How do you remedy a stomachache? Try these 4 food-based options that may help your tummy settle down naturally.
Do you reach for an over-the-counter medication when you have an upset stomach? Before reaching for an over-the-counter medication, first consider a more holistic approach to solving your digestive problems.
Food has been used as medicine for thousands of years, and more and more people are taking an interest in caring for their bodies in a more natural, intuitive way. Of course, this post is no way intended to replace medical advice if you need to be seen by a physician, but if you’re looking to improve your knowledge on how you can use the foods you may already have in your kitchen, this is for you.
When you become more in tune with your body, when you are better able to recognize what it is telling you it needs, you are better able to care for yourself in a loving and compassionate way. Here are 4 food-focused natural remedies to help settle a stomachache:
Bananas may be one of the most commonly known foods to ease a stomachache, but you may not know that the more ripe the banana is, the easier it is for your body to digest. The easier the banana is to digest, the more soothing it can be on an upset stomach. Bananas are composed of simple carbohydrates which can easily be broken down by the digestive system.
Bananas also have a low fiber content which means they are less binding than other fruit options. Bananas are high in potassium, a vital electrolyte, which is especially beneficial if you have been sick or unable to eat & drink normally for a prolonged period of time.
Mint, both peppermint and spearmint, has been used as a holistic stomachache remedy for centuries. This herb works to soothe discomfort caused by indigestion and gas. Mint contains menthol which acts as a natural analgesic, meaning it has the ability to relieve pain naturally. Peppermint and spearmint teas can be especially calming when experiencing a stomachache.
Research has shown that peppermint oil may also have the ability to improve abdominal pain for those with irritable bowel syndrome. You can purchase mint teas from your favorite store, or use fresh mint leaves to steep your own tea. Many people find mint essential oils to be helpful as well.
With use for its anti-nausea properties being traced back to ancient times, ginger may be one of the longest used natural stomachache remedies. Ginger has the ability to help with both a stomachache as well as nausea.
But don’t reach for that ginger ale just yet! Ginger ale may not provide the same relief as fresh ginger because many commercially available ginger ale products contain little to no amounts of real ginger. One of the easiest ways to find relief from ginger can be in the form of ginger tea. Ginger tea can be purchased in the form of ginger tea bags, or you can finely grate your own ginger and add to boiling water.
If your stomachache is caused by gas discomfort or bloating, fennel may be the right natural relief aid for you. Fennel contains anti-gas properties in the form of a compound known as anethole. Anethole has been explored in lab research for their role in stimulating the stomach to secrete digestive gastric juice and reducing inflammation of the stomach, both of which may bring stomach pain relief.
Never had fennel before? Fennel has a very strong anise, or licorice, flavor to it. Fennel can be eaten in raw form, cooked in a dish, in the form of fennel oil, or through dried fennel seeds. Chewing on dry fennel seeds is thought to provide stomachache relief caused by indigestion after a meal. You can also find prepared tea bags that contain fennel which will provide relief to an upset stomach.
It is important to keep in mind that foods to help with a stomachache must be easy to digest – think bland foods composed of simple carbohydrates. Protein and fat are more difficult to digest and may further contribute to your stomachache. Food can often be the best medicine and has been used as such for thousands of years, but always make sure you are seeking medical care by a qualified health professional when needed.
Adapted from the original article.
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Emily Kyle, MS, RDN is a nationally-recognized Registered Dietitian, writer, and media personality based in Rochester, NY who focuses on helping women break free from the vicious cycles of dieting. By helping women develop natural healthy habits without deprivation and monotony, Emily shows how all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle. Learn more at Emily Kyle Nutrition.