We all want our cake and to eat it too — especially during the holiday season. While all the holiday fare may taste great at the moment it often leads to digestive aftermath in the form of indigestion and bloating. Here are 9 simple ways to give your digestion a boost:
Avoid drinking much with meals. The liquid dilutes your body’s natural digestive enzymes which are needed in full force to cope with all the heavy food at this time of year.
Snack more and eat less food at meals rather than eating huge meals. Your body is better able to digest the food in smaller amounts.
Take your time. Chew your food well and really savor the taste by slowing down. Chewing mixes food with digestive enzymes that get started immediately to improve digestion.
Eat earlier in the day and not too much just before bed. Your body needs adequate time for digestion. Lying down too soon after eating is a recipe for heartburn and indigestion.
Try not to eat when you’re feeling stressed out. If you’re frequently stressed try to create a more relaxing time to eat.
Eat more fermented foods like unpasteurized sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, or kombucha (a fermented tea beverage). The naturally-present bacteria aid digestion and replenish the body’s natural bacteria in the gut.
Supplement with a probiotic supplement on an empty stomach upon rising in the morning. Choose a formula that contains a range of intestinal flora such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidus. By regulating intestinal flora, you will also regulate bowel movements and improve digestion.
Supplement with a full-spectrum digestive enzyme product. It should contain a wide range of enzymes since each one serves a unique purpose. Lipase aids fat digestion, protease aids protein digestion, amylase assists with carbohydrate digestion, lactase assists with digestion of dairy sugars, cellulase and hemicellulase assist with breaking down plant fiber.
Eat a small salad with apple cider vinegar prior to eating your holiday meals. The enzymes in the greens help with digestion while the apple cider vinegar stimulates the body’s natural production of hydrochloric acid to aid protein digestion. Avoid apple cider vinegar if you have a stomach ulcer.
Enjoy peppermint or ginger herbal tea. Both have been shown in studies to improve digestion. They are best drunk between meals rather than with meals.