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Spices for Gut Health

Spices for Gut Health

Maybe you’ve heard this phrase:  “As it goes with your gut, so it goes with your health.”  In other words, the state of your health relies on the state of your gut. 

Unfortunately, gut health can go awry for a number of reasons, including a poor diet; unhealthy lifestyle choices; food allergies and other sensitivities; unrelenting stress; the ingestion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and more. On the other hand, you can bolster the health of your gut by a prudent diet rich in probiotics and enzymes, wise lifestyle choices, and even by spicing up your life with these gut-loving spices.

First up is turmeric. What turmeric does in the gut is nothing short of amazing. Known also as curcumin, turmeric helps in the proper digestion of food and supports healthy inflammation in the gut and elsewhere in the body. Likewise, due to its astringent qualities, turmeric can support the gut lining for optimal digestive health and is particularly helpful against leaky gut syndrome. Additionally, turmeric is instrumental in maintaining the proper balance of stomach acid. 

Next in line is cumin, which helps to support food digestion through stimulating the release of digestive enzymes—for breaking down food—during and after eating, and by triggering the release of bile. Likewise, cumin has two compounds—cuminaldehyde and thymol—which support healthy digestion. Cuminaldehyde activates the salivary glands, helping to break down food and to get it ready for proper nutrient absorption in the body. Thymol acts to keep foods from fermenting (in a bad way) in the digestive tract.

Then there’s fennel, which has a licorice flavor to it, and is packed with an array of phytochemicals which support healthy inflammation levels. Additionally, fennel contains other healthy digestion-promoting nutrients. Speaking of nutrients. . . fennel can help increase the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract as a result of its aspartic acid content.

Let’s not forget about coriander, which comes from cilantro seeds. Two components of coriander, linalool and geranyl acetate, are found in coriander, and they’re both known to help support gastrointestinal health. In fact, a study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, indicates that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) showed positive results after taking coriander for eight weeks. Interestingly, coriander works much like antispasmodic drugs to relax the digestive muscles and to support GI health—only without any harmful side effects.

To top it all off is ginger, which has been known throughout history for helping to fight GI distress, including soothing and relaxing the GI tract. For instance, double-blind studies demonstrate that ginger is effective in preventing the symptoms of motion sickness—just as well as over-the-counter motion sickness drugs do, but without the unwanted side effects. What’s more is that ginger reduces all symptoms associated with motion sickness, including dizziness, nausea, vomiting and cold sweats.

Speaking of nausea . . . ginger is especially helpful to pregnant women who have nausea, including those who experience the most extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidum, which usually requires hospitalization. In a double-blind trial, ginger root delivered a significant reduction in the severity of nausea and in the number of vomiting attacks in 19 of 27 women in early pregnancy.  Additionally, a review of six double-blind, randomized, controlled trials published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, has confirmed that ginger is effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. What’s more is that ginger is extremely safe compared to other anti-vomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects.

You see? These spices can help you take care of your gut so that it can take care of you.

 

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.


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