Support Your Digestion During The Holidays
From sweet treats to savory dishes and festive drinks, the holidays are filled with indulgent treats. This combination can wreak havoc on our digestive system. Around the holidays people tend to complain about digestive issues like, indigestion, bloating, discomfort and heartburn. So lets take a look at 5 ways we can manage and support our digestion during the holidays.
Increase Stomach Acid
One of the easiest ways to improve your digestion is to increase your stomach acid. A majority of people have lower stomach acid, which can lead to a poor breakdown of foods and further lead to bloating, constipation and overall discomfort. Try adding a spoonful of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to a glass of water and drink it 30 mins before your meal. This will get your digestive juices flowing and increase the breakdown of your food, also leading to a better nutrient absorption.
It sounds simple, but this is the number one habit that people tend to lack on. In today's society were a lot more stressed, were on the go, distracted or are trying to multitask while we eat. Chewing is the first and most crucial part of digestion. How well we chew our food sets the base for our digestion. During the holidays make sure to be mindful and enjoy your meal. Savor each bite, slow down and chew your food well, put your fork down after each bite and eat when you are in a calm and happy environment.
Try Food combining
This concept combines different food groups that work well together for digestion. This idea is a difficult one for some people to grasp, as it eliminates a lot of the traditional meals people have been used to. Some of the core ideas around this nutritional practice are:
1. Eat fruit only on an empty stomach (especially melons)
2. Don't combine proteins and starches
3. Don't combine different types of protein
4. Only consume dairy on an empty stomach
5. Don't combine starches with acidic foods.
These rules combine the two main concepts of food combining. The first is that different foods digest at different speeds and secondly, that different foods require different enzymes to be broken down. If we combine certain food groups together not only can it slow digestion down, but specific enzymes cannot be released because the combination of foods changes the pH, making it difficult for other enzymes to be released. It might seem difficult to try, but start with one meal, like breakfast and see if you notice a difference. That way you will be prepared when those big holiday meals come along.
Don't drink with meals
Most people sit down with their meal and a glass of their favourite drink. However, this concept doesn't favor proper digestion. When we eat our food, hydrochloric acid and other enzymes start to break down the food in our stomach. When we add a glass of our favourite drink into the mix, this dilutes the hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes. This weakens their ability to breakdown our food, which can lead to digestive complaints like, bloating, indigestion and can further lead to constipation. If you are keen on having a drink with your meal, have a couple sips but no more than that and drink between meals so that you stay hydrated.
Try a digestive enzyme
If you just need some overall support with your meals and especially during this time of year, adding a digestive enzyme can be beneficial supplement. A digestive enzyme provides all the active enzymes that we require for the breakdown of each food group. From protein to dairy, carbohydrates and everything in between. If you are going to take a digestive enzyme, make sure that it is a full spectrum so that it covers all food groups.Take it after the first bite of your meal and this will help support your digestion during those indulgent holiday meals.
The best part about these solutions is that they can be incorporated into your diet at any time during the year and not just the holidays. However, especially during this indulgent time, we do need some support. Try to incorporate these tools and we hope that you enjoy this beautiful time of year, without digestive complaints.
And if you are wondering which digestive enzyme to take check out our article on digestive enzymes and how to look for the right one. https://www.herbesthealth.com/blogs/news/primezyme?_pos=1&_sid=108196bbf&_ss=r