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These kitchen spices reduce gas

People who often complain of digestive problems like flatulence, constipation and indigestion are likely to have weak digestion.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 30, 2011 20:14 IST
Dr Anjali Mukherjee

People who often complain of digestive problems like flatulence, constipation and indigestion are likely to have weak digestion. Thus, they need to watch the types of food they eat and also take liver tonics to detoxify the liver. Fennel (saunf) is an excellent natural treatment for flatulence. It absorbs excess gas and reduces the feeling of pressure, thereby preventing belching or passing of gas. Fennel can be used to flavour food for added nutritional and health benefits. It’s good for children and benefits colic in small babies. Containing aspartic acid, which helps expel gas from the stomach, it reduces stomach aches in people of all ages.

Fennel seeds are mostly eaten after meals and make for great mouth fresheners. They can be sprinkled on soups and salads to enhance the flavour. They can also be used to marinate fish and chicken. Dishes like dal and sambhar can be seasoned with it. Some components of the Spiceessential oils in fennel stimulate the secretion of the digestive and gastric juices, reduce inflammation of stomach and intestines, and help absorb nutrients from food. It helps to control acidity due to its basic properties. Fennel is also an appetiser. When used in the powdered form, fennel seeds act as laxative. Its stimulating effect helps to maintain the proper peristaltic movement of the intestines, thus helping in proper excretion. Fennel has anti-bacterial properties and it also acts as a disinfectant because of certain components found in the essential oils present in it. Some amino acids like histidine aid digestion and the proper functioning of digestive system, thus helping to cure diarrhoea.

Pepper to pep up your digestion

Black pepper: Another important kitchen spice is black pepper. It helps reduce gas and digest food due to its beneficial effect of stimulating hydrochloric acid production, which is naturally produced by the stomach for the digestion of proteins and other food components. Some individuals produce less hydrochloric acid, and food may reside in the stomach for an long period of time, causing it to ferment leading to gas, heartburn and indigestion. Black pepper is known to reduce the formation of intestinal gas and is a natural solution to an embarrassing problem.

White pepper: It is also useful to combat gas and constipation. White pepper’s anti-spasmodic actions soothe the gut, restore the tone of the lax muscles of the colon and help to ease constipation. It also helps to build an appetite. It can be used in soups (both clear and thick) and in stir-fried and baked vegetables. It has a thermogenic effect (helps burn calories) and is a very valuable spice cure for sluggish digestion.