Having digestive woes? Feeling a bit green? There are many reasons why our tummies might be unhappy – from disease, to bad food, to insufficient gut flora. For many, digestive trouble is an every day occurrence. As we continue to damage our guts with processed foods, strong medications, and the unavoidable toxins of daily life, more and more digestive diseases such as IBS, IBD, Candida, and others are becoming common.
Luckily, the lovely mother nature has provided us with several foods that contain probiotics, which are the beneficial bacteria that thrive in your gut and build up your immune system. Not only will these foods help to relieve tummy woes, but they will help to rebuild your digestive flora. This means fewer common colds, less indigestion, and happier, trouble free bellies!
1. Ginger root. Though not a probiotic, ginger has been proven to be better at relieving nausea than common over the counter medicines. It’s also a powerful natural antibiotic & anti-inflammatory plant! I like to make my ginger into tea by thinly slicing an inch of the root, boiling it for 5 minutes, and then mixing it in a mug with a dash of raw honey and a slice of lemon.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar. This wonder liquid actually helps to regulate the acid levels of the stomach, and has been known to cure chronic acid reflux. It also populates the tummy with beneficial bacteria, and works well to fight against Candida. You can simply mix a tablespoon of organic ACV into a large glass of water, and drink! If the taste is too intense, try mixing in a bit of honey.
3. Yogurt. Cultured dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir, are full of probiotics. They are the best way to receive these good bacteria, as they coat the stomach and protect the probiotics from acid. Yogurt also helps with diarrhea, indigestion, and acid reflux. If you regularly eat these foods, you may prevent tummy troubles all together!
4. Kombucha. This naturally fermented tea is truly a miracle. I could go on and on about the benefits – from preventing cancer, to boosting energy. However, my favorite perk is the live cultures that float around in each delicious glass! These bacteria are extremely helpful to your gut, and help to regulate and improve digestion. Many folks claim that it alleviates heartburn, indigestion, and general stomach upset.
5. Coconut Oil. I’m one of the 125 million Americans who are infected with the bacteria Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori) – the “bad” bacteria that causes peptic ulcers. Once you have it, it continues to creep back into your life unless you make an active effort to keep it under control. I suffered with the bacteria as a child, and again for 4 years recently. After the required course of antibiotics, I’m using all of the foods I’ve listed to build up my flora, and to prevent the bacteria from coming back. My favorite? Virgin Coconut oil. Coconut oil is anti-microbial. It contains lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which kills the bacteria by breaking down the H. pylori cell membrane. It’s also a powerful antibiotic, so one tablespoon a day is recommended for those struggling with tummy troubles.
When you couple these foods with a gentile exercise routine, plenty of self-care, and patience, you can have your tummy back to normal in no time!