Most health bloggers on the Internet are going to blog about eating healthy during the holidays. What to eat, what not to eat, losing weight after the holidays, blah, blah, blah.
I do not care what you eat during the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are about family dinners and spending time with our loved ones. Sometimes we need to take a break from all the over-analyzing we do to stay healthy.
Now if you have legitimate allergies or medical conditions that require you to avoid different foods, I am not downplaying your issues you should avoid what you cannot ingest so you will not get ill. Do not take my above statement about this blog as, John said I can have stuffing on Thanksgiving even if I have celiac disease, that is not the case.
There will be general tips for those who have illnesses to help combat some of the woes of holiday eating and improve digestion, but, for the most part, this blog will be directed towards people without strong digestive issues.
Tips for Healthy Digestion Around the Holidays
- Chew your food slowly. A lot of people forget about this important tip to greatly improve digestion. The longer we masticate our food and mix it with saliva the easier it will be to digest. You should follow this tip strongly if you are eating carbs since one of the main components of saliva is amylase that helps us break down carbs. Finally, the slower we eat, the less chance we will overeat, since our stomach has time to fill up and signal to our brain that we are full.
- If you are planning on eating a large meal, consider taking digestive enzymes and betaine HCL (if your meal is going to have fat and protein and as long as you are not suffering from silent reflux or have an ulcer) to help support your body digesting a large amount of holiday food. DPP-IV can also be taken as a digestive enzyme to possible help with the breakdown and digestion of gluten peptides (will not help if you have Celiac disease.)
- Take some activated charcoal a few hours after a meal. The charcoal might help absorb some of the questionable ingredients in the food you were consuming, reduce gas and bloating, and might help reduce the endotoxin load produced by the gram-negative bacteria in the gut after they are helping to break down your questionable meal.
- Increase your omega 3 fatty acid intake (Atlantic sardines (Season,) Atlantic tuna, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic cod, Atlantic flounder, Atlantic shrimp / scallops, Ultimate Omega are all good choices) before and after the holidays to help offset the increased omega 6 intake from your holiday meals.
- If you find yourself suffering from gastritis after the holiday meal, taking a couple of zinc carnosine capsules with a little food might help settle your stomach. If you end up having acid reflux, loosening your belt or pants, and taking a d-limonene softgel might help reduce your GERD. Sleeping on your left side at night might help prevent reflux. If your GERD is severe some plain milk of magnesia (one tbsp) or baking soda (one teaspoon) mixed well in water might help bring you relief.
- Drink a little liquid with your meals but try not to fill up too much on liquid. Water logging your stomach can put excessive pressure on the LES and slow down digestion. You wanna fill your stomach up with delicious food not liquid.
- Try to maintain proper motility during the holidays to help your digestive system combat the stress of having to break down extra food. Cayenne (sprinkle a little on your food) and ginger (drink freshly grated ginger tea thirty minutes after your meal) can help increase stomach emptying if you are feeling bloated in that region. I would slightly increase your magnesium intake during the holidays to try to speed up motility. Eating three meals daily during the holidays or fasting a meal or two before the big holiday meal might increase motility to help digestive the extra food. No snacking! Finally, making sure when it is time to use the bathroom that you sit on a Squatty potty to relieve your digestive system of excess pressure and distension when having a bowel movement.
- Exercising during the holidays, even walking thirty minutes a few hours after a meal, can help increase motility and lessen digestive issues.
I hope these tips help keep your digestion stable during the holidays. Happy holidays as always to you and your families from all of us at Fix Your Gut.