The digestive system is responsible for turning the food we eat into energy needed to survive and carry out our normal daily activities. When the digestive system is functioning properly, the lining of the digestive tract acts as a filter to allow all good nutrients, vitamins and amino acids to enter the bloodstream and prevent toxins and waste products from entering, keeping them in the bowel so they can be eliminated.
There is a continual balancing act in the digestive system between the “good” and “bad” bacteria. In order to maintain a healthy digestive system, we need to ensure that we have lots of “good” bacteria for producing vitamins, relieving the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, increasing the resistance to infections and regulating the immune system, detoxifying chemicals and preventing the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria. However, the number of “good” bacteria can be disrupted by excess alcohol, too much dietary fat, low fibre intake, excess stress or the use of antibiotics.
If you find you are experiencing poor digestion, it might be beneficial to speak to your health care professional about the following natural supplements.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria needed for good health and vitality and may improve uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating and mild diarrhoea. Probiotic supplements can be consumed on a daily basis to boost the number of “good” bacteria in your body and assist in the prevention of disease. Be sure to consult your healthcare professional about which probiotic is best for you and your symptoms.
Digestive enzymes and herbs help promote good digestion and prevent problems such as flatulence and indigestion. These enzymes are those in the gut that help break down food to smaller particles so they can be readily absorbed. They aid the digestion of all the food groups – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, cellulose and lactose.
Detoxification to support digestion
As the digestive tract is one of the main organs of elimination, a responsible detox may support your digestive health.
When undertaking a detox, there are certain dietary restrictions to ensure substances that are likely to increase workload of the digestive organs and cause irritation are reduced. Dietary restrictions include alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and fatty and processed foods. These restrictions will help your digestive tract to simply ‘rest and digest’.
Milk Thistle targets the liver in particular, which is the largest organ of the human body and plays a vital role in digestion and detoxification. The liver is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats and many other compounds used by the body and also supporting the removal of toxins.