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Published on September 20, 2019

7 Digestive Supplements for Enhanced Digestion

7 Digestive Supplements for Enhanced Digestion

Do you constantly suffer from gas, indigestion and bloating? If so, your digestion could be in need of a helping hand.

Sometimes, it can seem like everything you eat causes you discomfort. Even when you’re trying to eat as healthily as possible, you still feel bloated and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are plenty of digestive supplements that can assist your body’s natural digestive function.

Here are my pick of the best 7 digestive supplements to give your gastrointestinal tract the boost that it needs:

1. Digestive Enzymes

Although your body naturally produces its own digestive enzymes to break down food, these are sometimes not enough to get the job done. It may be that your body isn’t producing enough of these enzymes, or that they have been diluted, or that your diet contains too much fat or protein for your own enzymes to cope.

Taking a digestive enzyme supplement could really help to give your digestive function a boost.[1]

Most digestive enzyme formulas contain a blend of the enzymes that your body would normally produce, such lipase (to break down fats), amylase (to break down carbohydrates), and proteases and peptidases (to break down proteins). These enzymes are generally taken from natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables and amino acids.

You can increase your digestive enzymes naturally by eating foods that contain them. Typically, these include fruits such as pineapple, papaya, and mango. Honey and avocado are good choices, as are fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut.

You can also look for a quality brand that contains a variety of digestive enzymes. It’s best to take your digestive enzymes during or after a meal.

Pure Formulations is a reputable brand that produces a helpful blend of digestive enzymes, including less common enzymes such as beta-glucanase and alpha-galactosidase. Look for their Digestive Enzymes Ultra formulation:

    Learn more about Digestive Enzymes Ultra here.

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    2. Probiotics

    Probiotic bacteria are the ‘friendly’ microorganisms that live in your intestines and assist in normal digestion. There are many different strains of probiotic bacteria and each strain has a slightly different role in keeping you healthy.

    One of the major benefits of these bacteria is the way they help to digest the foods you eat and absorb the nutrients contained within them.

    If your probiotic bacteria are lacking in any way due to an imbalance in your gut flora (also known as dysbiosis), you may need to top them up with a probiotic supplement.

    Dysbiosis can be caused by a poor diet, the use of antibiotics, other medications such as NSAIDs,[2] and even stress.[3]

    A probiotic supplement will also help to counter the ‘bad’ bacteria or yeasts such as Candida albicans, which can wreak havoc on your digestion.[4]

    Look for a high-quality supplement that contains a variety of probiotic strains and has a high CFU (colony-forming units) count. Some of the best strains for supporting digestion include L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, and B. bifidum.

    Most importantly, choose a probiotic that will get its probiotic bacteria to your gut. Look for a brand that uses time-release tablets to deliver its bacteria safely past stomach acid.

    My recommendation is the 15 billion CFU probiotic developed by Balance One Supplements. It uses time-release tablets and contains 15 billion CFUs of bacteria. The 12 probiotic strains include L. plantarum, L. acidophilus, and B. bifidum.

      Learn more about Balance One Probiotics here.

      3. DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice)

      No, not the sweet treat! Licorice is actually a plant that has been used as a digestive aid for centuries.

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      Licorice root contains a demulcent, which means it can soothe the inflamed or irritated tissues lining your gut. It’s known for helping to prevent ulcers and intestinal spasms, as well as reducing inflammation and allergies.[5]

      Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is a form of licorice that has been processed for safer consumption. Most of the active ingredient glycyrrhizin has been removed, which makes DGL safer for long-term use, particularly in people with medical conditions.

      DGL is helpful for controlling excess stomach acid and reducing heartburn. DGL supplements are available in chewable form or as liquids, capsules or powders. You can also find DGL in many gut health powders, along with L-glutamine and marshmallow root.

      Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is a very economical supplement and can usually be found relatively cheaply. A good example is the Natural Factors Deglycyrrhizinated licorice:

        Learn more about DGL Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Root here.

        4. Peppermint Oil

        Peppermint is known for its cooling properties which can relieve the nasty effects of indigestion. It’s often used to prevent and treat common digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating.

        Some studies have shown that peppermint works by relaxing the tissues of the gastrointestinal system, which can ease any discomfort. It also helps to reduce spasms and prevent smooth muscle spasms, which can reduce any cramps.

        People who tend to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are often advised to try peppermint tea or peppermint oil, with evidence that it provides significantly better symptom relief than a placebo.[6]

        Peppermint oil capsules are best taken on an empty stomach before a meal, while peppermint tea can be drunk at any time to help soothe the gut.

        A good example of peppermint oil is from Heather’s Tummy Care. They also contain ginger and come in enteric-coated capsules to ensure that the oils reach your gut safely:

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          Learn more about Tummy Tamers Peppermint Oil Capsules here.

          5. Ginger

          Spicy and warming ginger is one of the best-known digestive aids in natural medicine.

          Ginger has long been known for its carminative properties, which means it helps to soothe the gut and reduce cramping. Carminatives like ginger also help to promote the elimination of excessive gas from the digestive system.

          Ginger is particularly helpful for treating conditions such as nausea, dyspepsia and colic. Evidence shows that ginger can help to boost the flow of both saliva and bile, which aids digestion.[7]

          The phenolic compounds in ginger are shown to relieve gastrointestinal (GI) irritation and stimulate bile production. At the same time, ginger also improves the production of the digestive enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase, which are needed to break down fat. This helps in increasing motility in the digestive tract.

          There’s no need to spend a lot of money on ginger supplements. Simply buy some ginger from your local store, cut it into small pieces, and boil it to make a simple but effective ginger tea.

          6. L-Glutamine

          If your gut lining has suffered the effects of Candida, Leady Gut Syndrome or food-related allergies, you could do with a dose of L-glutamine.

          This important amino acid is highly recommended for any digestive issue, particularly irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an inflammatory bowel disease. L-glutamine is vital for the healthy repair of the cells within the gut lining. In fact, it’s the most abundant amino acid in your bloodstream and plays a valuable role in the maintaining the strength of your gut mucosa.

          By supporting the integrity of your gut with L-glutamine, you’ll be improving your overall digestive function.

          L-glutamine has been found to improve immune cell activity in the gut, helping to reduce the risk of infection and inflammation, as well as soothing gastrointestinal tissue. In your lower bowel, glutamine is necessary for providing fuel for metabolism, regulating cell growth and maintaining the gut barrier functions.[8]

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          The most cost-effective L-glutamine usually comes in a powder. It will often be combined with other gut-supportive powders such as marshmallow root or slippery elm. If you want a pure L-glutamine powder, Pure Encapsulations makes a high-quality formulation:

            Learn more about Pure Encapsulations here.

            7. Papain

            Papain is the active constituent within papaya, the tropical fruit. Papain is a a sulfhydryl protease that your body requires to break down protein. Interestingly, this is why papain can also be used as a meat tenderizer.

            The proteolytic enzymes in papain assist in breaking down proteins down into smaller fragments known as peptides and amino acids. One particular study involving a commercial papaya preparation found that it improved both constipation and bloating in people with chronic gastrointestinal dysfunction.[9]

            Although it’s possible to get some benefit from eating papaya as the fresh fruit, a concentrated supplement will provide more effective relief. You can take papain as a capsule on its own or as part of another digestive enzyme supplement.

            Doctor’s Best makes a high-quality proteolytic enzyme formulation that includes papain as well as 8 more enzymes, include serrapeptase and bromelain:

              Learn more about Doctor’s Best Proteolytic Enzymes here.

              So there you go, 7 digestive supplements that can improve your digestive health. If you’d like to learn more ways to improve your digestive health, don’t miss these articles:

              Featured photo credit: Hilary Hahn via unsplash.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Lisa Richards

              Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

              7 Digestive Supplements for Enhanced Digestion 7 Super Fast and Effective Ways to Reduce Gas in Stomach Possible Side Effects of Probiotics (And Why They Usually Pass) What to Eat When Constipated? 10 Foods to Improve Your Gut Health What Helps Yeast Infections: Foods To Eat And Avoid

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              Last Updated on October 15, 2019

              How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

              How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

              What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

              To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

              All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

              There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

              With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

              What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

              1. Think Big

                From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                Instead be ambitious.

                2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                  From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                  “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                  This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                  Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                  If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                  Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                  Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                  Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                  3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                    From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                    “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                    All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                    If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                    However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                    If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                    In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                    To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                    4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                      From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                      “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                      There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                      Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                      His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                      He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                      Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                      Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                      If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                      5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                        From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                        “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                        This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                        It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                        If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                        Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                        6. Be a Person of Action

                          From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                          “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                          Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                          Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                          When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                          You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                          All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                          Applying this to you?

                          Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                          7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                            From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                            The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                            The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                            People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                            This is key to good leadership.

                            It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                            But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                            What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                            As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                            8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                              From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                              “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                              It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                              Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                              If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                              9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                Keep dreaming!

                                10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                  From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                  “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                  Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                  Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                  If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                  However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                  11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                    From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                    “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                    It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                    When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                    Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                    If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                    This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                    12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                      From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                      “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                      You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                      Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                      True success comes from work.

                                      You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                      Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                      13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                        From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                        “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                        In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                        If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                        It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                        Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                        Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                        More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                        Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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