The holiday season is approaching and that means office get-togethers, school parties, and family gatherings with holiday eats are in order. Unfortunately for some of us, it also means bloating triggered by getting a little too jolly with our favorite holiday foods. Here are eight ways to enjoy the festivities while keeping discomfort and bloating at bay…
Take a daily probiotic designed to aid digestive function. Look for a supplement with one or more of the following strains: L. Acidophilus, L. Rhamnosus, B. Lactis, B. Animalis, Lactobacillus GG. These strains help clear digestive walls, breakdown food and waste, and aid in nutrient absorption.
Focus on fiber rich veggies. Vegetables keep things moving through the digestive tract. Fill the majority of your plate with green vegetables and use the remainder for a taste of the other goodies at holiday gatherings.
Remember, your stomach doesn’t have teeth. There are a few reasons to chew each bite a little longer. Saliva has digestive enzymes that help breakdown starches and begin the digestion process before food reaches the stomach. Chewing longer also gives your brain more time to process when you’re full, which will help prevent overeating. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to realize that the stomach is full.
Drink plenty of water. You may be tempted to let peppermint coffee, egg nog and hot chocolate take place of good old water, but that certainly won’t make things easier on your digestive system. Be sure to drink three liters or at least half your weight in ounces of water each day. For example, a 160 pound person should drink a minimum of 80 ounces of water per day.
Harness the power of herbal teas. Herbal teas can alleviate bloating and improve digestion. Peppermint, chai, chamomile, ginger, lavender, and green teas are festive flavors that will keep your stomach calm and collected.
Stop eating when you’re full. There’s nothing wrong with practicing moderation and enjoying your favorite holiday foods, but here’s the trick – Stop eating when you’re full. If you find a food you’d like to have more of, consider making a to-go plate for tomorrow’s lunch rather than having seconds when you’re already full.
To enjoy food does not mean you have to eat it. Consider volunteering to serve food or purchasing disposable containers and making plates to deliver to those in need with excess food. Less time eating, less food wasted, and more time giving, a win-win situation!
Plan to be active! Bring games, turn on music and encourage everyone to move, organize a family walk or hike while everyone is in town, or start a dance off… Whatever you can do to get yourself and others moving is perfect. Movement supports digestion and digestion is the goal.
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