‘ 86% of Brits have suffered from a gastrointestinal problem in the past year.
‘ Nutritionist and microbiome expert Shann Nix Jones discloses some of her top digestion secrets from eating more blueberries to avoiding indigestion tablets.
With such limited public awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy digestive system, author, nutritionist, gut health expert, and founder of the UK’s leading Kefir producer, Chuckling Goat, Shann Nix Jones divulges her top digestive health secrets, and reveals some exclusive digestive tips from her best- selling Amazon book, The Kefir Solution.
1. Stop Popping Painkillers
‘Pain relief tablets inhibit helpful substances that protect the stomach’s delicate lining, increasing the risk of stomach and intestine bleeding,’ warns Shann. Opting for a meadowsweet tea relieves pain while also protecting the stomach. Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, which is an active painkiller ingredient in aspirin.
For the best brew:
A. Combine one teaspoon of each herb in a teapot or saucepan cover with 720ml of freshly boiled water, replace the lid and steep for 15 minutes.
B. Strain and drink one cup, three times a day.
For a natural digestive remedy try Chuckling Goat’s gentle Tummy Tea, a delicious blend of natural herbs: meadowsweet, chamomile, peppermint and marshmallow root.
2. Cure Digestive Conditions with Kefir
‘Pure, unflavoured kefir made with goat’s milk and real kefir grains is the fastest and most effective way to improve gut health,’ advises Shann. The probiotic kefir works to treat symptoms of digestive conditions by reducing elevated levels of inflammation in the brain and body.
3. Avoid Antacids
Avoid when suffering from indigestion. ‘Antacids weaken the strength of hydrochloric acid in the stomach- its natural defense mechanism,’ explains Shann. ‘This results in infection and chronic gastritis, which, left untreated causes serious conditions such as peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.’ Instead brew and sip rosemary or marshmallow root tea to relieve wind, bloating and soothe stomach irritation.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar and Bitter: The Ultimate Indigestion Remedy
‘Take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a small amount of water and drink just before eating to relieve indigestion symptoms. Choose organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (like Bragg’s) that contains the “mother,” strands of proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance,’ advises Shann. ‘You can also add one teaspoon of bitters to this mix. Bitters come in a tincture and taste bitter, to stimulate the liver and gall bladder into producing high- quality bile to help digest food easier.’
5. Bulk buy blueberries
‘Diets high in sugar and low in fibre induce a rapid increase in blood sugar, that causes a surge of bad bugs in the gut; immune system activity heightens to counteract this, causing conflict between microbial cells and body cells,’ explains Shann. ‘I recommend incorporating salmon, kale, liver, sweet potatoes, sardines and blueberries into your diet, as these foods foster cooperation between body cells and microbial cells, making the digestive system more cohesive.’