10 Clever Natural Ways To Improve Digestion


Digestion is probably one of the most important things you do. You need food and nutrients to survive, but how you access and utilise food and nutrition is incredibly important to the state of your health. Gut health has become trendy and is talked about a lot these days - but to be fair - it's not new.

Health practitioners have talked about digestion, how our gut works and things we can do to support a better relationship with food for hundreds of years. Some of their advice is not only still relevant but now backed up by science. So what are some natural ways to improve your digestion?

1 Embrace Bitter

You have bitter enzymes throughout our body. On your heart, in your gut, on your tongue, everywhere! Once you taste something bitter it activates your bitter taste receptors and that lets your gut know food is coming. Bile production is increased which helps to break down the food more efficiently and it also supports the liver with its detoxification pathways and actions. Bitter taste receptors also help to trigger your mechanical receptors in your gut which lets you know when you've eaten enough.

Globe artichoke is a distinctly bitter plant and we use in our Liver Bitters. The active constituent in globe (cynarin) stimulates the liver to produce bile which helps you to break down food and supports your elimination pathways⁣. If you have digestive troubles then this could be the perfect natural solution to help improve your digestion.


2 Look At Your Diet

By that we mean actually have a bit of an audit and see what you are eating. Is it mostly carbohydrate based? Are you eating vegetables daily? Are you eating at all? Some people are so busy they run on coffee and forget to eat entirely. Are there small swaps you can make to add in some wholefoods?

For example - the way we eat has become more about convenience than nutrition so often we will grab a pastry or a biscuit instead of a meal. Which is totally fine, but not ideal if it’s all the time because they aren’t high in the micronutrients you need for good health. Being aware of what meal you struggle with the most may make it easier to focus on one change at a time as a natural way to improve digestion.

3 Relax

Much easier said than done, but relaxing and supporting your nervous system really does support your digestion. When you are stressed your body diverts its attention from digesting your food to supporting your body from the ‘stress’. By reducing your stress through nervine plants like chamomile, and Californian poppy (like in our Rest and Calm), passionflower or skullcap you can help your body switch back into ‘normal’ mode and a more efficient way of digesting your food.


4 Eat More Fibre

Increasing your fibre is a great natural way to improve digestion. You need fibre. It is essential for a healthy gut. It helps with waste elimination, supports healthy cholesterol levels and also helps with making you feel fuller for longer - so helps with appetite control. But fibre and prebiotics (like green banana flour) can help feed the good bacteria in your gut. This helps with effective digestion and can support your ‘second brain’ by helping with serotonin production and supporting a more balanced mood. 


5 Eat Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are age old ways of adding in good bacteria and the perfect way to naturally improve your digestion. By incorporating sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir or kombucha into your diet you are adding in beneficial microbes to naturally support healthier digestion. When you start to include these products please start small, e.g. a teaspoon of kimchi or a 1/4 cup of kombucha, as they are functional foods and if you over consume them your stomach may be overwhelmed leaving you feeling a little uncomfortable.

6 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar that still contains the mother helps naturally support digestion by priming your stomach for food. It also works similarly to a prebiotic (as it still has beneficial organisms that have helped create it within the liquid).

People have used apple cider vinegar for years to help with digestion and it can be easily assimilated into your day. Put it in a salad dressing, have it in warm water before food, or you can have it with sparkling water as a refreshing beneficial beverage. We use apple cider vinegar in both our Fire Cider and Switchel.


7 Probiotics

If you have been on antibiotics or have been unwell a course of probiotics may be helpful. There is a massive amount of choice now with what strain, what brands and what product, which can be overwhelming. Often a place to start is with Saccharomyces boulardii which is a yeast based probiotic. This strain can help support a stressed gut. 

course of Saccharomyces boulardii can be really beneficial before you take fridge probiotics as it provides a place for the good bacteria to live in (effectively a place to stick and thrive in your gut). It is also great to have in the house if someone has gastro or food poisoning.

8 Drink Water

Easy hack - drink water. It flushes the waste products out and is one of the best natural ways to support your digestive system. Often people think they have poor digestion but really they are just dehydrated!

A drink bottle can help increase your water intake and before you snack have a glass of water and see if you were just thirsty. Water can really help support healthy digestion and healthy skin - you just need to drink it regularly.

9 Stretch And Move

Try and move more. Our lives may be more sedentary than previous generations but if you can stretch and move a bit more it is another great natural way to support your digestive and lymphatic systems. Micro exercise breaks are great for that. You don’t have to commit to 45 minutes a day - a simple 3 minute walk or the stairs instead of the lift all adds up.

10 Chew More

Simple but true. Chewing your food more breaks it down into smaller pieces exposing it to salivary enzymes which help with the extraction of the nutrients within the food. It also helps support a more efficient digestion and can reduce the chances of indigestion and discomfort from eating too much or too fast.

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