Eating yummy meals with friends and family is one of my favorite things to do, especially around the holidays. But a celebratory dinner can quickly take a turn for the worse thanks to unpleasant digestive issues, like bloating or constipation.
I chatted with registered dietitian and Daily Harvest advisor Amy Shapiro about how to incorporate spices and herbs into my diet that promote a healthy gut and may even help prevent some of these uncomfortable problems. She broke down the digestive benefits of three spices and three herbs, and also offered some advice on how to add them to the menu in your daily life.
If you are intimidated by ingredients that may seem unfamiliar, like dandelion root, Shapiro suggested using them to make tea. "You simply steep the ingredients either fresh, dry, ground or in a tea bag in hot water and sip when you feel you need the support," she told me. Ginger and turmeric are a bit more versatile, and can be used in smoothies, stir-frys, and chicken soup.
Keep reading for Shapiro's full list, as well as the gut health benefits they provide. Remember, these are not cure-alls. If you struggle with gut issues, it's always a good idea to talk to a doctor.
Increases bowel regularity and motility
Increases bile and saliva production to improve motility in the digestive system
Relaxes muscles within the GI tract to minimize discomfort
Helps prevent bad gut bacteria and potential ulcers
May stimulate quicker digestion and metabolism
Stimulates digestive enzymes
Assuages the GI tract
Detoxifies the liver
Helps relieve symptoms of digestive discomfort
Minimizes gas and bloating
Helps relax the GI tract
Promotes easier digestive motility
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