Posted on by Paula Gallagher
This week many of us will be sitting down with friends and family to a really big meal (just one of many things to be grateful for). Unfortunately, for many that also comes with a dose of heartburn, gas and bloating. Being more moderate with food and alcohol intake during the holidays will prevent most of these complaints, but let’s be realistic – many of us are not going to do that. Fortunately, there are some natural approaches to help decrease the digestive issues that come with overindulgence.
Take Your Time
Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the treats the holiday season brings, try not to throw out your regular healthy diet completely.
Here are some tips:
- Consider eating a healthy snack before heading out, such as hummus and veggies. If you sit down at a table ravenous, you may eat a lot more than you had planned.
- Drink a tall glass of water before meals to help minimize overeating.
- Practice mindful eating techniques, such as chewing and swallowing everything in your mouth before raising your fork with another bite of food, or eating until you’re nearly full (in order to wait for your brain’s signals to catch up with your stomach’s true fullness).
- If you suffer from heartburn, avoid triggers (such as coffee), and eat smaller meals throughout the day.
Try Digestive Enzymes
If you struggle to digest typically gassy foods such as beans or Brussels sprouts, digestive enzymes may help. Digestive enzymes help break down food in the stomach and intestines, and by supplementing with the same enzymes found naturally in your system, you can give your body a bit of a helping hand.
Balance With Probiotics
Friendly bacteria naturally live in your gut and help with everything from boosting immunity to enabling digestion. Thankfully, you can also supplement with probiotics to boost the live healthy bacteria count in your digestive system. Eating foods that are high in probiotic activity, like yogurt and kefir, can be beneficial. You can also try a probiotic. Benefits of probiotics include reducing bloating and constipation, as well as easing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Sip Some Herbal Tea
Some herbs are traditionally used to help ease digestion, such as peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, fennel and caraway. However, if you’re suffering from heartburn, avoid the mint tea, as mint can worsen heartburn.
Looking for more natural remedies for digestive upsets? Stop by Village Green Apothecary and ask the knowledgeable staff for advice. Make sure to always check with your health care practitioner before taking a new supplement – including those mentioned above – to make sure it’s right for you.
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Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
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