The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you want to get out and enjoy every minute of it. The great news: If GI symptoms have been holding you back from warm-weather fun, these science-proven cures can help you enjoy every breezy day symptom-free!
Quiet car sickness.
It’s so great to hit the road to visit with loved ones again, but not so much the queasiness that sometimes happens when you’re in the car. To ease motion sickness in 60 seconds, take slow sniffs of a freshly peeled orange or tangerine. Stanford University researchers say the aromatic oils in citrus calm the nausea center in the brain, plus they activate the vagus nerve, which helps stomach muscles contract properly so food can pass quickly without causing that “churning” feeling.
Going from winter comfort food to lighter fare triples heartburn risk. The fix: Inhale for five seconds, then exhale for five, says Mark Hyman, M.D., author of Food Fix. Calm breathing activates the diaphragm, which stops stomach acid from creeping up into the esophagus. This cuts heartburn by up to 78 percent in 10 minutes- that’s better than Tums!
End veggie gas.
Bothered by gas now that you’re savoring more farm-fresh produce? Try munching 1⁄2 tsp. of fennel seeds. Doing so cuts gassiness and cramping in as little as 20 minutes, a study in BioMed Research International suggests. Study co-author Vainav Patel, Ph.D., says fennel compounds turn off gas-forming enzymes.
Up to 40 percent of us feel constipated when our daily routines change in spring. But University of Minnesota scientists say chewing sugar-free gum 10 minutes before bed improves regularity by morning, making it as effective as Rx laxatives. Sorbitol, found in sugar-free gum, is a gentle laxative.
Stop digestive stress.
Just kicking back for 30 minutes daily calms the adrenal glands, British scientists say, tamping down their production of digestion-sabotaging stress hormones. This curbs your risk of heartburn, abdominal pain, bloat and other miseries by 70 percent!
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.