Overindulgence can take its toll on your gut and could lead to bloating, indigestion and constipation and more… here are some tips on how to give your digestion a helping hand after the holiday season.
Take Digestive Enzymes Daily
Take Digestive Enzymes to help with the breakdown in food – they help speed up the chemical reactions that turn nutrients into substances that your digestive tract can absorb. Basically, they help you break down the food you eat, making the food easier to absorb. This can help with stomach issues such as bloating, gas, nausea, constipation, or diarrhoea are a regular event after eating.
Feeling a little bloated and struggling to use the bathroom after all that holiday food? Support bowl movements and help with anxiety at the same time with magnesium. A lack of magnesium in your diet can lead to muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, and supplements are a great way to top up your levels. Nutritionist Frankie Brogan says “Magnesium is a key mineral in our bodies, used for over 300 enzyme functions. Primarily, it’s necessary for muscle and nerve function, can relax muscles and calm the nervous system. When we have enough of it, it can be great for stress relief and reduction of anxiety.” However – too much can have a laxative effect – so speak to a healthcare professional for more advice. You can also keep yourself topped up naturally with magnesium rich food like Spinach, Almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Figs, Dark chocolate, and Bananas. Magnesium is also an excellent neutralizer for acidic substances and is often used to treat acid indigestion or heartburn.
Don’t forget to move! Yoga could help offset the effects of bloating and going for a walk can also help support your digestion. Exercise helps to stimulate digestion and make you feel better overall. You can even practise breathing exercises, breathing in deeply and slowly using your belly muscles to help you relax and perhaps even aid problems like heartburn and bloating.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Get your gut back in the game by helping to incorporate the right microbiome again. Support the growth of existing microbiomes with prebiotics and add more with probiotics. “We all know that vegetables are good for us but the specific reason they’re good for your gut is that vegetables are prebiotic foods. This means they will feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, the kind that fight off bad bacteria and keep you healthy and your skin looking good. Incorporate lots of vegetables like jerusalem artichoke, chicory, garlic and ginger as these vegetables are particularly powerful prebiotics,” says Emma-Louise Follows, a medical herbalist and founder of Ayurvedic Gut Health.
Chew slowly and properly
Help give your gut a break and make sure to eat your food slowly, chew properly. Holistic Wellbeing and Beauty Coach Marielle Alix says “The best way to ensure that we are helping make it easy for our bodies to digest our food is to chew A LOT so that our food mixes with our digestive juices so it can be easily digested and better absorbed for optimal nutrition.”
Don’t eat before bed
You should also leave at least 3 hours between eating and sleeping. Eating before bed can lead to acid reflux when you lie down. Anything containing caffeine, alcohol, tea, chocolate, or hot spices can also further aggravate the symptoms.
Reach for the herbal teas
Opt for herbal teas with peppermint, ginger, anise, and/or fennel to help keep things moving and settle the tummy. Green tea can also aid digestion and soothe the stomach, its rich in polyphenols, catechins, and antioxidants, and can help to soothe the symptoms of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders.
Become aware of food intolerances
Many traditional holiday foods contain food allergens such as dairy, gluten, eggs and more. If you’ve found yourself feeling particularly uncomfortable after certain foods, it might be time to look into whether you have any intolerances that you’ve been previously unaware of.