Turkey and cookies and eggnog … oh my! With parties day after day during the holiday season, it’s no wonder our digestive system may be feeling a bit taxed. Not to fear—mindful eating and natural digestive aids can help with bloating, gas, heartburn, and indigestion.
First things first—slow down! Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the treats the holiday season brings, try not to throw out your regular healthy diet completely by employing these tips:
- Consider eating a healthy snack before heading out, such as hummus and veggies.
- Drink a tall glass of water before meals to help minimize overeating.
- Practise 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. You can also study up with our guide “7 Heartburn Evasion Manoeuvres for Christmas.”
Try digestive enzymes
If you struggle to digest typically gassy foods such as beans or Brussels sprouts, digestive enzymes—found at health food stores—may offer assistance. Digestive enzymes help break down food in our stomachs and intestines, and by supplementing with the same enzymes found naturally in our systems, we can give our bodies a bit of a helping hand.
Stock up on probiotics
Friendly bacteria naturally live in our guts and help with everything from boosting immunity to enabling digestion. Thankfully, we can also supplement with probiotics to boost the live healthy bacteria count in our digestive systems. Choose a good quality probiotic yogurt or pick up probiotics in supplement form at your local health food store. Benefits are thought to 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. What a perfect excuse to sip some delicious peppermint tea after your meal! (However, if you’re suffering from heartburn, avoid the mint tea, as mint can worsen heartburn.) Tea blends specifically formulated to ease digestion can also be found at well-stocked health food stores.
Looking for more natural remedies for digestive upsets? Stop by your natural health food store 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.