Essential #2: Pistachios and DGL
Problems with digestion, heartburn, stomach pains, and IBS are the classic side effects of the standard American diet and stress. Dr. Weil has a solution – a combination of pistachios and an herbal product made from licorice called DGL.
Low-calorie and full of nutrients and fiber, pistachios are great for digestion. New research indicates that these ultra-healthy nuts have prebiotic characteristics – meaning they can help support higher levels of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Just one serving of pistachios can make a big difference for your aching stomach. And there’s more good news – one serving is 47 nuts, a larger serving size than any other type of nut, which clocks in at only 158 calories and contains more fiber than half a cup of spinach. That fiber, along with pistachios’ unsaturated fat keeps your digestive system running smoothly. The healthy fats also help to lower cholesterol levels.
The next digestive aid is called deglycyrrhizinated licorice. Don’t confuse DGL with the candy; this licorice is an herbal extract that can be used to treat indigestion and heartburn. It acts by increasing the mucous coating in your stomach, lower esophagus and intestinal tract, protecting those tissues from irritation by stomach acid. This soothing effect helps to treat symptoms of GERD and can protect against the damaging effects of NSAIDs like ibuprofen.
You can find DGL at most health food stores. Try slowly chewing a dose of 2 (75 mg) tablets before or between meals. DGL also comes in a powder form – try half of a teaspoon in between meals. While DGL is perfect for anyone who suffers from heartburn, it is not recommended for anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of heart disease.
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