World Digestive Health Day (29th May 2022)
Digestive issues are common with one-third of the world’s population thought to experience digestive symptoms. There are many things that can upset digestion including changes to your routine, stress, not including enough fibre in your diet, food intolerances and not getting enough exercise.
There are of course more serious things that can result in digestive issues, such as an infection or disease. Always consult your doctor if symptoms don’t ease after a few days.
What are the most common symptoms of digestive disorders?
For an accurate diagnosis your doctor will carry out a physical examination, ask about your family history and then possibly need to undertake diagnostic evaluations, for example, an endoscopy.
Can turmeric help with digestive issues?
For issues that are not serious (i.e. there is no disease or abnormality), using a high strength turmeric supplement can help to ease symptoms. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can contribute to healthy digestion by reducing inflammation and aiding the digestion of food.
Turmeric has long been associated with gastric health in Asian culture and has been increasingly researched across species for both gastric and systemic support. In terms of turmeric’s reported activities there are two components involved in the natural inflammation cycle; essential oils and curcumin.
How does turmeric work in the body?
The essential oils of turmeric contain a group of bioactive compounds called terpenes that have been shown to influence PGE2, a prostaglandin that ameliorates the inflammatory process. Curcumin, on the other hand, is a powerful antioxidant that mops up free radicals (those metabolites that have degradative effects on cell membranes and linings) and also increases glutathione peroxidase and superoxide diasmutase (GTP & SOD) status, maintaining the antioxidative enzymes which helps reduce oxidative stress.
There is also some evidence that turmeric’s other components impact on these processes. There are 235 actives – curcuminoids, sterols, alkaloids, phenolics and other compounds – and the interplay between them is myriad.
How can I keep my digestive system healthy?
- Include plenty of fibre in your diet and drink plenty of fluids
- Keep mobile and get plenty of exercise
- Eat food that promotes good gut health, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables
- Avoid highly processed food, sugar and animal fats
- Try to avoid stress (or learn ways to help you manage it)
- Eat at regular intervals, a routine will keep your gut moving
- Try to avoid excessive drinking, smoking and too much caffeine
- Avoid over-eating and stop once you are full
- Try including probiotics and a turmeric supplement in your diet