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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

A Wholistic Approach to Gut Health

The incidence of people experiencing digestive complaints like gas, bloating, chronic constipation or gastric reflux are becoming increasingly common, especially in urban areas like Detroit. But there are several herbs and practices that can help alleviate those symptoms and promote a healthy digestive system.

            A plant-based diet is one of the best things we can do for our gut. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are all high in fiber, which helps keep things moving along in the digestive tract. Also drink plenty of water because dehydration can cause constipation.

            It is important to avoid foods that cause gastric upset. Everyone is different, but common culprits include spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. Pay attention to what triggers symptoms and adjust the diet accordingly.

            There are several herbs that can help heal the gut and improve digestive issues. Ginger has been used for centuries to aid digestion and reduce inflammation in the gut. Enjoy it in tea, add it to smoothies or even cook with it. Peppermint tea can help soothe an upset stomach and alleviate gas and bloating. Fennel is another herb that can help reduce bloating and improve digestion. Find fennel in the spice aisle of a local grocery store or try brewing fennel tea.

            Exercise helps keep the digestive system working properly, so be sure to get some movement in every day. Even a short walk after a meal can help aid digestion.

Dr. Jesse R. Brown is a traditional naturopathic doctor and former director of the Detroit Wholistic Center. He teaches online through the Wholistic Training Institute. For more information, visit