Don't worry. It happens to the best of us. You ate too much. Either you went in no-holds-barred, fully understanding the consequences of your indulgences, or you decided a tiny sliver of each pie wouldn't be such a big deal since you saved room. But there were four types of pies, and those slivers weren't so tiny after all. Oops. We all do it. Our eating habits get a little sloppy this time of year which will inevitably cause some digestive disturbances. Some of us will probably experience some mild discomfort, while others will really put themselves through the ringer! Here are some tips to naturally combat those tummy troubles and intestinal misfortunes this holiday season.
Take a Walk: Do yourself a favor. Instead of plopping down on the couch after your big family meal, which is probably exactly what you'll want to do, go out and take a walk around the neighborhood. It will help stimulate your digestive system and if you are prone to heartburn, it's a must do. You simply cannot lie down yet.
Drink Some Tea: Herbal teas are known to be helpful in aiding digestion. Chamomile, mint, and ginger are some of the most popular for this. Green tea can also help digest meat proteins. And if you need a little caffeine boost for that walk, green tea is much better for you than coffee.
Watch Out for Heartburn: Acid reflux is no fun which I'm sure you know if you've ever experienced it. Most of us know aloe vera to be a soother for skin conditions and burns, but did you know you can drink aloe juice to help reduce inflammation related to reflux? Have some on hand for before and after dinner. Also, remember what I said about taking a walk? Lying down will exacerbate heartburn. If need be, you may even use a wedge shaped pillow or bolster at bedtime to alleviate heartburn since it most commonly happens at night.
Don't Get Gassy: Activated charcoal can be useful if you tend to experience gas and bloating after big meals. You can get these over the counter. Not the same as what you put on the barbecue, which are full of chemicals and toxins. Use as directed before your big meal.
Eat Probiotics: Probiotics may also help digestion and reduce excessive gas. These are live microorganisms just like the healthy kind found in the human gut. Yes, we are full of healthy bacteria which aid our digestive system, every day. We need to keep them in balance because we just can't live without them. This is why many people suffer from digestive issues after a round of antibiotics. While getting rid of an infection, antibiotics unfortunately kill off the good gut stuff. Probiotics are available in supplement form, but there are plenty of foods which contain them too, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled veggies, and miso.
Get to Know the Carminative Family: This is a family of herbs that help to warm up the digestive system and reduce gas and bloating. Many of these you will probably have on hand already. Ginger, caraway, dill, anise, oregano, parsley, peppermint, basil, fennel, and cinnamon are all examples of carminative herbs.
Relax and Enjoy: We often tend to run around trying to get things done and wind up wearing ourselves out during the holiday season. And stress is not helpful for a happy tummy. Make sure you give yourself time to relax and enjoy the holidays and don't spread yourself too thin. I would recommend taking an hour out of your time to have a rejuvenating acupuncture treatment. But, of course I would!