The holiday season is upon us, and while it can be one of the merriest times of year, it can also be one of the hardest on your digestive system. If you’re regularly feasting on Christmas ham or sugarplums, it can throw your digestive system out of whack. In today’s blog, we want to share some tips for preventing digestive problems during the holiday season.
5 Tips For Maintaining Good Digestive Health Throughout The Holidays
If you want to avoid heartburn, constipation or other digestive issues, keep these five tips in mind as we navigate the holiday season.
- Limit Rich Foods – Oftentimes we have more opportunities to indulge in rich foods that can upset a sensitive stomach if consumed in large portions. Rich foods are those packed with sugar and fat, which can slow the digestive process or trigger an inflammatory response. It’s fine to indulge here or there, but make sure to limit your intake of high-fat or carbohydrate-dense foods.
- Avoid Overeating – Getting together with the family over the holiday usually involves a big meal. And when there’s plenty of good food on the table, we have a tendency to overindulge. When we overeat, it can cause a number of problems for our digestive health. Not only will it take extra work to break down all the food, but because your stomach is more full, you’re at an increased risk for acid reflux and the uncomfortable symptoms it can bring. If you want to help your digestive system, avoid eating to the point that you’re uncomfortable.
- Slow Down – Similarly, it’s also important that you aren’t shoveling food into your mouth as fast as you can. If you’re eating too quickly, you may end up swallowing more air that can contribute to burping or bloating. Also, if you’re not fully chewing your food, it will take longer for your stomach to break down these substances and pass them along your intestines. It’s also easier to realize that you’re full if you take your time and slow down while you’re eating.
- Mix In Some Greens – Make sure your Christmas tree isn’t the only green plant you see regularly during the holidays. Leafy green vegetables are a great source of fiber that helps to promote optimal gut health. Try to get some healthy vegetables on your plate and on your children’s plates even during the hectic holiday season.
- Consciously Eat – Finally, make sure you are consciously eating throughout the holidays. It can be very easy to grab a Christmas cookie here or take a handful of candy there, but if you’re absent-mindedly eating while you’re doing some online shopping or at your workstation, it will be easier to throw off your gut health and pack on a few extra pounds. It’s fine to indulge in some festive treats throughout the holidays, but make it a point to eat only when you’re hungry and to avoid absent-mindedly snacking.
If you can do all five of the above tips, we’re confident that you’ll be helping keep your digestive system healthy this holiday season. And if a problem develops or something doesn’t feel quite right, reach out to Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants today.