I woke up this morning with a serious stomach ache (it may or may not be related to yesterday's overenthusiastic post about my love of cheese!). Regardless, I needed to remedy the situation, stat. Now, there are plenty of people who I know would loooooooove to talk about my tummy troubles all morning (thanks, mom!) but there is one person I never thought to turn to for advice - a chef! That is, until I read what Jennifer Iserloh (aka, The Skinny Chef) had to say about stomach issues on her blog today.
Jennifer develops tons of recipes for SELF (check out her Eat Healthy All Week meal plan - it's one of my faves!). Since it's her job to cook (and eat!) all the time, I never took her for the type to have stomach problems. But as it turns out, Jennifer was plagued with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which means that, for her, tons of foods can trigger tummy aches. So, in true Skinny Chef style, she came up with a list of four foods that relieve stomach pain. I've been trying these all day and feel better already. Read her eat-right advice after the jump!
Ginger has been found effective in multiple studies for treating nausea caused by seasickness, decreasing the pain of arthritis or even helping ease the pain of chemotherapy. My neighbor even uses it as a home remedy against heartburn. Ginger has natural compounds that work as a light analgesic and sedative, and its antibacterial properties make it the right choice to calm stomach pain. Many Asian recipes contain ginger, but if you want a fast way to try it just boil 2 tablespoons of sliced fresh ginger, then add your favorite tea bag.
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Traditional Kefir is a fermented milk product which contains a blended mixture of several live probiotics, instead of just one that you'll find in most commercials yogurts. Some kefirs contain up to 10 different live cultures that can help stimulate digestion. These bacteria can also stop the growth of pathogenic microbes that can be the cause of stomach trouble. Most grocery chains carry kefir and it tastes very similar to your favorite yogurt. I use it as a base for my daily morning breakfast smoothie and just add in whatever fresh fruit I have on hand.
Cardamom is valued by herbalists for its amazing carminative, stimulant, laxative, calming yet vitalizing properties. It has been prized in ancient Indian medicine and cooking for its ability to improve digestion and has even been used to combat that embarrassing side effect of tummy aches, flatulence! Cooking with cardamom is easy, just use it sparingly since it can be overwhelming. Make yourself a traditional Indian chai tea as a great place to start.
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4. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos or redbush comes from a bush that grows in Southern Africa. I love its golden red color when it's steeped and the fact that it is caffeine free - since coffee and other caffeinated beverages can imbalance digestion and irritate the intestinal tract. People believe that red bush has the ability to calm stomach cramps because it works as an anti-spasmotic but I like it because it has a round, even flavor and also happens to be high in antioxidants like flavanols. You can find red bush in many flavors in your local grocery store. Its rich yet mellow flavor can be enjoyed hot or chilled as a superb iced tea for summer.- By Jennifer Iserloh, http://skinnychef.com
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