Managing Gastrointestinal Discomfort Naturally
Occasional upset stomach isn’t uncommon. Common causes include eating foods that cause discomfort or experiencing bloating or even indigestion from eating too much. But for some people, gastrointestinal discomfort is an all too common experience. And while some lifestyle changes can help to correct the issue, sometimes more interventions may be needed. People who struggle with digestive issues may consider incorporating any of the four following natural supplements to ease discomfort.
1. Add in a probiotic
Probiotics are healthy bacteria and yeast cultures. The microbes work to balance the gut and complement the natural microbiome composed of bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Especially for people that struggle with bloating and gas, adding a probiotic can help to tip the microbiome’s balance of good versus harmful bacteria in a positive direction, aiding in welcome relief from belly discomfort. Additionally, some probiotics have been proven to help quell other gastrointestinal discomforts like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. Ginger for an upset stomach
Any woman that’s ever been pregnant is familiar with ginger as a remedy for nausea and upset stomach. The natural root is more than a spice seasoning and is also a key ingredient found in many Asian medicinal remedies. Ginger can be taken as a capsule, in powder form, or even eaten fresh by slicing the root for consumption. But beyond controlling pregnancy symptoms, ginger is also linked to managing indigestion, abdominal cramping, bloating, and even managing acid reflux. Keep in mind though, that in some people, ginger can cause heartburn.
3. Upping fiber intake
For people that struggle with staying regular, adding fiber to the diet is one of the best ways to keep the digestive system flowing properly. Note, though, that fiber comes in two forms: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber helps to absorb water, add bulk, and prevent the risk of runny stools. Soluble fiber helps to clean out the digestive tract effectively. While fiber supplements are available, experts agree that the best way to incorporate the nutrient is by adding fiber-rich foods such as oat and wheat bran, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, and vegetables.
4. Don’t forget to stay hydrated
Considering that water isn’t just a natural resource but a core component of the human body, staying hydrated is important. Poor hydration can be directly linked to everything from constipation to indigestion. While most people think that 64oz are the standard for every individual, the actual amount can fluctuate. Experts recommend getting between 55-66oz of water a day. However, if knocking back glasses of plain water is difficult, people can also stay hydrated by eating water-rich foods such as cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, melons, grapefruits, and peaches.
Focusing on a healthy gut
Digestive issues can be not just uncomfortable but embarrassing as well. However, people don’t have to live with the discomfort indefinitely. Often, by adjusting the diet and adding in healthy nutrients where possible, people can improve gut health and live in comfort. Individuals struggling with digestive problems should speak with a physician to determine the cause of the discomfort and to create a strategy to manage symptoms.