Kitchen & Garden, Medicine Chest

10 tips to avoid the holiday belly-bloat

Christmas Family Dinner Table Concept

 

You’ve just finished Christmas lunch.

The food was INCREDIBLE, Uncle Scott told a few hilarious jokes and, as a Christmas cracker winner, you’re wearing a fashionable yellow crown.

Unfortunately, you know what is coming next. Some uncomfortable and painful bloating that not even popping a button open will fix.

This doesn’t have to be your story – the only “spread” you want is the one on the table. Here are 10 easy tips to try to keep the bloating to a minimum and the good times to the max.

Before you eat…

1. Try digestive bitters 15–30 minutes before a meal. Herbal bitters have been traditionally used to promote the production of gastric juices that stimulate digestion and help alleviate feelings of indigestion, like bloating and reflux.

2. Bitter foods may help in the same way as herbal digestive bitters. Try a dandelion or chicory root tea or munching on rocket at the beginning of a meal for the same effect.

3. Pineapple and papaya contain the enzymes bromelain and papain respectively that, when eaten just before a meal, assist in the digestion of proteins. These fruits are quite fructose-heavy, so a small piece or two should suffice.

4. Don’t skip breakfast, even if you know you’ll have a BIG meal later. Having even a small meal will get your digestion started more effectively and help you save the room for later.

During the main event…

5. Don’t fill up on water during the meal. It dilutes stomach acid – something we need plenty of in the digestion process!

6. Practise mindful eating and TRY not to overeat too much. Chew your food slowly and stop when you feel full. Of course, this is easier said than done with the delectable delights in front of you, but will pay off in good time.

7. Squeeze lemon juice over red meat it as this will begin to breakdown the big proteins in the food, making the job for your stomach an easier one.

After the feast…

8. After dinner mints exist because peppermint has carminative and antispasmodic actions in the digestive tract. Try a peppermint tea to soothe and calm an upset tummy.

9. Then drink more tea! Lemon balm, marshmallow, ginger and fennel tea have similar calming effects on a bloated and stormy stomach.

10. Try slippery elm powder after a meal if reflux is an issue for you. Its demulcent properties have guard-like actions helping to keep stomach acid where it belongs!

This article was featured on the I Quit Sugar blog.

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