Puritan’s Pride –puritan.com
Ah, it’s that wonderful time of the year when sweet visions of sugarplums dance in your head… and the eggnog and green bean casserole are doing an entirely different dance in your stomach.
It’s the topic no one wants to talk about… digestive concerns. As unpleasant as it is to talk about these issues, it is even more unpleasant to experience these occasional distresses.
Unfortunately our favorite holiday fare tends to be heavy on calories and fat and light on fiber and other important nutrients, and we often eat more than a “portion” size. Add to this combination, plenty of stress and wash it down with a little too much alcohol, and you have the “perfect storm” for digestive upset.
Other than avoiding the once-a-year holiday treats, what is the solution to dodging these rare, but uncomfortable moments? There are some traditional foods and supplements that can help.
First on our list? Probiotics!
Eating foods rich in probiotics can help you maintain good intestinal flora. Why would you want to do that? Well, because science is showing that our gut health affects our overall health in more ways than we realize. Think of probiotics as the “friendly” bacteria that naturally live in our digestive system and help us maintain intestinal health.**
Maintaining the natural balance in the digestive system is important, because an imbalance may lead to inefficient digestion. Several foods naturally contain probiotics.
Food sources of probiotics include:
• Live cultured yogurt
If your holiday menu doesn’t include these items, you may want to consider a probiotic supplement. During stressful times we tend to overlook the importance of a healthful diet and our digestive systems may become unbalanced. Taking a probiotic supplement regularly can help maintain digestive system balance.** Delicious strawberry chewables are a great option for those who don’t care for pills.
Fill up with Fiber
We are supposed to get our fiber from the foods we eat, but during the holidays consuming enough roughage may be difficult because we don’t often find fiber-rich foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains on the buffet table. Why is fiber necessary in our diets? The simple answer is that fiber helps support regularity and it helps maintain healthy functioning of the GI tract.** Psyllium husk seeds are a great choice to get the fiber you need.
Find Out About Fennel
Before you sit down to scarf down that feast, take a look at this traditional herb with a long history of popularity in Ayurvedic practice. Fennel has a subtle licorice flavor that is especially delicious as a tea. Traditionally used as a spice and flavoring for food, Fennel is gaining popularity blended into delightfully light and aromatic teas. However, if brewing up a cup of tea is inconvenient, you may want to try a fennel seed supplement.
Binging Can Bring On Digestive Woes
After a bout of overeating, you may get an uncomfortable feeling somewhere in your belly, especially if you’ve eaten really fatty foods. Carbonated beverages may also contribute to stomach upset. Digestive concerns are quite common around the holidays. Read on to discover some old fashioned tricks that may help when the feasting occasionally leaves you feeling out of sorts.
For many, the deliciously spicy aroma of ginger conjures up images of sweetly decorated houses. For some, the cool, subtle scent of peppermint calls to mind the iconic candy cane. As it turns out, these two traditional holiday flavors may be just what you need after that holiday meal. And no, that is not a recommendation to eat an entire gingerbread house or scarf down a pint of candy cane ice cream by yourself. That being said, we would like to suggest that after your next big holiday meal, perhaps you could enjoy a cup of tea featuring either of these delicious herbs as they are both known for their soothing properties.1
Cool Refreshing Mint
Peppermint has historically been treasured for its slightly sweet, spicy taste and enticing aroma. Just add a few drops of peppermint oil into a glass of water (either cold or hot) to make a refreshing after-meal beverage that tastes great. Peppermint has a long history of use for its calming and soothing properties.**
Sublimely Spicy Ginger
Besides its traditional use as a spice and flavoring, ginger has been valued for its potential soothing properties for centuries. This aromatic spice is an important herb in the practice of Ayurvedic wellness.2 Brewing up a cup of ginger tea can be calming. In addition, taking a ginger supplement may help soothe a sour stomach.**
Following the Feast
Well-known enzymes, including papain (found in the papaya fruit), protease, amylase, lipase and bromelain may support digestive health by aiding in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.** These enzymes are believed to be important digestive aids.** When taken as an “after-meal” supplement®, this comprehensive combination of natural enzymes may serve to assist in digestion.**3
Here are a few final tips to help you and your stomach get through this holiday season:
• Serve meals on smaller plates
• Use smaller serving utensils
• Slow down and savor every bite
• Take a leisurely walk after your meal
• Save some treats for leftovers
When all else fails, and you feel those tummy tremors, try an extra helping of patience (as in the old adage “this too shall pass”) because sometimes patience is all you need.