Has anyone suggested drinking ginger ale when you felt queasy? If you didn’t have any and substituted with a lemon-lime soda, your condition might not have improved. Why? Because ginger actually helps reduce nausea and vomiting.
Herbs and spices
Who knew that the average kitchen contains plenty of ingredients that can contribute to healthy digestion? Check your spice cabinet and see if you have these seasonings:
- Cardamom helps soothe upset stomachs. It’s a major flavoring in chai pumpkin pie spice. You can buy it ground or whole (use a micro-grater). Try adding it to sweet as well as savory dishes. If you’re not familiar with cardamom, add just a pinch or two to your favorite recipe and increase the amount to suit your taste.
- Chili peppers, whether fresh, dried, or ground—including crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne powder—provide spicy flavor and “heat” to a dish. The capsaicin in them also helps boost metabolism.
- Ginger not only helps with digestive health by calming the gut lining, but also alleviates nausea and reduces inflammation.
- Turmeric comes ground and is a common ingredient in many curries. This bright yellow spice contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
Mix 1 teaspoon each of cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric in a small airtight jar. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon per serving to your favorite smoothie recipe. You can also add it to hot teas and pie fillings as well as cake, muffin, pancake, and waffle batters.
Gut-healthy main dish
Scallion-Ginger Broccoli Beef1 takes only about 30 minutes to stir-fry. Be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce, tamari, and chicken broth. And you can always substitute your favorite protein—chicken, shrimp, tofu—for the beef.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- ⅓ cup reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
- ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
- 6 cups fresh broccoli florets*
- ½ cup sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh garlic
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- Crushed red pepper for garnish
*To add more fiber, cut up heads of fresh broccoli, including part of the stalks, instead of buying bags of florets.
- Whisk tamari (or soy sauce), broth, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Coat steak with the remaining cornstarch.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, flat-bottom wok or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate.
- Pour remaining oil into the wok or skillet; add broccoli and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in scallions, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk the sauce mixture and add it, along with the beef, back to the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
- Serve over brown rice and garnish with crushed red pepper and thinly sliced scallions, if desired.
Nutrition data per serving (1 cup beef and broccoli plus ½ cup brown rice): 440 calories, 16 grams fat (3.7 grams saturated fat), 43 grams carbohydrate (4.5 grams dietary fiber, 9 grams sugar), 30 grams protein
Anytime you have an upset stomach—nausea, vomiting, stomachache, gas, or other gastrointestinal distress—Teladoc is always here to help. Our nationwide network of U.S.-certified physicians can diagnose and recommend treatments for these and a wide variety of other non-emergency illnesses, including seasonal allergies, backaches, fever, and headaches.
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