- If you are prone to indigestion, consume well-balanced meals with plenty of fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Include in your diet fresh papaya (which contains papain) and fresh pineapple (which contains bromelain). These are good sources of beneficial digestive enzymes.
- For disorders such as gas, bloating, and heartburn, try brown rice and/or barley broth. Use 5 parts water to 1 part grain, and boil the mixture, uncovered, for ten minutes. Then put the lid on and simmer for fifty-five minutes more. Strain and cool the liquid. Sip this throughout the day.
- Limit your intake of lentils, peanuts, and soybeans. They contain an enzyme inhibitor.
- Avoid bakery products, beans, caffeine, carbonated beverages, citrus juices, fried and fatty foods, pasta, peppers, potato chips and other snack foods, red meat, refined carbohydrates (sugar), tomatoes, and salty or spicy foods.
- For upper gastrointestinal gas, take pancreatin; for lower gastrointestinal gas, take supplemental trace minerals. If you have gas, use the juice of one fresh lemon in a quart of lukewarm water as an enema to balance the body’s pH.
- If the results of the stomach acid test showed that you need more hydrochloric acid, sip 1 tablespoon of pure apple cider vinegar in 2-3 oz. of water with each meal to aid digestion.
- Chew your food thoroughly. Digestion starts in the mouth, because chewing signals the rest of the digestive system to prepare to break down the food for absorption.
- Do not drink liquids while eating. This dilutes the stomach juices, interferring with proper digestion.
- It’s better to drink a glass of water 30 minutes prior to a meal or 2 hours after a meal.
- Find out what foods your body has trouble digesting, and stay away from foods that cause a reaction. Like milk, wheat, tomatoes, chocolate, fried foods, caffeine, & alcohol, for example.
- Food combinations are important. Proteins and starches are a poor combination, as are vegetables and fruits. Foods containing sugar, such as fruit, should not be consumed with proteins or starches.
- Many people take antacids to relieve the discomfort of indigestion and heartburn, but these medications may actually make matters worse. Antacids do neutralize acid-related symptoms. But taken over a long period of time, it backfires preventing proper digestion and interfering with the absorption of nutrients! This only leads to continued indigestion. Antacids are useless for gas and bloating.
- Most antacids sold in the United States contain aluminum compounds, calcium carbonate, magnesium compounds, or sodium bicarbonate. Aluminum-based antacids can cause constipation. Calcium carbonate can cause a rebound effect in which the stomach produces more acid than before once the antacid’s effects wear off. Magnesium compounds can cause diarrhea. Sodium bicarbonate can cause gas and bloating.
- Aloe vera is good for heartburn and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Take ¼ cup of aloe vera juice on an empty stomach in the morning and again at bedtime.
- Catnip, chamomile, fennel, fenugreek, goldenseal, papaya, and peppermint are all good for indigestion. Take these with you in your travels. Check your local health food store.
Caution: Do not use chamomile on an ongoing basis, and avoid it completely if you are allergic to ragweed. Do not take goldenseal internally on a daily basis for more than one week, do not use it during pregnancy, and use it with caution if you are allergic to ragweed.
- Ginger is a time-honored remedy for nausea.
- A few sprigs of fresh parsley, or ¼ teaspoon of dried, taken with a glass of warm water, can help relieve indigestion too.
Dr. Greg N. McNabb Wellness Expert www.santacruzholisticwellness.com