Where colds and the flu have a tendency to attack during winter months, stomach aches and other belly issues are a year-round thing. No one likes to talk about it, but everyone experiences stomach problems from time-to-time. Thankfully, there are several effective and inexpensive at-home remedies to ease your stomach and prevent future issues.
1. Take a Probiotic
If you haven’t seen a commercial or received this as advice from a friend or doctor, we’d be surprised. There’s a reason you keep hearing about them — probiotics really work. Their benefits to your stomach are endless, from preventing gas, diarrhea, and cramping while taking antibiotics to preventing infections in the digestive tract. Probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of microflora in your intensities and a normal human digestive tract has about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce harmful bacteria growth and promote a healthy digestive system. A probiotic supplement gives you body an extra boost of these stomach defense soldiers. Try out different probiotics from your grocery or health food store (often they’re located in coolers). Some can be a bit pricey, but the benefits are worth it.
2. Sip Soothing Tea
Both peppermint and ginger have been shown to calm stomach ailments. Ginger is especially helpful for flatulence and the menthol in peppermint helps to relieve gas, nausea, and calm stomach pains. The next your stomach rumbles or can’t settle, try sipping some Yogi’s Purely Peppermint or Ginger teas or make your own ginger tea by boiling fresh ginger root. The smell and process will help calm your mind, too.
3. Munch on Tummy-Taming Foods
There are several foods that are particularly helpful to an upset stomach. Bananas are more than just energy powerhouses, they are easy to digest and contain pectin, which helps to firm bowel movements. Other pectin-containing foods include apples, legumes, and jam — consume some of these when you’re experiencing diarrhea or loose stools. Papayas are another wonder-fruit, helping to encourage digestion, ease indigestion, and help with uncomfortable constipation. When your stomach is really storming, bland foods like white rice, toast, and boiled potatoes help calm your stomach by not adding additional digestive stress. These bland foods also help ease diarrhea by absorbing excess fluids.
4. Identify Allergies or Intolerances
This is a big one! Tracking and understanding what foods continually cause you problems can make a huge difference in your digestive health. Whether it’s a food allergy, where your immune system releases antibodies and histamines in reaction to a food or component, or an intolerance, where your body in unable to absurd or digest certain foods or components, knowing what has a negative affect on your body is pertinent information. In your digestive symptom, food allergies or intolerances can lead to gas, bloating, abdominal cramping, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and more. One of the best ways to discover allergies or intolerances is to complete an elimination diet where you remove common or suspected food allergens from your diet for a set amount of days and then slowly re-introduce them to your body and check for symptoms. The ten most common food allergies are:
- Tree nuts
5. Lessen your stress
Your happiness and mental health are directly tied to your gut. About 90% of your body’s total serotonin is located in your gastrointestinal tract, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. An imbalance in serotonin can lead to depression and other ailments, making your stomach health increasingly important. Learning to manage your stress can make a huge difference in your overall health and create harmony in your belly. Try adding meditation or yoga into your daily routines, or, if you’re feeling particularly bad, talk to a friend or consider seeking out a therapist.
Next time your belly starts to rumble, rest assured that you have some tools to get back to feeling healthy in no time.