9 metres, or 30 feet. That’s how long the average adult digestive tract is. It’s the long tube of organs, including the oesophagus, stomach and intestines, which, alongside other organs such as the liver and pancreas, forms the human digestive system. Responsible for breaking down the nutrients we source from food – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, not to mention water, into parts small enough for us to use for energy, growth and repair - amino acids, fatty acids and simple sugars, the digestive system does an amazing job. But we ask a huge amount of it, and occasionally it needs a helping hand. Here are five of our best-selling digestion products to help keep all 9 metres of your digestive system healthy.
1. A.Vogel Molkosan® Fruit , £7.50 for 200ml
Digestion starts in your mouth. Chewing not only breaks your meal down into a manageable size, it also alerts the stomach to the imminent arrival of food. If you don’t chew, your stomach won’t have produced the digestive enzymes it needs to break food down, which can cause indigestion. For a helping hand with digestive enzymes a prebiotic supplement like Molkosan Fruit taken half an hour before each meal can help. A blend of fermented whey, fruit juices and calcium, it helps to support the normal function of the enzymes needed for normal digestion of food. Add 20ml to a glass of water and drink daily for at least seven days.
2. FW Medical Silicol Gel , £8.29 for 200ml
For the symptoms of heartburn associated with indigestion and acid reflux, try Silicol gel. It lines the digestive system and can help with heartburn, acid reflux, stomach ache and nausea. It’s also a clinically proven product for IBS and the associated symptoms of diarrhoea, flatulence, stomach pain and nausea. Its key ingredient, colloidal silicic acid, covers the stomach lining and binds to toxins, irritants and excess acidity, moving them out of the gut. Drink plenty of water when you take Silicol gel and let your GP know if symptoms haven’t cleared up after a few days.
3. A.Vogel Digestisan Oral Drops , £10.50 for 50ml
For bloating and indigestion associated with feelings of fullness and wind try Digestisan from A. Vogel. It contains Cynara (Artichoke), Dandelion and Boldo to help stimulate digestive enzymes, and Peppermint to help reduce the symptoms of colic and wind. Dilute 15 to 20 drops three times a day in a little water.
4. OptiBac Probiotics For Every Day , £12.99 for 30 capsules
Probiotics are vital for good digestive health. They introduce friendly bacteria into your gut, which help support your digestive system by controlling your unfriendly bacteria and yeast populations. One of our favourite probiotic supplements is Optibac’s Probiotics For Every Day. It contains six different strains of bacteria, which work together to improve your gut health. Each daily dose (1-2 capsules) contains a prebiotic fibre called Fructooligosaccharide (FOS), which acts as a food source for friendly bacteria. Since it’s a natural fibre, it also helps keep your digestive system moving. Take two capsules daily with food.
5. Pukka Three Ginger Organic Tea , £2.99 for 20 sachets
Finally, ginger is a great digestive tonic – it can help with nausea if your tummy is feeling a little unsettled, and it can stimulate digestion. There’s lots of ways to get ginger into your diet but one of the simplest is to tumble some boiling water over a few slices of freshly cut ginger. A little too spicy? When it comes to ginger tea, Pukka’s Three Ginger Organic Tea is one of our all-time favourites. It has that distinct flavour of ginger that we love, but it’s balanced with sweet galangal and smooth turmeric to create a more complex flavour that seems to just wrap you up in its warmth. It’s part of Pukka’s ‘Taste Alive’ family, so it really does help to awaken the mind and body, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalised. And of course, it’s totally organic so you know it’s pure and natural. Simply delicious.