Eating yummy meals with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do, especially around the holidays. But a celebratory dinner can quickly take a turn for the worse thanks to unpleasant digestive issues, like bloating or constipation.
I chatted with registered dietitian and Daily Harvest advisor Amy Shapiro about how to incorporate spices and herbs into my diet that promote a healthy gut and may even help prevent some of these uncomfortable problems. She broke down the digestive benefits of three spices and three herbs, and also offered some advice on how to add them to the menu in your daily life.
If you are intimidated by ingredients that may seem unfamiliar, like dandelion root, Shapiro suggested using them to make tea. "You simply steep the ingredients either fresh, dry, ground or in a tea bag in hot water and sip when you feel you need the support," she told me. Ginger and turmeric are a bit more versatile, and can be used in smoothies, stir-frys, and chicken soup.
Keep reading for Shapiro's full list, as well as the gut health benefits they provide. Remember, these are not cure-alls. If you struggle with gut issues, it's always a good idea to talk to a doctor.
- Increases bowel regularity and motility
- Prevents constipation
- Soothes nausea
- Increases bile and saliva production to improve motility in the digestive system
- Relaxes muscles within the GI tract to minimize discomfort
- Stimulates digestion
- Helps prevent bad gut bacteria and potential ulcers
- May stimulate quicker digestion and metabolism
- Stimulates digestive enzymes
- Assuages the GI tract
- Detoxifies the liver
- Decreases bloating
- Helps relieve symptoms of digestive discomfort
- Minimizes gas and bloating
- Helps relax the GI tract
- Prevents spasms
- Promotes easier digestive motility
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