Foods to Combat Bloating and Indigestion
Fennel is a tall herb with hollow stems and yellow flowers. Originally native to the Mediterranean, it grows all over the world and has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. Fennel seeds can be dried and used to make tea. The tea tastes a little like licorice, with a relaxing scent and slightly bitter aftertaste. Fennel tea can be purchased in almost any supermarket or health food store.
Fennel has long been thought to strengthen your eyesight, regulate hormones, improve your digestion, and help memory. Researchers found that ground fennel seeds in solution were effective against bacteria that cause indigestion, diarrhea, and dysentery, as well as some hospital-acquired infections.
According to one study, fennel was effective at collecting free radicals, which cause disease. This suggested fennel extracts could be used to help individuals ward off the effects of many chronic diseases and dangerous health conditions, including cancer, hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, and inflammation.
Fennel has been used to:
- relieve flatulence
- encourage urination – fennel is recommended if you are detoxing from a sodium-rich diet, because sodium forces the body to retain water and fennel acts as a mild diuretic
- boost metabolism
- treat hypertension – there is evidence that potassium, calcium, and magnesium decrease blood pressure naturally. All of these are present in fennel. Dietary nitrates in fennel and other foods have vasodilatory and vasoprotective properties.
- improve eyesight and prevent glaucoma – fennel contains potent plant compounds and other antioxidants such as rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, and apigenin. These antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The fennel’s anti-inflammatory properties help treat swollen eyes caused by lack of sleep or dryness. Use tea in a compress.
- regulate appetite
- clear mucus from the airways
- stimulate milk production in nursing women
- speed digestion – fennel relaxes your digestive muscles, helping to regulate bowel movements.
- fennel tea – helps cleanse your body and move toxins through your system.
- reduce gas – in some parts of the world, people chew fennel seeds after a meal to aid in digestion.
- reduce stress
Fennel is considered fairly mild, although some people may be allergic to it. It is also possible to overdose on the extracted oils found in fennel.
There is some controversy over whether fennel should be used to soothe infant colic. Estragole, which is found in fennel, might not be safe for babies or any person when they’re exposed to it in large quantities. If you’re pregnant, you should avoid drinking fennel tea. The estrogen that is activated in the oil of the fennel seed could confuse your pregnant body, which is already experiencing a surge in all kinds of hormones.
Since fennel is in the carrot family, avoid drinking fennel if you’re allergic to carrots or other plants in that family, including celery or mugwort. If you take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, you should also use caution when drinking fennel tea.
Curcumin Turmeric’s most active ingredient is called curcumin. It’s thought to be responsible for most of turmeric’s health benefits. Turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been used to relieve arthritis pain and regulate menstruation. It’s also been used to improve digestion and liver function.
To increase bioavailability of curcumin, take it with pepper. There is no exact science or ratio as to how much black pepper you should take with turmeric. ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper with one tsp turmeric powder can provide health benefits and aid in the absorption of curcumin.
Turmeric and its extract curcumin are both said to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, turmeric may relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Curcumin might also:
- protect the gut from damage from NSAIDs and other toxins. It has a role in keeping the bacteria associated with ulcers in check, helps ulcers heal, and it works actively on killing cancer cells in the gut.
- relieve joint, back and knee pain – curcumin works as an anti-inflammatory by regulating enzymatic activities by blocking key inflammatory pathways.
- prevents type 2 diabetes
- help with skin dryness – A 2019 systematic review found that curcumin can help combat the effects of psoriasis and dermatitis. Topical application of curcumin may also help with acne, as this compound has antibiotic properties.
- boost brain function and memory – As an antioxidant, curcumin frequently crosses the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells from free radical damage. This also allows for increased blood flow to the brain, which improves memory and concentration. The presence of curcumin also increases the production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein that stimulates the creation of new brain cells. Curcumin also increases the bioavailability of DHA, a fundamental amino acid and building block for your brain.
- improve digestion and blood circulation
- promote cardiovascular health
- enhance immune support and nervous system
- anti-depressant – As an antidepressant, curcumin may be a great natural alternative for SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs. People who suffer from depression often try numerous medications, in search of an effective medication without horrible side effects. Curcumin helps with depression by increasing the two critical neurotransmitters associated with depression – serotonin, and dopamine.
- digestive health – an increasing number of studies have suggested that gut dysbiosis is linked with many metabolic diseases, and curcumin seems to have beneficial effects on gut microbiota, favoring the growth of beneficial bacteria strains
- cholesterol regulators
Turmeric is a natural blood thinner. You shouldn’t take turmeric if you take drugs that thin your blood or if you have an upcoming surgery.
Turmeric may also lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and make gallbladder problems worse.
Artichokes are frequently cited as a superfood, in part because of their high levels of antioxidants. Artichokes contains chemicals that can reduce nausea and vomiting, spasms, and gas. These chemicals have also been shown to lower cholesterol and protect the liver. People commonly use artichoke for indigestion and high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood.
Artichokes are a great source of fiber, which can help keep your digestive system healthy by promoting friendly gut bacteria, reducing your risk of certain bowel cancers, and alleviating constipation and diarrhea. Artichokes also contain inulin, a type of fiber which acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber that feed the “friendly” bacteria in your gut. This allows your gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your colon cells, which leads to a healthier digestive system.
Artichoke extract may also provide relief from symptoms of indigestion, such as bloating, nausea, and heartburn. A study in 247 people with indigestion determined that consuming artichoke leaf extract daily for six weeks reduced symptoms, such as flatulence and uncomfortable feelings of fullness, compared to not taking artichoke leaf extract.
Cynarin, a naturally occurring compound in artichokes, may cause these positive effects by stimulating bile production, accelerating gut movement, and improving the digestion of certain fats.
Ginger – has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional and alternative medicine. It’s been used to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and even help fight the flu and common cold.
The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils, the most important of which is gingerol. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger. Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which help reduce oxidative stress, the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body.
To treat gas, which can lead to bloating, adults can take 1-2 teaspoons of fresh root daily, or 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of powdered root daily, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. For ginger liquid extract, the recommended dose for adults is 30 to 90 drops. You can add ½ tsp of ground or freshly grated ginger to 1 cup of hot water to make a tea to relieve gas.
Because ginger can thin blood, you should not take it if you are on a blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin or aspirin without your doctor’s guidance. Also see your doctor if you have gallstones before consuming ginger. In rare cases, ginger may cause mild diarrhea, mild heartburn, mouth irritation or stomach discomfort. Taking ginger capsules may prevent gastrointestinal side effects, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
How to Buy
Extract of fennel seeds is not the same thing as fennel tea. Fennel tea is less processed and more likely to be pure. Fennel seed is available in capsule form. According to one manufacturer, the recommended dose is 3 capsules (480 milligrams) per day. Fennel seeds can be bought in most groceries.
Your body absorbs turmeric and curcumin poorly. The spice and its extract are both rapidly metabolized by your liver and intestinal wall. Various methods of delivery have been explored to increase the bioavailability of curcumin. One way to increase turmeric’s absorption is to consume it with piperine. It’s commonly found in black pepper. Turmeric and black pepper are often sold together in supplements. The pepper increases the absorption and action of the turmeric. When choosing turmeric supplements, look for brands that have black pepper extract or piperine listed as an ingredient.
1. Organic Turmeric vs. Harmful Turmeric– Organic turmeric is grown without synthetic pesticides and harmful chemicals. You will find turmeric root in the produce section of grocery stores.
When choosing a turmeric supplement, purchase one that is organic. Synthetic pesticides can be made from toxic chemicals that can harm your health. With organic turmeric supplements, you can be sure that you only get the benefits without having to worry about ingesting toxic chemicals.
2. Clinical research: an effective turmeric supplement should contain between 1,000 – 1,300mg of Turmeric Curcumin standardized to 95% and 10mg of BioPerine.*
3. BioPerine® is sourced from black pepper – having BioPerine in the digestive tract with supplemented nutrient results in enhanced absorption. A purified extract of piperine is necessary to get the increased absorption.
You should never buy supplements that don’t have Certificate of Analysis. The studies should be conducted in labs that are not affiliated with the manufacturer. These labs verify the product for safety and potency. Some brands add artificial fillers to cut cost to offer cheap products. Some of these cheap fillers we found were titanium dioxide and artificial coloring. You should never purchase cheap products when it comes to supplements.
A reputable supplement company will offer 100% money-back guarantee policy and provide customer support through phone number and email.
To select artichokes, start by looking for artichokes that feel firm and heavy, which is a sign that they’ll taste good. Also, make sure the artichokes’ leaves are green and tightly packed. Do not buy if the leaves are brown or loose. Artichokes are also available canned.
Look for ginger with shiny, taut skin. The ginger skin should be thin, never thick and fibrous. Just because ginger is sold in larger pieces doesn’t mean you have to buy the whole thing. Break off what you need. And ginger should snap prettily easily. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not fresh.
How to Store
Fennel seeds, tea and extract should be kept in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Turmeric/ curcumin – Turmeric root is a food item like ginger root that should be refrigerated for longer shelf life.You can also freeze unpeeled turmeric in an air-tight freezer bag. You can buy powdered turmeric in most grocery stores. Keep in a cool, dry place out of sunlight.
- Put 1 inch of water in a bowl.
- Cut off half an inch of the stalk end. The freshly exposed end enables the stalk to absorb water easily keeping the whole artichoke fresh for long.
- Stand the artichokes in the bowl containing water.
- Put the bowl in the refrigerator.
Use your ginger within six months. If you use ginger pretty frequently (two to three times a week), store it in a resealable bag (with all the air removed) in the crisper drawer of your fridge. If ginger doesn’t show up as often in your cooking, store it in the freezer and grate it whenever you need it.
How to Cook
Use fennel seeds from your own plant or from a health food store to make your own fennel tea. You can dry the seeds out by laying them flat and baking them in sunshine for two or three days, or you can speed up the process by microwaving the seeds in increments of 30 seconds, checking on them often. Then, crush the seeds and use them in a tea ball or empty tea bag, steeping in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
The longer you steep fennel tea, the stronger the brew will taste. There is no recommended daily limit established for how much fennel tea is safe to drink. Since fennel tea affects digestion, start with one cup at a time and see how your body reacts to drinking it.
Fennel has a distinctive licorice-like flavor and is used in salads, ice cream, cookies, alcoholic beverages, pasta dishes, and more:
- as a spice
- eaten raw
- Add it to tofu scrambles and frittatas
- Toss it with roasted vegetables
- Add it to rice
- Try it with greens
- Use it in soups
- Blend it into a smoothie
- Make tea.
Preparing fresh artichoke can feel intimidating if you’ve never done it before, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. Rinse the artichoke and then cut off the stem. Open the petals up a little bit, and then steam the artichoke for 30 to 40 minutes.
Once your artichoke has been steamed, you have a few different options for eating it. Some people choose to peel away the petals of the artichoke and only eat the center, or “heart.” However, some of the best nutrients are concentrated in the leaves. To get the full health benefits, you can pull the leaves off the artichoke and scrape off the meaty part with your teeth.
Ginger pairs wonderfully with bananas (they are distant relatives), so add grated fresh ginger to banana bread or muffins. Ginger also likes apples, so add it to applesauce and apple pie. Or combine it with apples and maple syrup and simmer to make a compote for topping pancakes. Add shredded ginger to soup while it cooks to give it a little spice and flavor. You can also add a pinch of chopped ginger to a stir fry.