Food indigestion and inflammation are the root of many chronic diseases. If you can’t digest your foods properly, the foods will ferment in the upper intestines and the stomach creating carbon dioxide, organic acids and hydrogen. These acids will make digestion even more difficult and often times can cause bloating and gas.
Foods high in complex carbohydrates are the primary reasons behind difficult digestion. Any undigested foods or bacteria that exist in gut can damage mucosal lining and cause leaky gut syndrome. Some factors such as food allergies, regular consumption of foods with parasites, foods sprayed with chemicals and pesticides and regular alcohol consumption can irritate the small intestine and cause difficulty to digest foods.
Other psychological problems such as stress, anxiety, disappointments and worrying can also disturb the nervous system that controls the function of stomach and intestine. Indigestion symptoms are usually constipation, chronic fatigue, allergic reactions, chronic bowl irritation, diarrhea, insomnia, muscle and joint problems, skin disorders, sugar craving and vomiting. There are certain foods and beverages that cause indigestion such as alcohol, sodas, energy drinks, caffeine, processed refined foods and conventional foods. Other factors such as gallbladder disorders, liver damage, pancreas malfunction, malabsorption and peptic ulcers can also result in digestive problems.
Stomach Acid Test
The glands produce hydrochloric acid (HCI) for breaking and digesting foods. Insufficient amount of HCI or too much stomach acid can cause food indigestion. A tablespoon of organic lime or organic apple cider would tell you if you need more or less HCI. If taking this mixture will make your symptoms worse, you have excess HCI which means you shouldn’t take any foods or supplements that have HCI. However if a tablespoon of organic lime or apple cider made your symptoms go away that means you needed more stomach acids.
Here are the following herbals and foods that help with food digestion:
- Organic Alfalfa and aloe vera are really good for heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Anise seeds can relieve an upset stomach.
- Acid-Ease is an herb that contains natural enzymes that helps to breakdown foods and ease heartburn.
- Chamomile, fennel, Goldenseal, papaya, pineapple, catnip, and fenugreek are really good for food digestion
- Ginger is amazing for nausea - Fresh parsley in a glass of warm water can also help digestive problems
- Slippery elm is really good for inflammation and colon relief
- A well balanced diet with plenty of fresh organic foods that have live enzymes and are rich in fiber such as raw organic fruits, vegetables and superfoods can effectively improve digestion
- Adding organic rBGH-free yogurt (kefir-labneh) to your diet can improve food digestion. Most of the time, the problem with food digestion is lack of good Bacteria in the stomach. Yogurt contains good bacteria or “acidophilus” that can help food digestion - Drinking organic lemon in a cup of water also helps to purify the blood and improve digestion
- Avoid all the white stuff like white bread or rice and replace them with organic brown rice and whole grains. Brown rice and barley broth can help stomach disorders such as bloating, gas and heartburn
- Limit your lentil, peanuts and soybeans consumption since they have enzyme inhibitor. Avoid soy completely since 90% of soy produced in the US is GMO
- Avoid carbonated beverages, spicy salty foods, fried or processed foods, fatty foods, pasta, potato chips, red meat, GMOs, conventional foods that have higher levels of pesticides, chemicals and herbicides. GMOs have been related to gastrointestinal problems and inflammation. In a report, nearly 2,000 sheep died after grazing on GMO cotton crops from server toxicity and inflammation of intestines.
- Mindful eating--Try to chew your food slowly. Food digestion starts in the mouth and chewing foods slowly will send signals to the digestive system to get ready for the right enzymes
- Avoid eating before bed or when you are upset or tired
- Don’t drink water or any other liquid during eating - Keep a summary of foods that cause indigestion and try to avoid them
- Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) improves the intestinal bacteria
- Exercising like walking, yoga or stretching will help with food digestion
- Some people might take medications such as antacids to relieve heartburn and indigestion. Antacid medication neutralizes the stomach acids and prevents proper digestion and proper absorption of nutrients. These medications will only make things worse and cause indigestion. Majority of antacids sold in US contain aluminum and magnesium compounds, sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate which on their own can cause many problems.
Calcium carbonate causes stomach to produce more acids than before, aluminum based antacids causes constipation, sodium bicarbonate causes gas and bloating and magnesium compounds cause diarrhea - Based on the John Hopkins study the excessive use of heartburn medication “cimetidine” can result in breast enlargement.