They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and while it means that serving a man good food will help keep the love alive, there may be some truth to this adage.
Digestive health is central to the vitality and overall good functioning of the body. In fact, it has been touted as the body’s “second brain” because of how it controls and affects other organs.
Why then are many people mistreating this vital organ?
What the Digestive System Does
The digestive system begins in our mouths. As we chew on food, our saliva begins breaking it down to help us swallow it better. It travels down our esophagus and enters the stomach, where it will be further digested.
Whether we realise it or not, the digestive system is an intricately choreographed system of processes. It is responsible for vitamin and mineral absorption as well as the elimination of waste. Unfortunately, most people only pay attention to their digestive health when something goes awry. Common problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), bloating, and heartburn are preventable when we eat a balances, healthy diet.
Superfoods to Include in Your Diet
Popular in Eastern medicine and cuisine, this root crop is known to help speed up the digestive process. According to the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, ginger helps the stomach move the food into the small intestine more quickly. Ginger is also commonly used by many pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness or nausea.
Ginger is a superfood that can easily be incorporated into your diet. Ginger doesn’t have to be cooked for it to be enjoyed. Many people eat it raw. Some slice the ginger and boil it for several minutes to create a wonderful spicy tea. If you want your dishes with an extra kick, try grating ginger as a garnish.
While water may not exactly be deemed as a “superfood” it is definitely an essential part of everyone’s diet. Water and other fluids such as natural fruit juices and herbal teas can help improve digestion. Too little fluids can spell disaster, as it may cause waste to be impacted.
Staying hydrated the whole day is one way of taking care of your digestive system -- and essentially your body -- without much fuss.
Green tea in general has been popular amongst those who complain stomach ailments because of it helps promote bowel function and even aids in lactose digestion. Matcha green tea, the variety that originated from Japan, is said to be more potent than ordinary green tea because of how it is processed. Aside from its positive effects on the digestive system, matcha green tea is a known drink with high antioxidant levels. It is also packed with B complex vitamins and EGCg
Turmeric is often associated to Indian cooking and is known for its bright yellow colour and the flavour it brings to any dish. What most people don’t know are the health benefits of curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has anti-inflammatory properties and in recent years has been linked to be a potent aid in combating diseases such as liver diseases and respiratory issues.
What makes turmeric or curcumin an effective digestive superfood is its effect on the stomach’s acidity: it increases its production thereby making digestion much easier. Passing gas often? Make sure to add turmeric to your grocery list. It also helps with flatulence!
Our guts naturally have bacteria (don’t worry, they’re the good kind) and it is this bacteria that helps make absorption of nutrients easier. Prebiotics help maintain the right balance of bacteria in our stomachs. Turkey tail mushroom contains high levels of prebiotics. Keeping this healthy bacteria in check is not only beneficial for the digestive system, but also our immune system.
Foods to Avoid
While there are superfoods that help with our digestive tract, there are those that should be avoided (if we can help it) since it may cause or aggravate tummy issues:
- Refined sugars and flour
It may be hard to totally eliminate these foods from your diet (especially if your current diet relies heavily on such food) but limiting it won’t be a problem especially when you have made the decision to take care of your health.
When it comes to superfoods not just for your digestive system but for your entire body, always trust Superfoods Australia as your number 1 source. Our products have been carefully selected from the best producers in the world because we are committed to providing high quality products to all our customers.