Our stomachs are amazing things and they definitely deserve a little more credit. The bacteria in our gut is actually responsible for the neurotransmitters that affect our levels of dopamine, as well as the other naturally occurring feel-good chemicals in our brain, so if your stomach isn’t kept happy there’s a good chance that you won’t be either. This is exactly where the ‘hangry’ phenomena stems from, in that an empty stomach can adversely trigger those neurotransmitters and cause some of the irrational thinking that wouldn’t have come into play had there been a sandwich nearby. But just as important as keeping your stomach satisfied is keeping it healthy and feeding it the right kinds of nutritional foods, to prevent it from getting upset and giving you some terrible cramps and aches as a result.
If it can be helped, no-one wants to suffer the pain and immobilizing discomfort of an upset stomach, as it means having to put up with every kind of ailment from nausea, hiccups, bad breath, burping, and a bit of acid reflux thrown in for good measure. Basically it’s everything that can spoil your day and do quite a lot worse besides, as severe stomach cramps can make it hard for you stand up and perform even the simplest day-to-day tasks. But, as with plenty of other forms of illness and bodily discomfort, the worst symptoms can be relieved naturally with the right diet, so here are some of the best foods to help cure an upset stomach.
The strong-tasting flavor most often found in candy form, licorice is also employed for medicinal purposes as a remedy for stomach ulcers and indigestion. The licorice root itself was previously consumed whole, yet today you will more often find licorice in supplement form, as DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice). The reason why this is now the go-to form of licorice in medical circles is down to its lower concentration of glycyrrhizin, which is the chemical in licorice that causes high blood pressure and reduces the level of potassium in the body.
The DGL content of licorice has been known to soothe stomach pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which concurrently stimulate the generation of mucus to protection the lining of the stomach to further protect it against the damaging effects of stomach acid. For those suffering from acid reflux, licorice really is something of a miracle-worker.
The ingredient found in a wide range of baked goods, from loaves of bread to savory muffins, flaxseeds can be enjoyed whole or as flaxseed oil. Also known as linseed, these small crunchy baking ingredients are a wonder cure for abdominal pain and the healthy regulation of bowel movements. Mostly employed as a relieving agent for constipation, flaxseeds have also been found to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers and painful intestinal spasms; primarily they can be relied upon to increase the frequency of stool production and enhance the consistency of stool sizes. Add that to the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds, and their protective qualities against the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer, and you have one powerful little seed. Try sprinkling some over your breakfast cereal to easily get more of into your day.
One of the unfortunate side effects of an upset stomach is diarrhea, which can be extremely uncomfortable as well as almost entirely incapacitating, but one of the key remedies for this unpleasant condition is green bananas. Thanks to the high levels of resistant starch they contain, a special type of fiber with powerful antidiarrheal qualities, which has been known to limit the frequency, severity, and duration of episodes of diarrhea. Due to the fact resistant starch is unable to be digested by humans, when consumed in green bananas it will pass through to the end of the digestive tract until it reaches the very end of your intestines, the colon.
Once there, it will gradually ferment as your gut bacteria begins generating fatty acids which then prompt your bowels to absorb more fluid, thus drying out your feces and adding greater structural substance to them. There are plenty of other great reasons why bananas are good for you, but as a cure for diarrhea, this is just about the best reason to keep some unripe bananas at the side of your fruit bowel.
General tips to relieve stomach pain
As well as putting the right things into your stomach, it’s also important to know what not to put in your diet. Two of the key things to avoid are tobacco and alcohol (which you should really try to cut back on, anyway, as they are far from the healthiest things in the world), as these can play havoc on your stomach as well as cause a whole host of other issues from lung cancer to impeded fertility and weakened memory retention. Alcohol, as a toxin that can be lethal in excessive quantities, is quite difficult to digest and can thereby cause damage to the lining of your stomach and liver. That definitely won’t help relieve your upset stomach, and smoking has a heap of other negative factors as well, mostly due to the inflammation and discomfort cigarette smoke causes the muscles at the back of your throat.
This can be especially uncomfortable if your throat is already feeling sore after vomiting, as a result of the nausea caused by a stomach bug; the stomach acids expelled from your mouth can damage the muscle tissue at the back of your throat, so cigarette smoke is really the last thing you want in your mouth at such a time. One hot thing you will want to hand, though, is a hot water bottle – or, better yet, a hot bath to sink into – as heat can help relax your stomach muscles and thereby ease digestion.
Whether you’re feeling unwell or in peak form, it always helps to keep your body loaded with all the nutrients and minerals of a diverse and organic diet. That’s where Buffalo Market comes in, giving you the very best organic produce at the most competitive prices. Working in collaboration with small-scale independent farmers across California, we can guarantee every bit of market-quality produce delivered directly to your door will be as fresh upon arrival as it was the moment it was pulled out of the ground. With an inventory of more than 2,600 items, constantly updated as new ingredients come into season, you’re spoiled for choice. Why not try out a more natural, more flavorsome diet today, and see how you can enjoy the benefits of going organic.