THE BLOG
05/07/2012 10:05 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT

The Top Five Supplements For Digestion

Everything begins and ends in the digestive tract. If the digestive system is not fully functional, every single process in the body is affected. This is why it is so important to "be kind" to your digestive tract and not stress it too much. Things that stress the digestive tract are...

Everything begins and ends in the digestive tract.

If the digestive system is not fully functional, every single process in the body is affected. This is why it is so important to "be kind" to your digestive tract and not stress it too much.

Things that stress the digestive tract are:

  • Overeating
  • Processed and refined food
  • Cold beverages, soft drinks, alcohol
  • Stress
  • Poor food combining
  • Caffeine
  • Low fibre diet
  • Smoking
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, BPA, heavy metals)

The top five supplements for maintaining a healthy digestive tract and alleviating acute discomfort:

Digestive Bitters

Bitters have been used for thousands of years to stimulate and tone the digestive system. Typically in nature, plants that are poisonous have a bitter taste. As a survival mechanism our bodies ramp up all of our digestive processes to try and deal with the poison as effectively as possible to avoid getting sick. Herbalists observed this and used bitter herbs to afford a similar effect.

Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes are the workers that help to break down the food that we eat. We have only one chance to break down food mechanically, accomplished by chewing. The rest is all carried out by chemicals that we secrete, enzymes. I always say, "you don't have teeth in your stomach."

Probiotics

Probiotic means "for life." These are the good bacteria that inhabit our digestive tract. We are outnumbered by probiotics ten to one. They are a key part of our immune system and have hundreds of beneficial effects in our body.

Fibre

Fibre comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. They are both important for keeping us regular and keeping our insides clean. Cultures that have more bowel movements per day, have less degenerative disease.

L-glutamine

Proteins are long chains of single amino acids. Amino acids are like different colored beads on a necklace. Each color is a different amino acid. L-glutamine is one amino acid and has a very important role along the digestive tract. It is the primary fuel for all of our digestive cells. Thus, it is extremely effective at healing an inflamed or damaged digestive tract like we see in people with Crohn's, colitis, or ulcers.