Digestion is a pretty big deal. Are you experiencing any of these issues? Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, joint pain, lack of energy, weight gain, weakened immune system, heartburn (or acid reflux), arthritis, skin problems, and allergies. As random as all these issues sound they are all connected to your digestive system. Our digestive tract is a sensitive system that affects our entire organism and influences many aspects of our health and wellbeing.
Recently dubbed our “second brain,” the GI (digestive) tract has over 100 million neurons and can profoundly influence our mood, learning, memory, sleep, heart health, and even our bones. Your digestive system is uniquely designed to turn the food you eat into nutrients, which the body uses for energy, growth and cell repair. Even before you eat, when you smell delicious food, see it, or think about it, digestion begins. Saliva begins to form in your mouth and so does this important process.
Digestion starts in the mouth where chewing and saliva breaks down food so it is more easily processed by your body. Chewing breaks the food into pieces that are more easily digested, while saliva mixes with food to begin the process of breaking it down into a form your body can absorb and use. But even the most efficient processes can have setbacks. Slow, blocked, and a cold digestive system can create many health issues. Weight gain is what happens when there’s a backup of waste material in the colon, all of this ties back to keeping your digestive system in motion.
Over 90% of Americans suffer from everyday digestion problems such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, and fatigue after eating. In Ayurveda, agni (fire) is viewed as the source of life. What you eat can nourish and strengthen this fire, boosting your digestive system — or it can smother it, leading to an impaired, weakened, or imbalanced agni. Unhealthy eating habits can create undigested residue that forms toxins that are believed to be the root cause of disease.
Whether you are coping with acne, fatigue, weight issues, or uncomfortable GI symptoms such as bloating, gas, or indigestion, often the underlying root problem is weak agni, or poor digestion. Fortunately here are 15 ways to boost digestion you never knew existed + this bonus video with even more tips.
1. Frozen Wheatgrass Shots
Wheatgrass has large levels of enzymes that improve digestion by encouraging your body to break down food and absorb nutrients. This can assist with digestion. The detox effects of frozen wheatgrass shots clean your intestines so you experience less gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Wheatgrass may also help relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive issues.
2. Salacca Fruit
Salacca fruit is rich in fiber and if included in your diet can help prevent constipation, cramps, and flatulence. It has also been used as a remedy for indigestion in Asia for many years. However, it should be avoided if you suffer from ulcers.
3. Inner Fillet Aloe Vera Juice
Inner fillet aloe vera juice contains components which are excellent for the digestive system. The most beneficial part of the Aloe Vera plant is the inner fillet, which lies in a gel under leaves.This juice is beneficial for the lining of the digestive tract, and when you drink it, you will observe instant relief. It reduces irritation and increases the healing of the stomach. It is known for the curing of ulcers in the stomach and intestines.
4. Triphala Churna
Triphala Churna is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine. Literally meaning “three fruits,” triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulation consisting of three fruits native to the Indian subcontinent: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki, (Terminalia belerica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula).
Triphala churna can encourage regular bowel movements, it makes sense that it could help with weight management and studies are proving triphala’s ability to fight obesity. Proper digestion and elimination are important factors in achieving long-term success in maintaining optimal body weight.
Triphala churna also promotes healthy eating habits and cravings by supplying the body with the full spectrum of natural tastes. By promoting healthy absorption and assimilation of nutrients, triphala keeps the body feeling properly nourished and balanced.
5. Fucoidan Seaweed
Fucoidan is a complex carbohydrate and can improve digestive processes by absorbing water and pushing food along the digestive tract. Fucoidan seaweed also has the unique ability to address both inflammation and infection, which are two known causes of stomach irritation and pain.
6. Unsulphured Molasses and Apple Cider Vinegar
People who suffer from constipation should add molasses to their diet. Add a few spoons of molasses in a warm glass of milk during bedtime to treat constipation. The acidity of apple cider vinegar may also act as a natural laxative to improve people’s digestion.
The high level of dietary fiber found in Cocoyam (a single serving contains 27% of the daily requirement of dietary fiber) makes it very important for supporting your gastrointestinal health. Fiber helps to add bulk to our bowel movements, thereby helping food move through the digestive tract and facilitating improved digestion. This can help prevent certain conditions such as excess gas, bloating, cramping, constipation, and even diarrhea.
8. Malook Fruit
Malook Fruit is a good source of dietary fiber, along with the components sorbitol and isatin, which help in regulating the digestive system. Dried malook fruit is more effective in treating digestive disorders such as constipation as compared to other remedies such as psyllium husk. Sorbitol and isatin have a laxative effect and encourage the secretion of fluids in the bowels and promote the efficient flushing of waste through the colon.
9. Muscadine Juice
Muscadine juice is very effective in overcoming and eliminating constipation. It is classified as a laxative drink because they contain organic acid, sugar, and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles and the stomach.
Grapes are high in insoluble fiber, meaning that they remain intact as they move through the digestive tract. Fiber builds up the bulk, which promotes the formation and excretion of healthy stools. However, if you suffer from loose stool or diarrhea, muscadine juice should not be used as a way to regulate your system. Insoluble fiber doesn’t soak up water to dry out loose stool, and muscadine juice doesn’t have a high level of soluble fiber.
10. Ginger Brew Salabat
Ginger brew salabat can help relieve any digestive distress, such as indigestion, heartburn or bloating. This is done by stimulating the muscles of your intestines. It helps to break down food particles and move food and other substances out of your digestive tract.
11. Gynostemma Extract
Gynostemma extract increases the secretion of pepsin. This aids in healthier digestion and gives relief from bloating, constipation, and flatulence. The extract interacts with your digestive system and corrects any areas of imbalance.
Guayusa benefits help to streamline digestive processes. Guayusa has always been considered a valuable digestive aid. Preventing ant reoccurring bloating, stomach upset, and constipation. The high levels of methylxanthines, a naturally occurring compound, allow the tea to aid in digestion. Inflammation in the intestines can also result in diarrhea and inadequate absorption of nutrients.
Guayusa reduces inflammation in the stomach that can cause stomach pains and bloating. Guayusa helps to decrease this inflammation to improve overall digestion.
13. Pippali with Honey
The muscles in your digestive system move food forward in a wavelength motion called “peristalsis.” But there are times when this motion can be blocked, move slower than it should be, or not a strong enough contraction to move food forward. Pippali with honey stimulates your digestive system and boosts your appetite thanks to its carminative properties.
Galbanum is a perennial herb, relating to the family of fennel, celery, carrots, parsley, etc. Its health benefits promote digestion similar to Aloeswood benefits. Being a stimulant, it stimulates the secretion of gastric juices like acids, enzymes, and bile into the stomach, which speeds up the breakdown of complex proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients.
It also promotes the passage of these foods through the intestines by stimulating peristaltic motion, optimizing the absorption of these nutrients.
15. Agnisar Kriya
Agnisar Kriya is also known as the yoga fire cleansing pose. Fire is the essential element of digestion and this cleansing action stimulates this fire for the digestive system to work at its optimum level. The benefits of Agnisar Pranayam creates fire in the belly or heat in the stomach, which burns all the excess fat in the abdomen.
Tuning in to your body and being aware of your digestive system is an excellent way to stay on top of your health. Eating the wrong food for your body is usually the start of digestive symptoms. Many people develop digestive problems from eating foods that they have sensitivities to, as well as eating refined sugar and other processed foods. Knowing your dosha and making healthy lifestyle changes are also ways to improve your digestion.