‘Tis the season of merriment, family gatherings, and the best part – indulgent treats and feasts that leave our taste buds feeling like they’ve hit the jackpot. And while our eyes are dancing with visions of sugarplums (and gravy boats), our tummies often-time end up throwing a less-than-festive fit.
Let’s be real, bloating becomes an unwanted guest at our holiday parties, and we’re all too familiar with the discomfort that comes with the season of indulgence. After all, who can blame us for having a third helping of Grandma’s homemade gingerbread cookies? As we should… because they do only come around once a year.
Maintaining optimal digestive health during these gut-testing times isn’t just about avoiding that oh-so-beloved food baby; it’s crucial to our overall wellbeing and holiday cheer. So, let’s embark on a joyful jaunt through the land of digestive wellness to beat the bloat this holiday season, shall we?
Understanding Digestive Health
Digestive health isn’t just for the wellness gurus and science folks. Your gut is like the trendy nightclub of your body, and the enzymes and acids in your stomach are the bouncers deciding which nutrients are VIP and which toxins are getting booted.
The vetting system is pretty exclusive, and only the elite nutrients are granted all-access to your body. Well, most of the time. Sometimes, the club gets a bit overcrowded, and our least favorite party crasher, bloating, walks through the door thanks to some leading culprits like…
- Overeating: Overeating is like over inviting too many guests to the party. When you overeat, the stomach expands beyond a comfortable capacity – leaving your digestive system to work overtime to break down the sudden influx, leading to symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach pain, and nausea.
- Rich and Fatty Foods: Rich and fatty foods are those high-maintenance party goer’s – demanding more time and energy from your digestive system to be broken down properly. Studies show that fat digestion is a more involved process that requires extra energy, so too much of it leads to digestive distress.
- Lack of fiber: Skimping on the fiber is like forgetting to put out the party snacks that keep things running smoothly. Research shows that fiber is essential to move food efficiently through the digestive tract, helping to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation.
To sum it up, all of these common culprits put a strain on our digestive system and invite bloating to the party. And bloating just lovesss to throw an after-party in your gut once everyone else has called it a night.
While some bloating could just be your body’s memo that it’s time to ease up on the eggnog, ongoing bloat may be a red flag for underlying issues – like an imbalanced microbiome. If the bloat is sticking around longer than last year’s Christmas lights, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional.
But how do we keep our digestive system from turning into a holiday mosh pit? Here are the season’s 7 hottest tops – haute couture to banish the bloat as you feast, if you will:
1. Mindful Eating: Engage all your senses, take it slow, and savor every bite of each meal. Mindful eating helps you tune into your body’s satiety signals so you know when to call it quits.
2. Portion Control: Keep your portions in check like you’re editing your capsule closet – quality over quantity for the win.
3. Choose Digestive Friendly Foods: stock your plate with fiber-rich veggies and lean proteins for a smoother digestive process. A little high-fiber goes a long way.
4. Probiotics: remember those elites we were talking about? These are those guys for your gut flora. Probiotics promote a balanced ecosystem in your digestive system. Try incorporating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut into your daily diet.
5. Hydration: Water is the ultimate cocktail for your digestion. It keeps things flowing like a good conversation and helps prevent that dreaded food coma.
6. Limit Alcohol: while a toast is non-negotiable, excessive alcohol can turn bloat up to a ten. Keep your alcohol intake on the lighter side so puffiness and spirits can stay on the brighter side.
Now that we’ve gone through some hot-tips during your feast, we know that on special occasions sometimes the feast can turn into a frenzy and you’re left feeling like the farthest away from the belle of the ball. If that’s the case, we still got you covered. Here’s what to do next:
1. Walk It Out: A light stroll, post-feast helps stimulate digestion. In addition,studies show that even just 2 minutes of walking after a large meal helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
2. Strike a Pose: Gentle yoga poses such as Cat-Cow, Downward Dog, Bridge, andother particular poses that involve twists and forward folds can help massage the abdomen, promoting digestion and relieving gas.
3. Steep for Relief: Herbal teas – particularly ones containing peppermint, ginger, or chamomile – are known to aid the digestive system in food breakdown and also soothe bloating / tummy discomfort.
4. Arrae Bloat: Blended with peppermint, ginger, lemon balm, and dandelion root – Our Bloat Capsules are made with ingredients that were carefully selected for their research-backed abilities. Arrae Bloat reduces bloating, speeds up food breakdown, and soothes the digestive tract in under an hour, making it your post-feast BFF.
5. Embrace the Balance: Remember that the holidays are a time to celebrate, and the occasional indulgent feast is one of the many pleasures of life. So, savor those special holiday moments, don’t stress yourself out about the feasting, and then once all the festivities are over, ease back into your routine with grace the next day.
*Disclaimer*: This article is purely informational and does not imply any evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases, nor should it substitute for advice from a healthcare professional.
References:Editors, Casey Coviello and YJ. “8 Yoga Poses for Better Digestion.”Yoga Journal, 24 Apr. 2023
“Fiber.”The Nutrition Source, 2 Feb. 2023
Jayaraj, Mahendran. “How Fat Affects Your GI Tract.”Header, 10 Sept. 2021
LaMotte, Sandee. “News: Just 2 Minutes of Walking after Eating... (CNN News) - behind the Headlines - NLM.”National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 9 Sept. 2023