Everything you eat and drink is processed by your digestive system, which measures, according to the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, about 30 feet end-to-end! In between the “ends” are the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum, and anus. Each has a part to play in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, as well as elimination of waste. When the digestive system works well, you may experience good digestion and use the bathroom regularly. A key factor to ensure this is a strong and healthy digestive lining.
The lining of your digestive tract is important for the absorption of nutrients. A healthy digestive lining allows this to happen. Also known as the mucosa, the lining of your mouth, stomach, and small intestine contains little glands that create digestive juices to help digest food. For example, the lining in your stomach is responsible for making stomach acid, as well as enzymes that help in breaking down food. If the stomach lining is compromised, there may be symptoms of stomach upset, heartburn, and reflux. In the small intestine, issues with waste and mucus buildup can make it difficult for the absorption of nutrients. Symptoms can be addressed with short-term answers like antacids, laxatives, and proton pump inhibitors (that stop the production of stomach acid), but they are merely a bandage that does not address the integrity of your digestive system.
Achieving a healthy, well-functioning digestive lining is important to not only ensure the complete digestion of food and subsequent absorption of nutrients, but also for overall health. Make the most of what you eat by ensuring that your digestive system has the support it needs to accomplish this. Certain plant-derived ingredients have been shown to promote digestive functional health, as well as strengthen the digestive lining to promote optimal integrity.
Garden thyme—Thyme is more than a culinary herb! It contains compounds that help with occasional digestive issues such as upset stomach, stomach pain, diarrhea, and gas. Plus, thyme helps balance saliva production, which is necessary to help with digestion.*
Spearmint—This aromatic herb smells great and can help calm digestive function, as well as alleviate symptoms of nausea, indigestion, and gas.*
Barley grass—Enzymes are important for breaking down and digesting food, and this plant is full of them, as well as chlorophyll and other nutrients that promote digestive health. This green grass also contains insoluble fiber that helps bulk up the stool for easier elimination.*
Pomegranate fruit—This fruit is known for its antioxidants and has been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years to support the body against intestinal distress, as well help improve digestion. It is also good for helping to ensure regularity.*
Working synergistically, these ingredients can help support digestion, which in turn can help promote the effectiveness of digestive enzymes and probiotics. Ask your healthcare practitioner for more information about how to use these ingredients to support your digestive health.