Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re like a lot of people, you’ll be joining friends, family or coworkers for a Thanksgiving meal. If you’re headed off to a Thanksgiving feast, it’s important that you’re smart about how you approach the meal, especially if you suffer from gastrointestinal issues like indigestion, acid reflux, esophageal issues or food sensitivities. In today’s blog, we share some tips on how to do right by your gastrointestinal system this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Meal Tips From A Gastrointestinal Surgeon
While these tips may vary a bit based on your specific condition, they tend to be good pieces of advice for a wide range of gastrointestinal issues. For advice tailored to your individual situation, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants. With that in mind, here’s how you can have a more comfortable digestive experience this Thanksgiving.
- Slow Down – We’re going to start off with an easy tip. For the first tip, we’re not going to tell you how much to eat, or even what foods to avoid, we’re only going to tell you how to eat. We know that there may be a number of dishes that you want to try, but take it slow. Chew your food into smaller pieces that are easier to digest, and eating at a slower pace can prevent excess air getting into your stomach that can cause gas and bloating. You can always go back for more if you’re still hungry, so don’t be in a rush to clean your plate.
- Drink Water – Carbonated beverages or alcohol can also cause problems for your digestive tract when they are consumed alongside a big meal. Instead of opting for those options which can cause gas, bloating or burping, have water with your Thanksgiving meal. It won’t upset your stomach like other liquids can.
- Don’t Starve Yourself Before The Big Meal – We know that you’re probably excited for your Thanksgiving lunch or dinner, but don’t starve yourself on the big day just so that you can eat more of the good stuff. Eat some healthy snacks throughout the day so that you’re not as likely to overindulge at Thanksgiving. Overeating can lead to stomach cramping and increase your risk of acid reflux. Help curb your hunger by eating throughout the day.
- Save Room For Salad – High fat foods like mashed potatoes and gravy or cornbread can trigger indigestion and acid reflux, whereas healthy greens can help to kickstart the digestive process in the right way. Start with a salad topped with some raw vegetables and a low-fat dressing, and you’ll be building a perfect base for your stomach as it begins digesting the meal.
- Move After Your Meal – Finally, we know that you’re probably looking forward to sitting on the couch after a big Thanksgiving meal, but movement can help with the digestive process. You don’t need to go for a run or head to the gym (unless you want to), but even just standing and moving a bit can help the digestive process and allow gravity to prevent acid reflux. Offer to do the dishes at the sink, or head outside to play with your nieces and nephews for a bit. Stand, walk or move for at least a half hour after the meal to help get digestion off on the right foot.
We hope you have a wonderful and comfortable Thanksgiving, but if you run into any gastrointestinal issues or have been plagued by a chronic issue like acid reflux or indigestion, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants.