No need to reach for a pill or down a murky liquid to soothe digestive woes when there exist common natural herbs that improve digestion. In fact, some of the herbs you may already have lingering in the pantry or refrigerator happen to pack a metabolism-boosting punch.
Even better: they taste delicious! The following 5 natural herbs that improve digestion are your gateway to regularity and improved overall health.
1. Black Pepper
Almost all recipes call for a pinch of pepper, making it one of the most common natural herbs. It is available year round and it provides the body with essential nutrients, including manganese, vitamin K, iron, fiber, and copper. Black pepper stimulates the taste buds, alerting the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid, which is responsible to breaking down food in the stomach.
Among its many health benefits, ginger is effective in helping to jump start digestive secretions. According to a study in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, ginger consumption helps to speed up the movement of food from the stomach, hence contributing to overall digestive efficiency and health.
Since Roman times, anise has been grown in Italy to be used as a digestive aid. It is used to spice up meat dishes, curries, pickles, and liqueurs in Chinese cuisine and is often chewed after meals to freshen breath and aid digestion. Because of the active compounds in its volatile oils, anise treats cramps, gas, indigestion, and intestinal parasites.
In the Middle Ages, fennel was in high demand for its aromatic and appetite-suppressing capabilities. In terms of digestion, fennel helps to relieve flatulence and colic, as well as stimulates digestion.
5. Orange peel
Orange peel has a bitter, aromatic taste. It stimulates bile flow and increases digestive enzymes. Its pectin also helps to stimulate protein metabolism in the digestive tract. Orange peel can be grated and added to candies, breads, cookies, and cakes. It is also a great complement to vegetable dishes or meat marinades.
Images: Zac Greant, Gerlynn, Istockimages, Kellysblues, Nick Saltmarsh, Nickboos
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