It's summer, and you’re having fun traveling, dining out, picnicking and partying. It’s not surprising that your digestive system may be a little out of whack this season. Many people experience bloating, constipation, gas and uncomfortable pressure in their stomach after indulging too much. The good news is that there are some simple, natural solutions to help support healthy digestion, so you can continue to enjoy yourself during the festive months ahead.
Slow Elimination? Try fiber. Ideally, you should ingest around 30 grams of fiber daily; but most people on the Standard American Diet (SAD) consume only about 12 grams per day. Bowel movements should occur at least twice to three times a daily, but if you’re traveling or feeling stressed, this function often slows down.
Fiber is the part of food that your body cannot digest, so it provides a vehicle to escort waste, bacteria and toxins out of your body. It enhances elimination by bulking up your stool and making for an easier transition through your intestines. High levels of fiber in your diet can help ease constipation and support overall digestive health.*
There are plenty of foods that contain high levels of fiber, including whole grains like oatmeal and bran cereal; fruits such as apples, oranges or pears; vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and potatoes (with skin on); kidney beans, pinto beans and lentils. (Note: If you’re gluten intolerant, gluten-free oats and gluten-free quinoa cereals are great high-fiber options.)
Fiber can also be taken as a supplement. Many supplements contain psyllium husks, which are an excellent bulking agent. Other fiber supplements include a combination of soluble and insoluble fibers, and they can help provide a spectrum of bulking agents to help you become more regular.*
Got gas? Try probiotics .Probiotics are a type of “friendly” bacteria found in yogurt and fermented foods, and they can help to support healthy digestion. Your intestines contain a host of bacteria, some good, some bad, that compete for space in your gut. By taking probiotics, you ensure that you’re settling giving the beneficial bugs a better chance at populating your intestines.*
Always consider taking probiotics after you’ve had a round of antibiotics so that you replenish any healthy bacteria the antibiotics might have eliminated. Often these beneficial bugs are found with the food they eat – prebiotics (fructooligosaccharides, or FOS) – to help them proliferate in your gut. Bluebonnet Nutrition Advanced Probiotics Chewable Acidophilus is an excellent supplement to add to your daily regimen.*
Got slow digestion? Try digestive enzymes. If you feel like food just sits in your stomach after eating, consider taking digestive enzymes. They can help break down food into smaller particles so your intestines can efficiently absorb nutrients. When stressed, our bodies don’t release as many digestive juices, so taking enzymes can help support what your body is naturally trying to do. Digestive enzymes are fantastic to take when you travel and your digestive system is thrown off by changes in time zones, stress and new or unusual foods. Choose a supplement that includes amalyse (helps with carbohydrate digestion), protease (helps with protein digestion) and lipase (helps with fat digestion).*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.