We all love to over-indulge at Christmas, but we don’t all love the effects quite as much. Indigestion, heartburn and bloating are very common at Christmas after feasting on comfort food, so how can we help these not ruin our festive spirit? Below are some ways you can try to relieve indigestion and bloating over the Christmas period:
Eat your food slowly ad chew properly before swallowing because eating too fast can mean a lot of air is swallowed causing a gas build-up which can result in bloating and excess air in the esophagus causing an uncomfortable feeling.
Don’t eat right before bed to allow some time for your food to digest before lying horizontally so that acids from your stomach don’t make their way up your esophagus. Or if you’ve just eaten and are going to bed try propping your head and shoulders up to allow the food to digest.
Your digestive system works best when you’re active, and exercise can help relieve pressure in your stomach that may be causing bloating. Exercise can also help relieve stress and anxiety that is a common cause of an upset stomach. However, be careful about when you exercise, try to wait a while between meals and exercise to make sure you’re not exercising on a full stomach.
Pineapple contains bromelain which helps the body digest proteins so eating it before or after meat can help the body digest it and help to avoid indigestion and heartburn. Alternatively, you could use a lemon marinade to tenderize meat, making it easier to break down protein.
Try drinking chamomile, ginger or peppermint tea after heavy meals as this can help with inflammation which could help with bloating. You could also try drinking water with freshly squeezed lemon in. Generally, water will help you to stay hydrated and keep the nutrients moving through your digestive system.
Stress and anxiety can lead to digestion problems. Try breathing deeply and slowly to help along the process of relaxation. Exhaling carbon dioxide can have a relaxing effect on the brain and nervous system, calming your nervous system can aid digestion and can avoid the overproduction of stomach acid which causes digestion problems. Where possible, try to be organized this Christmas. You may feel the effects on your digestive system!
Remember that most food we have at Christmas is very rich, so you don’t need to eat a lot to be full. Try to eat less of the foods that cause excessive gas such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower or cabbage.