Ease your tummy troubles

An upset stomach is never fun, so Go Vita health specialists have put together some top tips and advice to help get your tummy back to its regular self.

Powerful probiotics
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a debilitating condition to deal with. But taking a probiotic may just alleviate symptoms of it, such as pain, discomfort and bloating. Probiotics help by stimulating an immune response, reducing inflammation or changing the flora in your tummy reports American research published in Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology.

Helping hand digestive enzymes
Aren’t digestive enzymes the things already in your stomach? They are, but sometimes they need a helping hand. According to the Alternative Medicine Review, using a digestive enzyme supplement can help your body digest food effectively so you get the nutrients you need.

Pleasing peppermint
Peppermint capsules may just help relax your stomach and ease symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal problems. American research found that 75 per cent of study participants with IBS experienced improvements in their symptoms of the issue after taking peppermint capsules for a four-week period. The University of Maryland Medical Centre explains peppermint’s success in treating IBS, upset stomachs and aiding digestion is because it has a calming and numbing effect.

Good as gold ginger
You might think it’s an old wives tale passed down through your mum and grandma, but ginger has actually been used for thousands of years in traditional medicines to help with stomach upsets, digestion, diarrhoea and nausea (especially for women with morning sickness or people who get motion sickness).

Calming chamomile
Apparently over a million cups of chamomile tea are drunk each day worldwide and it’s no surprise considering that sipping on a cup of chamomile tea may just alleviate stomach cramps, indigestion, reduce the severity of diarrhoea, and dispel gas that can lead to stomach discomfort and bloating because it helps relax intestinal muscles. It’s the chamomile plant’s dried flowers that do it, which according to Molecular Medicine Reports are high in flavonoids.

A dash of slippery elm powder
Native Americans have used slippery elm for a number of remedies for centuries, including for diarrhoea and stomach problems. It works by coating and soothing the stomach and intestines, plus it is packed with antioxidants which may help ease inflammatory bowel problems. Australian research conducted in Lismore NSW and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine tested the impact of slippery elm powder on people with IBS and found that it helped to increase bowel movement frequency, reduce abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence.

A splash of apple cider vinegar
Historically, vinegars were used to help treat stomach aches explains the journal Medscape General Medicine. Apple cider vinegar helps lowers both blood glucose and insulin levels explains Swedish research published in BMC Gastroenterology, and can also help increase satiety says research from the Arizona State University College of Health Solutions, which means you are satisfied for longer after eating a salad for example, dressed with apple cider vinegar.

A teaspoon of psyllium
Sometimes, when you want to go, you just can’t! Constipation is commonly seen in women and the elderly, however Canadian research published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine has explained that constipation and the pains associated with it can be relieved by consuming soluble fibre such as psyllium. A couple of teaspoons of psyllium husks added to juice at breakfast time can assist with bowel movements.

A sprinkle of flaxseeds
Known for being high in omega-3s (essential fatty acids that assist in brain function) flaxseeds are also packed with fibre and has been used over time as a laxative because it helps food move faster through the intestines. However, those omega-3s also play a role in tummy health, because it eases inflammatory bowel disease explains the University of Maryland.

Go bananas
Interestingly, bananas can help remedy both constipation and diarrhoea. The Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry reveals that bananas can ease constipation because it has a mild laxative effect, and can also cure diarrhoea. Indian research also suggests that the core of the stem of the banana is also said to assist with stomach upsets.

Pick some dandelion root
Dandelion root has been used in traditional medicine by Native Americans and the Chinese to solve heartburn and upset tummies, and in Europe it was used to aid bouts of diarrhoea. These days it is used to stimulate the appetite and aid digestion and is available in teas or capsules.

Get carried away with caraway seeds
Who’d have thought a favourite ingredient in curries – caraway – was helpful in relieving gastrointestinal symptoms associated with indigestion as it eased muscle contractions in the body? Well it is, according to Indian research in the journal of Pharmacognosy Reviews.

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