Gobble, Gobble + Gulp, Gulp = Gastric Distress!
Tips to avoid indigestion, bloating and other tummy troubles this Thanksgiving
Every year on Thanksgiving, Americans come together to celebrate a centuries old tradition. We give thanks for all that we have, visit with family and friends, watch football, and feast on the harvest foods of the season. The turkey is tempting, that ham is enticing, and did that pumpkin pie just call your name? Self control often flies out the window! While Thanksgiving festivities commence with merriment, for many of us, the day will end with digestive woes.
“Trying to eat healthy amidst such an array of indulgence presents some challenges and a test of will power to be sure,” said Martie Whittekin, CCN and author of Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosic and Other Acid Blockers. “But taking a few steps before and during holiday parties may help you control overeating and avoid the discomfort of indigestion, bloating and even diarrhea and constipation.”
Why the Bountiful Banquet May Entice a Belly Ache
Many conventionally prepared Thanksgiving menus, albeit delicious, are hard on your stomach. Greasy ham, fried turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with milk and butter, yams with sugary marshmallows, decadent desserts, not to mention the increased alcohol intake. Even if you eat healthy the rest of the year, sometimes your digestive system just isn’t prepared for the onslaught of rich fare.
Causes of an upset stomach include smoking, anxiety, too much caffeine and overeating, especially fatty or spicy foods. Bloating is not only triggered by how much you eat, but also by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest. These undigested substances then pass into your colon producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and create uncomfortable gas.
Fortunately, there is a way to have a delicious and digestively healthy Thanksgiving. Ms. Whittekin has helped us put together tips for healthier holiday eating.
Tips For a Healthier Thanksgiving
- Use Lean meat – opt for a roasted turkey instead of ham or fried turkey. To maintain moist meat, be sure to baste with broth every hour or so.
- Eat Your Vegetables – veggies should be a staple of Thanksgiving side dishes, but some are loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Green beans do not have to be topped with friend onions. Instead try a sauté of fresh green beans, garlic, dairy-free butter, and slivered almonds.
- Monitor Sweets – when you do eat dessert, savor smaller portions as eating sugar can cause bloating and indigestion.
- Homemade – Bring your own dish to a Thanksgiving potluck — healthy alternatives like Sweet Potato Casserole and Corn Bread Stuffing taste as good (or better) than the real thing.
- Chew Slow! – Did you know you can reduce bloating simply by chewing your food well and eating slowly? Overloading your stomach, on the other hand, can lead to gas. Simply slowing down your meal may also help you to savor your food – an indulgence so many of us miss these days – and will help you avoid indigestion or gas caused by eating too quickly.
- Probiotics – A probiotics supplement may help support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, along with promoting healthy intestinal flora. Taking a high-quality, fermented probiotic such as Ohhira’s Probiotics has been shown to help regulate the movement of food through the intestine and facilitate digestion. As a result, the space that the food occupies is decreased, and there is less indigestion, gas and bloating. Up your dose of probiotics a few days before the feast for even better digestion.*
Foods to Limit in your Menu:
- High-fat and fried food – both of these can distress the stomach resulting in heartburn and indigestion. As we note above, roast your turkey instead of fry and limit the oil you use to sauté your side dishes.
- Dairy – too much milk or cheese has been known to cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Instead of mixing BOTH milk and butter in your mashed potatoes, pick just one.
- Alcohol – relaxes the body, but can also inflame the stomach lining and prevent certain digestive enzymes from doing their job. Try to limit to 1-2 drinks.
- Sugar – too much sugar can lead to a host of digestive inefficiencies. Try subbing honey on your yams instead of marshmallows.
If you make wise choices regarding which foods to eat, you will be rewarded with a sense of physical well-being. In general, avoid anything that is fatty, creamy or fried, as foods with a high fat content may result in unpleasant digestive symptoms. In addition, be cautious about your choice of drink; as alcohol and caffeine can both be irritating to your system.
Most importantly enjoy the time with family, friends and good conversation. If you are talking, you are less likely to be overeating! Click on Thanksgiving Discount for 20% off your order of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, Original Formula.
Do you have any healthy menu planning tips that you like to stick to during Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments below!