Digestive Health : Byron Bay Tea Company
 
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Digestive Health
From my 13 years as a practising Naturopath, I would say that most of my clients have had issues with their digestion – bloating, flatulence, constipation, heartburn, reflux- the list is endless! Sometimes it is due to a poor diet, which is often high in refined and processed foods, poor quality fats and not enough fibre, but very often it is due to poor eating habits. In other words, not what my clients are eating but how they are eating. Eating on the run, drinking cold water at meal times, overeating and eating too quickly are just a few very common mistakes that people make. I believe that we can't experience optimum health if we do not have good digestion, so this is always the first area that I treat as a Naturopath. See some guidelines below to help improve your digestion.
 

SARITA'S TOP 10 TIPS FOR PROPER DIGESTION:

1. Don’t Overeat- Never eat until you have a “full” stomach. The breakdown of food and assimilation of nutrients is a lot more efficient when we eat small amounts of food more often.

2. Chew Your Food- It is essential that food is chewed properly in the mouth, as this is where digestion starts. Saliva (an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrate) that is produced in the mouth needs time to act on carbohydrate in food. If it hasn't had time to, it creates a bigger task further along the digestive tract.

3. Don’t Eat when you are Stressed- Digestion is best when eating in a relaxed environment. When we are stressed, our body puts all its energy into dealing with this and digestion becomes secondary. If we eat during these stressful times, food can sit and ferment in the gut and cause symptoms, such as bloating and flatulence. 

4. Drink Water Away from Meals- Although it is common practice in restaurants to be given chilled water before a meal, it is not at all recommended for the proper breakdown of food and assimilation of nutrients. Drinking chilled water not only dilutes your digestive secretions, it causes contraction in the digestive tract, thereby weakening digestion. It is far more beneficial drinking water that is either warm or at room temperature 20-30 minutes away from meals. Instead of water at meal times, herbal or green tea is a great option, or anything that has a bitter taste that will help to stimulate digestion.
 
5. Include Bitter Tasting Foods and Drinks in your Diet- The bitter taste in foods and drinks stimulates the secretion of digestive juices in the digestive tract. Some bitter tasting drinks that can assist with digestion include: plain lemon/lime juice in water; lemon, lime and bitters; or BBTC’s Green, Oolong or Digest tea.
Following is a list of common bitter foods that are recommended to include in your diet, the majority of which exhibit other flavours too:
 
Bitter greens- endive, rocket and radish leaf
Alfalfa
Bitter melon
Rye, amaranth and quinoa
Asparagus
Celery
Paw Paw
Citrus and citrus peel
Turnip
White pepper
Vinegar 
 
6. Avoid Drinking Iced Drinks and Cold Foods- Cold foods and drinks cause contraction in the digestive system, reducing the secretion of digestive juices. As a result, food can be left to sit and ferment in the gut without it being broken down by enzymes and hydrochloric acid. This can be an implicating factor in symptoms such as bloating, flatulence and constipation.
 
7. Avoid Eating Late at Night- Our digestive capability is greatest in the first half of the day from 5am until 3pm and lowest at night when many of us in Australia have our largest meals. It is much better for us to eat larger meals earlier in the day when our bodies will break food down and assimilate nutrients more efficiently. Eating late when the digestive secretion are low means that food can sit and ferment in the gut and cause symptoms of bloating, flatulence and a “heavy” or “groggy” feeling the next day.
 
8. Aim for a Balanced Diet with both Raw and Cooked foods
If you have weak digestion, it is best to include both raw and cooked foods in your diet. An emphasis on just raw foods can weaken digestion even further and lead to many other signs of deficiency and ill health. Warming methods of cooking, such as baking or stewing, where the food takes a long time to cook, can help to support digestion as the breakdown of food is easier and absorption of nutrients more efficient.
 
9. Use Aromatic Herbs and Spices in your Cooking
If you have weak digestion, using aromatic herbs and spices in your cooking can help to stimulate digestion. The smell and taste can help to stimulate appetite and the secretion of digestive juices, making the breakdown of food and assimilation of nutrients more efficient. Beneficial culinary herbs to support digestion include rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, black pepper, marjoram, cumin, fennel, paprika, chilli, garlic and ginger.
 
10. Include Fermented Foods in the Diet
Foods such as Kombucha, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and miso are all fermented foods that contain high levels of probiotics that help to promote good bowel health.
 

SARITA'S TOP 4 BBTC TEAS FOR DIGESTION: 

Suggested Use: 1-2 cups of each daily
 
1. DIGEST
A light, refreshing infusion featuring peppermint, lemonbalm and fennel, which has been specially blended for enjoyment before, during or after any meal. Understated, minty and gentle on the stomach. Bon Appetit!
Ingredients: Peppermint*  Chamomile*  Fennel*  Lemonbalm*
(* Certified organic)

Peppermint (Mentha peperita) - has been traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of intestinal gas associated with the consumption of certain foods. It is commonly used today to treat digestive pain and cramping, bloating, flatulence and nausea.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) - helps to calm and soothe the stomach and to ease the pain associated with bloating and flatulence.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) - has both relaxing and bitter properties, making it a suitable herb in the treatment of indigestion and to ease the pain associated with gastritis, flatulence and bloating.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) - is an excellent stomach and intestinal remedy that relieves flatulence and colic while stimulating digestion and appetite.

Click here to purchase Digest
 

2. DANDYLICIOUS
Rich, full-flavoured and caffeine-free, this specialty blend is a cleansing coffee substitute. The roasted wattleseed makes it a little nutty, while the cinnamon adds a spicy sweetness. Ideal for ‘Soy Dandelion Lattés’ (LSDs) plus perfectly palatable on its own.
Ingredients- Roasted Dandelion Root, Roasted Wattleseed and Cinnamon* (*Certified Organic)

Roasted Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinalis)- Dandelion root is a bitter herb that can assist digestion with a mild laxative effect. It assists liver function and helps to improve the breakdown of fats.

Cinnamon- is a warming, aromatic spice that can stimulate digestion, whilst also assisting the pancreas and blood sugar regulation.

Click here to purchase Dandylicious
 

3. GINGER ZING
Cleanse and uplift with lemongrass, while enjoying the piquant and revitalising properties of ginger. Charged with chasing away the sniffles, this specialty blend warms you up in winter and makes a refreshing iced tea on a hot summer’s day.
Ingredients- Lemongrass*, Ginger*   (* Certified Organic)

Lemongrass (Cymbopogan citratus) - a general cleansing herb that helps remove toxins from the blood and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to help strengthen the immune system of the gastrointestinal tract.
 
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) - Ginger is a digestive herb that can be used to treat indigestion, flatulence, bloating, nausea, and diarrhoea. Ginger has been known to improve the movement of food through the upper digestive tract and also relax the smooth muscle improving digestion and elimination.

Click here to purchase Ginger Zing


4. OOLONG
Tie Guan Yin or Iron Goddess is probably the best known Chinese high-grade Oolongs. A light, semi-fermented, whole-leaf tea that is low in caffeine, high in antioxidants and particularly beneficial around meal times. The fresh, earthy flavour carries a lingering aroma, as well as subtle undertones of florals and fruits.
Ingredients- Oolong Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Oolong has been consumed for centuries in China for its wide-ranging health benefits and particularly its ability to promote healthy digestion. The Chinese often drink Oolong tea around meal times as it greatly aids in the digestion of food (particularly fats) and is useful for those with weak or cold digestion. It is an excellent tea for indigestion and is often used to help warm up the digestive system by dispelling cold energy from the body during the cooler seasons when sluggish digestion is more prevalent.
 
Click here to purchase Oolong
 
 
BUY ALL 4 TEAS IN BYRON TUMMY TONIC FOR $89.95
Including a small tin of Digest, Ginger Zing, Oolong and Dandylicious
 
 
* Disclaimer: Please consult your Naturopath or Doctor if you have any health concerns