Heartburn — How to Enjoy Spicy Foods Again… and Put the Fire Out in Your Gut!

If you struggle with digestive issues, especially heartburn, spicy foods can feel like playing with fire — literally!

As someone who struggled with crippling irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and heartburn (acid reflux) for years, I know what it feels like to fear certain foods, not because of how they taste but because of how they will make you feel afterwards.

But here’s the good news: With the right approach to healing the gut, you can learn to love spicy foods again, and teach your digestive system to love them back.

In fact, I developed my Activate Plus Supplement — which contains beneficial enzymes to help make difficult to digest foods easier on the gut — for exactly this purpose.

But first, let’s dive into why spicy foods are such a common trigger in the first place, and what you can do through a holistic diet and lifestyle changes to improve that.

The Link Between Spicy Foods and Your Gut

If you have any type of digestive health issues, like heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), one of the first things your doctor will tell you to do is eliminate spicy foods. But the truth is, there’s a good chance you’ve already made the connection between your digestive symptoms and foods like salsa, hot sauce, or spicy chicken wings. For some people, spicy foods are the only foods that trigger their digestive health issues.

Scientists have also studied this connection. For example, one study showed that those who eat spices more than 10 times a week are more likely to have IBS than those who eat these foods less frequently. Research shows that spicy foods are more likely to trigger diarrhea than other foods, and that the correlation between spicy foods and digestive issues was stronger in women than men.

But here’s a secret conventional doctors won’t tell you: Being sensitive to spicy foods now doesn’t mean a lifetime of missing out on all your favorite spiced dishes.

In fact, if you invest in strategies that balance your microbiome, heal your gut lining, and support quick and efficient digestion, you can make your gut strong enough to tolerate spicy foods once again. Keep reading for my full Happy Gut Guide to doing just that!

The Happy Gut Guide to Enjoying Spicy Foods Again

If you’re missing out on all your favorite foods — like curries, salsas, and hot sauces — I know how difficult it can be to feel like the oddball at the dinner table, while you’re dodging trigger foods left and right. And don’t get me wrong, I’m all about adjusting your diet to heal the gut and promote optimal health, but when you have heartburn, IBS, or a sensitive stomach, the list of “dangerous” foods can become so long, it feels like there’s nothing interesting left than a boring, bland diet!

Plus, you’d be missing out on the important health benefits spicy foods have, like boosting metabolism, controlling cravings, and even promoting heart health. Foods like ginger contain high levels of antioxidants, which prevent cancer, and can even promote healthy blood sugar.

So, instead of focusing on eliminating all spicy foods and spices, why not find ways to keep them in your life, at least to some degree, while also addressing the root cause of the problem?

“What is the root cause?” you ask.

The root cause for heartburn, IBS, a sensitive stomach, or any spicy food intolerance is a gut and gut microbiome that are out of balance. If you find yourself reacting poorly to spicy foods (this also applies to any food, really), try following the 5 steps below.

01.

Don’t just focus on spicy foods

Spicy foods often get all the attention for triggering gut health issues, but there’s a long list of other foods that can also trigger digestive health issues that we often ignore. If you’re dealing with gut health issues, pay attention to how you react to fried foods, acidic foods, alcohol, gluten-containing foods, citrus and dairy as well. In fact, you can do an elimination diet to pinpoint exactly which foods are causing you distress; that way you focus on eliminating the foods that are really triggering your symptoms.

02.

Drink aloe vera juice

If you’re going to consume spicy foods in moderation, follow them up with some aloe vera juice, which you can buy at Whole Foods, on Amazon, or from your local health food store. Aloe vera juice helps keep your digestion moving, and can coat the stomach lining to protect it from the irritating effects of the spices as they move through you.

03.

Incorporate beneficial spices

Spices like pepper flakes, paprika, and chili powder have a reputation for triggering heartburn or IBS, which can leave many people consuming a bland, dull diet devoid of flavor or excitement. But there are some herbs and spices that can actually help your digestion! Spices like cardamom, cinnamon, peppermint, and ginger not only add a ton of flavor, they actually calm digestive distress, according to research studies. Other studies show that foods like turmeric, which has some natural bite to it, can calm gut inflammation and even improve IBS. For more information on how to incorporate herbs and spices into your gut-healing lifestyle, check out this blog. I even have a guide to drying spices and herbs at home!

04.

Eat fermented foods

Fermented foods are one of the best secrets to restoring gut health and drama-free digestion. In fact, studies show that there’s a strong link between the makeup of the gut microbiome and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. These diseases are characterized by a loss of diversity in the gut microbiome. Foods like sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, and kefir can inoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria, fend off bad bugs, improve the diversity of your gut microbiome, and consequently help build up your gut’s resilience so it can tackle a diverse array of foods again. The best part? You can easily make fermented foods at home.

05.

Add targeted supplement support

Eating gut-healing superfoods like fermented foods is one thing, but supplements can take your gut healing journey to a whole new level. Why? They can deliver high doses of targeted gut-healing nutrients right to where they’re needed the most. For example, probiotics also support balancing the gut microbiome, and deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) helps to coat the stomach and repair mucosal injury. That said, my personal favorite supplement for increasing your tolerance for spicy foods — and really, supporting seamless digestion in general, is my upgraded digestive enzyme blend known as Happy Gut Activate Plus.

HAPPY GUT® Activate Plus - Complete Digestive Enzyme

Targeted, Gut-Healing Nutrients where you need it the most.

Activate your inner gut healing in just one daily dose.

Activate Plus: My #1 Secret for Loving Spicy Foods

I spent many hours formulating this supplement to support easier digestion. Whether you ate a little too much, enjoyed something spicy, or you went a little outside your normal diet during the holidays, this upgraded digestive enzyme blend is the perfect companion to ease the impact on your gut. This proprietary blend is a unique mix of enzymes: proteases, amylases, lactase, lipase, and ox bile extract, that help reduce bloating, optimize your nutrient absorption, and decrease any negative impact on your gut.

You can take these enzymes at the beginning of every meal to help aid the digestive process and give you extra peace of mind that you’re giving your digestive system the best possible support. I’ve heard from dozens of patients that this enzyme is what finally helped them enjoy their meals again, allowing them to diversify their diet and expand their palette.

Here’s some of the feedback we’ve received:

“I have noticed a SIGNIFICANT drop in bloating in my belly in just under 2 weeks. It prompted me to try additional Happy Gut products. Feeling optimistic!”

“No more heartburn or that post-meal yucky feeling from eating too much. I feel great within 30 minutes of finishing a big meal.”

“I hate to say it, so I will say it anonymously, but I’m chronically gassy. I can’t stand it. Activate Plus has made huge strides in reducing my stomach inflammation and helping ease my digestion. I’m feeling better and starting to get some of my confidence back. I will continue to purchase this product.”

As someone who healed their own chronic heartburn and IBS, I can attest to the fact that digestive enzymes were a big part of the process in my gut healing journey. These days, I’m enjoying a wide range of flavorful — and yes, spicy! — foods that taste great and don’t leave me with acid reflux or running to the bathroom.

Put out the fire! Start enjoying the foods and flavors you love again…

Put out the fire! Start enjoying the foods and flavors you love again…

Activate Plus Capsule

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