6 Simple Remedies to Improve Digestive Health
By Amy Sunderman, MS, RD
Digestive health challenges are not only uncomfortable, they’re also quite common in the US. In fact, roughly 70 million Americans are affected by gut health discomfort each year.1
Despite this alarming average, you don’t have to be a statistic. These super simple home remedies may help add some comfort and relief for overall digestive health so you can continue to enjoy your meals without paying for it later.
Warm Water with Lemon for Regularity
If you have difficulties staying regular, try drinking warm water with lemon to flush out your digestive system. This Ayurvedic approach to soothing stomach discomfort is easy to make and offers some flavonoids for immune health support as well. Just warm a cup of water either over the stove or in the microwave and stir in juice from half of a lemon.
Ginger for Calming Queasiness
Ginger root is a traditional favorite among Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalists to promote digestive support. It’s also versatile in how it can be used. Perfect for after a meal—ginger root tea is a fantastic way to settle your stomach if dinner didn’t agree with you.2 If you’re feeling especially full and tea doesn’t sound appealing, you can also opt for ginger root supplementation to get the most of this digestive system tonic. Last but not least, you can add ginger to your favorite recipes to give your dish a kick of flavor and your digestive health some support.
Peppermint to Cool Down Abdominal Discomfort
This herb does a lot more than serve as a favorite flavor during the winter season. Peppermint may lend a refreshing hand in alleviating discomfort and bloat and comes in many forms.3 Peppermint tea is a relaxing and cozy method to reap the soothing benefits. However, if you’re not a fan of peppermint’s cooling flavor, you can opt for full spectrum peppermint leaf as well.
Digestive Enzymes for a Head Start
If you occasionally have trouble digesting or could be trying new foods, incorporating a digestive enzyme before eating your meal may help bring some ease with food breakdown and absorption. You can also add foods that naturally provide these enzymes into your diet. Raw honey for example, offers multiple digestive enzymes and can easily be added to tea or spread on toast for an easy-to-digest solution.4
Probiotics for Microbial Balance
Not all bacteria are equal—there are actually helpful bacteria that can be found in your digestive system but sometimes they can get overwhelmed by the not-so-helpful kind. To promote a balanced microbiome, reach for fermented foods high in probiotics like kefir or drinks like kombucha. These probiotic-rich options help add more diversity to your microbiome and help improve overall gut health.5
Bone Broth for Gastrointestinal Integrity
Easy to include as a base for soups or stews and especially nutrient dense—bone broth makes for a delicious meal that can also boast some serious gut health benefits. Bone broth is a good source of the amino acid glutamine. Studies have suggested that glutamine may help maintain intestinal barrier function to promote GI tract integrity.6,7
Along with these easy home remedies, it’s also important to get enough sleep and hydrate with water to maintain overall digestive health and wellness. It helps to avoid processed foods and reach for more plant-based foods in your diet as well. Gut health impacts your body’s overall wellness and comfort, so be sure to include healthy options that agree with your stomach.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve digestive health, see The 3 Best Herbs for Liver Health and Detox Support or Build a Healthier Gut with Probiotics.
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About Amy Sunderman, MS, RD
Director of Science & Innovation, Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health
Amy is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author with over 20 years of experience in the supplement industry. Amy is passionate about dietary supplements and the health benefits they offer. She enjoys working to find novel nutritional ingredients with strong clinical research behind them to drive innovation and provide health-promoting products to consumers.
1. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2009. NIH Publication 08–6514.
2. Hu, M-L, et al. Effect of ginger on gastric motility and symptoms of functional dyspepsia. World J Gastroenterol 2011 Jan; 17(1):105-110.
3. Kligler B, et al. Peppermint Oil. Am Fam Physician 2007; 75(7):1027-1030.
4. Raman, R. (n.d.). 12 Foods That Contain Natural Digestive Enzymes. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/natural-digestive-enzymes
5. Team, D. (2020, March 27). 5 Reasons You Should Add More Fermented Foods to Your Diet. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-reasons-you-should-add-more-fermented-foods-to-your-diet-infographic/
6. Rapin JR, Wiernsperger N. Possible links between intestinal permeability and food processing: A potential therapeutic niche for glutamine. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2010;65(6):635-643. doi:10.1590/S1807-59322010000600012
7. Achamrah N, Déchelotte P, Coëffier M. Glutamine and the regulation of intestinal permeability: from bench to bedside. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2017;20(1):86-91. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000339
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.