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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Spices & Herbs to Soothe Indigestion

Hello Neighbors!

It is not uncommon, after surgical weight loss, to experience frequent bouts of indigestion or mild stomach discomfort. We simply do not have enough digestive enzymes. Foods that may cause indigestion tend to be processed simple carbohydrates or high in fat. Often we turn to over-the-counter digestive aids that may or may not help. Some actually do more harm because they are time released made for people with a full intestinal tract and our short-circuit systems cannot handle them either.

But what I've learned over the last 10 years of tending my tiny stomach pouch is that food mindfully prepared with limited fat and processed ingredients, and rich in protein seasoned and flavored with herbs and spices seldom results in stomach upset.

Recently we cooked pork ribs over the charcoal grill, seasoned with the You Have Arrived Grilling Blend. The Grilling Blend marries the smoky flavor of paprika with garlic, onion and a hint of cinnamon and ginger for a flavorful but not overtly spicy blend. We trimmed the fat and dry-rubbed the ribs with the Grilling blend, covered and allowed them to sit overnight refrigerated. Then we slow cooked them over low heat to 160F internal temperature. They were delicious. My stepson said he liked the Grilling blend but wasn't sure he understood or liked the flavor of cinnamon and ginger that makes this seasoning special. I explained to him:

"Cinnamon and Ginger are carminative herbs that contain compounds that can soothe the stomach and prevent gas. They are ideal for preventing and treating indigestion. That is the reason we included them in our seasoning blends: to give our tiny pouches a boost when it comes to digestion and prevent stomach upset that might otherwise occur."
In reviewing the culinary history of the world we learn that ginger has been the herb of choice for seasoning fish and seafood. Recipes date back thousands of years in China's history, to when fish and seafood weren't always fresh and often caused indigestion or worse. James A. Duke in "The Green Pharmacy" tells us, "Ancient Chinese cooks discovered that if they flavored their fish with ginger, it was less likely to cause stomach upset. Ginger has been the spice of choice for fish ever since." (Rodale Copyright 2001 - Page 103).

I think as people recovering from morbid obesity we owe it to ourselves to take advantage of the best natural remedies whenever possible. I believe this with all my heart. I learned so much about using herbs and spices as natural healers while researching and developing the You Have Arrived seasoning line. And that research taught me it is possible to achieve nutritional balance, in most cases, with the inclusion of the best ingredients in mindfully prepared meals. Don't you agree?

In addition to cinnamon and ginger the following carminative herbs can be included in the diet to avoid and/or relieve stomach distress:
anise, cardamom, chamomile, cilantro, coriander, lavender, lemon balm, licorice, peppermint, red pepper, and spearmint.
Peppermint may very well be the best digestive herb available. It is antibacterial and will fight-off food borne bugs. It promotes gastric secretions so you digest food more efficiently. It is antispasmodic, helping to prevent and relieve abdominal cramps and it is carminative to settle the stomach and prevent gas. Try a nice cup of peppermint tea one hour before meals and see how it works for you.

Visit the LivingAfterWLS General Store for a full selection of our Seasoning Blends

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