Most digestive problems can be treated with a healthy diet. However, every person needs a special combination of foods, because of varying characteristics and particular ailments.
+ Since ancient times food was used as a natural remedy to cure diseases. Much of ancestral knowledge has been incorporated into modern medicine, with the precise structure of nutritional therapy. The correct combination of nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in food can provide the necessary balance to support the metabolism and digestive system.
WHAT YOU NEED
For a healthy body it's important to include fundamental nutrients in your diet to ensure proper body functions and digestion.
Vitamin B complex
Helps in digestion, improves your mental health and gives you energy.
You should always consult your doctor before changing your diet.
∎ B 1 . It is a water-soluble nutrient that the body does not produce and needs to be incorporated into the diet. Helps to metabolize carbohydrates and improves digestion. Found in sunflower seeds, beans, whole-grain breads, artichokes, celery, garlic and other vegetables .
∎ B 5 . It prevents duodenal ulcers and anemia (in brewers yeast, peanuts, wheat germ and leafy green vegetables).
∎ B 6 . The most important vitamin for the immune system. It is fundamental to incorporate it into your diet; if you take B 6 supplements it's important to note that there are side-effects for pregnant women. B 6 is a natural diuretic, therefore good for water retention. Found in lentils, meats, vegetables and dried fruits.
∎ B 12 . It is generally prescribed for cases of anemia because it increases the absorption of iron in the red blood cells.
It also prevents intestinal parasites, diarrhea and menstrual problems.
As it can be found in meat derived foods, those who are vegetarian tend to have low levels of vitamin B 12 .
A good idea for those who need to increase their vitamin B 12 dose is to eat fortified cereals at breakfast or take vitamin supplements.
Found in sardines, salmon, tuna, chicken, milk and eggs.
A natural sugar which, since it is comprised of simple sugars (glucose and fructose), doesn't need digestive juices for its assimilation. It contains vitamins from the B group (among those B 1 , needed to break down sugars and flours), vitamin C and other important enzymes that help aid in digestion. Honey also contains calcium salts, iron, phosphorus and other minerals.
- • A gentle laxative, it is recommended to take alone or with teas or tinctures.
- • Regulates the production of gastric acid, and when taken regularly prevents indigestion.
- • Because it is a general antibiotic, helps to prevent diarrhea caused by bacteria.
- • A detoxin, it helps to increase the production of bile and supports the functioning of the kidney.
Our bodies do not produce this vitamin, so it is necessary to include it in our diet. It prevents anemia, duodenal ulcers and immune deficiencies. It is an antioxidant and improves the absorption of iron and the production of collagen, slowing the aging process. Because it is an antihistamine, it is used for the treatment of allergies. It is found in vegetables, and fruits such as broccoli, green and red peppers, potatoes and guavas.
Warning. Excessive amounts of vitamin C supplements can bring on diarrhea.
Onion is a wonderful source of minerals and micro-minerals, vitamins C and B and flavonoids, which help gastric juice stimulation and increase your appetite. This vegetable has properties which prevent disorders and maintain good health. You should eat approximately ½ onion or 4 spoonfuls of onion syrup.
Onion syrup. Dice a medium sized onion and mix with 3 spoonfuls of honey and ½ cup of water. Cook in a double boiler. Let sit for 3 hours and then filter. You should drink between 5 to 10 spoonfuls a day. This remedy can be given to children, but it's not recommended for children under 1 year of age.
For flatulence and constipation. 1 Eat ½ onion or drink 5 spoonfuls of onion syrup per day.
In case of a urinary infection and to relieve lower abdominal stomach pains. Apply tepid compresses with onion, because of its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties.
Sauerkraut made with white cabbage is a healthy food for gastrointestinal problems. Although it is associated with Germany, soldiers in the Roman empire imported it. It actually comes from Asia, and was used for medicinal purposes by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is rich in vitamins C and B 2 , potassium, calcium, iron and fiber. During the fermentation process vitamin B 12 and lactose acid bacteria are produced. This process continues in the digestive system, killing germs, improving digestion and strengthening intestinal walls. Lactic acid is a gentle laxative that helps the immune system and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Eating sauerkraut can help to prevent colon cancer. Sauerkraut is made using a complex process, but can be found on supermarket shelves.
It is an important food for the digestive system. It is rich in vitamin C and high in fiber that helps the proper functioning of the digestive system and it also helps to prevent cancer.
Prepare by processing/blending the leaves. Benefits the mucous lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
- • For stomach ulcers: Drink 1¾ pts/1 liter of cabbage juice daily for a month, after eating. Accompany with a light diet.
- • For cases of intestinal infections: It's recommended to drink cabbage or sauerkraut juice periodically. For serious cases, drink up to 1¾ pts/1 liter daily.
It is an antioxidant and protects the immune system. It is good for the skin and used widely in cosmetics. It is also a natural diuretic. It is used to treat anemia, gastrointestinal problems, peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis. Heat, oxygen and refrigeration affect this vitamin; high quantities of vitamin E are found in raw green vegetables, sunflower oil, wheat germ, avocado, spinach and asparagus.
Ginger is a root that has a somehow bitter and sour taste and is used extensively in Eastern cuisine. It is also an effective natural medicinal herb for the digestive system, reducing nausea and preventing ulcers. This root possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to improve normal intestinal movements and reduces gas fermenting in the intestinal tract.
DIGESTIVE AIDING JUICE
This is a classic tonic for the digestive system. With its intense flavor, it helps to release enzymes that help digestion. Preparing this tonic is easy: cut 2 or 3 slices of fresh ginger, place in 1 cup of hot water, allow them to sit for a few minutes and strain. Add a bit of honey and drink to aid digestions.
Altough green tea is a herb taken in an infusion, it can also be considered a food because it consists of sprouts that are not fermented like common black tea. The component camillia sinensis conserves the properties of the plant, making it a potent tea. The main chemical components –catechins– are powerful antioxidants, better than vitamin E. Catechins aid in digestion and are an astringent to relieve diarrhea; it is also rich in minerals, zinc, vitamins A, C, B complex and volatile oils.
GREEN TEA TIPS
- • It's best to steep green tea with the leaves floating freely in the water. Using teaspoons and filters crushes the leaves and their components are not released.
- • It's best to prepare the amount of tea you will drink within an hour. You can reuse the leaves, some varieties you can make up to four cups. If tea leaves are left in the cup, filter them out because they leave a bitter taste.
HOW TO PREPARE IT
Boil 4 cups of water and allow to cool for 5 minutes, so as not to scorch the leaves. Place the tea in a teapot, measuring 1 spoonful per cup. Then add the water and let steep 2 to 3 minutes. If you allow steeping for less time, the tea will have a more stimulating effect. If you let steep for more than 5 minutes, the infusion will relax you.
Can be effective in relieving diarrhea and replacing lost minerals. Minor diarrhea: it's suggested drinking at least 4 cups of green tea per day.
Anti-anemic properties, crucial in developing the fetus and during breastfeeding. It is also a pain reliever and natural antioxidant. It's suggested to take it for digestive problems, constipation, intestinal parasites and diarrhea. Found present in spinach, brewers yeast, beans, wheat germ and soy flour.
Spinach has been cultivated for over 2,000 years, but didn't arrive to Europe until the 15th century. This leafy green veggie is one of the most nutritious vegetables that comes from the earth. It is rich in folic acid, iron, beta carotene, vitamins C and K 1 , potassium and calcium. It is an excellent complementary food to increase the body's defenses - as an anti-anemic and to regulate intestinal functions. The leaves can be eaten in various forms: fresh, in salads; cooked, in stews, soups or as a side dish with cream, cheese or sautéed with garlic. Frozen spinach can also be used.
Beat 3 eggs with pinch of salt and 3 teaspoons of baking powder. While continuously beating, add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of flour, 2 lb/1 kg of spinach (blanched and chopped) and 2 tablespoons of grated cheese. Form a soft dough (if you need to, add more flour). Heat oil in a pan and cook the fritters over medium heat. After removing the fritters, place on a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil. Fritters are a yummy option to get children to eat spinach.
Essential mineral for the proper function of the intestines and immune system, and prevents diarrhea. Normalizes stomach acids and is good for fertility in men and women. Taking this vitamin supplement on an empty stomach can cause nausea. It is found in oysters, popcorn, sesame and pumpkin seeds and nuts.
Plays an essential role in developing muscle mass and improving cardiovascular health. Activates enzymes and stabilizes the body's molecules. When used as a supplement, it calms intestinal gases, constipation and stomach acid. Magnesium deficiencies can cause digestive problems. Most times magnesium deficiency is brought on by eating processed or frozen foods. Magnesium is found in wheat germ, black sugar, almonds, nuts, soybeans, sesame seeds, dried figs and green leafy vegetables .
CEREALS AND SEEDS
Provide insoluble fiber that improves the function of the intestine. Magnesium found in cereals and seeds activates thiamin.
Peel ½ cup of sunflower seeds and toast ½ cup of black sesame seeds until they release a nutty aroma. Grind the seeds into a powder. Mix 2 teaspoons of the powder with honey. Take in the morning and at night.
Helps to remove toxins and to regulate activity in the intestines and kidneys. A lack of potassium can cause constipation, weak muscles and dizziness. Helps to stabilize heart rhythm and blood pressure. Necessary mineral for nerve functions. As with sodium, it controls water retention. Found in green leafy veggies, fruits and potatoes.
Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits for the digestive system. The fruit's components act as a natural anti-acid and are very useful in treating ulcers. They stimulate the production of productive mucous in the stomach, avoiding that new acids reach the most sensitive areas in the intestinal tract. Also, they are rich in tannins that help to destroy bacteria that provoke ulcers. Bananas are a rich natural source of potassium, that fortifies the activity in the kidneys and helps in their function to release toxins. One banana contains 30 percent of the daily required intake of vitamin B 6 that helps to maintain the nervous system in optimal conditions and to keep the immune system healthy.
DIGESTIVE BANANA SHAKE
Place in 1 large banana or 2 small bananas in a blender with 1 cup of milk. Add some honey to sweeten and drink very cold.
Roughly cut up a banana and add a few slices of pineapple, a few strawberries and a container of yogurt. Blend in a blender until there are no lumps. Drink immediately (serves 2 glasses).
This fruit has a high level of unrefined sugar, which provides energy and is rich in potassium.
Extract 3 tablespoons of juice from grapes, mix with a generous amount of ginger juice. Stir well and drink when you suffer from symptoms of nausea.
Improves digestion. A lack of sodium can cause vomiting, indigestion, acid and flatulence. You lose a large amount of sodium with diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, diet pills, saunas and intense heat. It is found in almost all natural foods or added to foods. The major source of sodium is table salt, but it is also found in processed foods, cheese, bread, cereal, meat and cured or canned fish.
REFRESHING APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND HONEY
Mix 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in 1 glass of water. Mix well and take small sips.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Benefits various health problems and supports the immune system, but is also recommended for using against intestinal and digestive problems. Contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium, pectin and acetic acid.
Strengthens the intestinal lining, good for cases of:
- • Flatulence . Drink 1 glass before each meal.
- • Diarrhea . Drink several times a day, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar in 1 glass of mineral water.
- • Constipation . Drink tepid. It can be added to tepid compresses on the abdomen region.