and slow colonic transit, I was told a prescription medication was my only chance at having some type of normal life.
They were wrong. I refused to accept that managing my symptoms was the only option.
Today I live prescription free, IBS free, and I do not see any traditional doctors or specialists for digestive problems. I used the natural ways to improve digestion that I’m going to share in this blog post.
Over the years I’ve helped many clients who’ve come to me with gastrointestinal problems asking for the best natural ways to improve digestion. Today, they all live free from the uncomfortable grips of digestive issues. Let’s get straight to the tips.
It’s important to stay well hydrated in general, especially when you want natural ways to improve digestion. Lemon/lime water (use either!) increases hydrochloric acid levels in the gut and reduces bad acids that contribute to acid reflux. Lemon water helps relieve constipation, parasites, and nausea. It contains magnesium, calcium, and Vitamins B and C. Lemon water is wonderful for the immune system, weight loss, and is particularly beneficial for the digestive tract. Try starting the day with 16-32 oz of lemon or lime water in the morning, and drink at least 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses throughout the day. Use fresh lemons and/or limes rather than essential oils or concentrate from the store.
Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle can create digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and heartburn. Sitting down for periods of time compresses the abdomen, which slows down digestion and causes bowel function to be less efficient. Spending too long being sedentary can also lead to muscle atrophy, a weakened immune system, loss of muscle strength and endurance, reduced calorie burning, and increased weight gain. Staying active is one of the best natural ways to improve digestion. Exercise including walking will help keep digestion regular, which is a key to lasting health and healthy aging. Studies have shown that movement can help with symptoms of digestive issues like IBS, as exercise may change motility and blood flow to the gut. Try taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes 3-5 times a week if you need to get started.
Lifestyle, and in particular diet, has led to the growing prevalence of digestive problems and discomfort around the world. A diet high in fat and protein is a major contributor to digestive issues, and many other chronic health problems. After being on a diet high in fat and protein for years, the high fat content leads to an inhibition of bile production in the liver. When the liver’s bile production is inhibited, food cannot be broken down properly. This leads to fats and proteins being digested improperly and getting stuck in the digestive tract, causing discomfort, bloating, and other issues.
Cut back on fat and protein in the diet. Eliminating fats in the morning completely will give the liver a chance to restore healthy bile production over time and cleanse the digestive tract of harmful toxins and pathogens. Some of the best natural ways to improve digestion with food are: 1) incorporating a lot of fresh leafy greens daily (spinach, butter leaf lettuce, romaine, red leaf lettuce, etc.); 2) eat a lot of foods that are healing for bloating and digestion: cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, kale, and sprouts.
Eating fruit truly is one of the best natural ways to improve digestion. They are incredible for healing bloating. Papaya, figs, and bananas are 3 of the most powerful foods for improving and healing digestion. Papaya soothes nerves, and it supports any viral or neurological issues that irritate the nerves and affect the digestive tract. Papaya is also amazing for colitis, Crohn’s, chronic gastritis, and IBS. Try blending up some papaya or adding it to a smoothie.
Bananas soothe the digestive tract and are a great prebiotic. They’re anti-spasmodic and can relieve gastric cramps and stress-related gastrointestinal problems. Bananas can help heal any digestive problem and are anti-pathogenic-they’ll help to strip away pathogens causing digestive issues. Eat at least 2 bananas daily or add them to a smoothie!
Figs-are my absolute favorite thing in the world for improving digestion! I’m eating some now while I write this. Figs remove toxins from the digestive tract, help repair the entire digestive system, and they reduce bloating and other digestive disorders. Figs can help with constipation, diverticulitis, appendix and colon inflammation. Eat 9 figs a day to get the maximum benefits!
Yoga and simple stretches will help speed up the process of digestion. Try these simple stretches below after you eat, before bed, and/or in the morning.
This pose will help ease constipation, indigestion, and rid excess fat.
2. Seated Forward Bend (Utkata Pashcimottasana)
Benefits the digestive system by massaging the abdominal organs and entire pelvic and abdominal area (including liver, spleen, and pancreas).
Adding some healing herbs and supplements into your daily routine is one of the best natural ways to improve digestion. These suggestions shared below are very powerful and will contribute to the healing and long-term health of your digestive system.
B12 with methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin is necessary for thousands of daily functions yet most people are deficient. B12 supports more than digestive health, it supports the function of every single cell in the body. It’s also critical for methylation and reducing inflammation.
Magnesium is an excellent support for digestive health. It plays a critical role in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, which include processes that help break down food at various points in the digestive process.
Chaga Mushroom breaks down, dissolves, and destroys unproductive fungus in the digestive tract. Helps battle invaders like toxins and pathogens, regulates blood sugar, supports all digestive health issues.
Peppermint has wonderful digestive, calming, and antibacterial properties. It helps relieve symptoms of IBS by relaxing digestive muscles, and it aids in the digestion of fats. Try sipping some peppermint tea with raw honey.
*If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, keep cat’s claw out of your routine.
Let that sh*t go. Literally and figuratively. In general people tend to lead stressful lives today. The more stress you’re under, the more overactive your adrenal glands are going to be. Unfortunately, chronic stress that isn’t properly managed will keep adrenal glands overworking, overtired, and this keeps you in a constant state of fight or flight. Adrenal issues contribute to digestive health problems. Increases in adrenaline weakens bile in the body. When stress goes unmanaged, you tend to literally hold onto stress and tension. Your body starts to store it in joints and muscles. You train your body to hold on rather than let go. This also trains the muscles of the digestive system to do the same. It’s important to keep your stress, and your reactions to it, in check. Try to breathe deeply regularly and often. When you catch yourself in a moment of stress, breathe in and fill your lungs all the way to the bottom while counting to 4. Hold your breath as your count to 4, exhale as you count to 4, and hold again for 4. This technique known as “square-breathing” can help you de-stress anytime, anyplace.
Edgar Cayce once said that “For most people, lack of consistent, persistent effort is the biggest obstacle.”
The best natural way to improve digestion? Consistency and persistency. If you implement these tips daily, your digestive health will improve. The next time you feel like the tips you’ve been trying aren’t working or getting you the result you want, ask yourself first, “Am I being consistent and persistent?”
Comment below and share your favorite tip for improving digestion! Are you looking for more individualized, tailored support to guide you to heal yourself from digestive issues or other chronic physical, mental, or emotional health issues? Sign up [LINK] for your HEAL intensive consultation with me. Let’s get you on your path to everlasting health and wellness today. It’s time for you to heal from the inside out.
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