What do you call a turkey the day after thanksgiving? Lucky! Eating a giant feast of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and turkey can make you feel lucky too. But your tummy might have different feelings. Indulging in so much can lead to heartburn, sluggishness, bloat, gas, and general discomfort. How can comfort food make you feel so uncomfortable?! Here are some helpful tips to aid in digestion and keep you from looking “holly jolly” this holiday season.
Tip #1 Drink lots of water
Turkey brining can be a salty process, but it leaves the turkey extra juicy by counteracting the dryness. This process makes extra drinking water a must at everyone's place setting. Not only is it a refreshing palate cleanser; it has been shown to aid in digestion. By diluting the food you chew, water helps to nourish your body with vitamins and minerals. It also helps replenish the water that is lost during digestion, sweating, waste removal and other metabolic processes. Lastly, it helps make you feel more full. This can prevent you from overeating, which ultimately always leads to discomfort.
Tip #2 Use Spices
Cinnamon. Turmeric. Saffron. Ginger. Mint. These spices were mostly unavailable in America’s early years. Now, spices are much simpler to find, and have been proven to contribute to many health benefits. These spices in particular have been shown to help with inflammation, decrease bloating, increase digestion, help with nutrient absorption, and even decrease stomach acid. In order to maximize all these benefits, ensure these spices are a part of several dishes in your ceremonious meal. If this can’t be done, supplementation or teas will also do. Saffron itself has been shown to help with appetite control and improve mood. Saffron is also commonly known as one of the most expensive spices. So including it in a large family style meal may not be an economical choice to an already extravagant meal. Taking just 2 tablets on an empty stomach can help prevent a world of discomfort, and make your Thanksgiving more about the gobble gobble and less about the wobble wobble.
Tip #3 Control portion sizes
This is a hard one to follow on Thanksgiving we know. But managing your portions and substituting sides for salads, can greatly reduce feelings of bloat and other after hunger pangs.
We know Grandma’s marshmallow sweet potato casserole is the best, but that doesn’t mean you need to double your serving. The USDA considers a single serving of mashed potatoes to be one cup. Start out with a single heaping scoop. Freeze or give away leftovers so you can enjoy them over many days or even weeks. Buy to-go containers for guests, and encourage sharing.
Tip #4 Take a Walk
Exercise before or after a large meal is an excellent idea for many reasons. Exercise has been shown to improve blood flow which can help with the spread of nutrients and help prevent muscle cramps. It also increases gut activity which helps with digestion and helps with food metabolism. Lastly, the deep breathing from the fresh air and exercise will help you feel refreshed instead of melting into the couch.
Tip #5 Be Proactive
Thanksgiving is about being grateful, spending time with family, and of course, FOOD! Preparing your body for the fantastic feast that awaits is only fair. To ensure your digestive enzymes are up for the task at hand, you may want to consider supplementation. Digestive Enzymes are used by the body to break down food for proper nutrient absorption. These compounds help break down molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Your body can create these enzymes on its own but for people with digestive issues, especially issues with lactose, sometimes au naturel is not enough. For those that lack enzymes in the stomach Digestive Enzyme supplementation is extremely helpful. Another beneficial digestion aid is Chromium Picolinate. Chromium is an essential mineral found in poultry, grains, beef, certain fruits, and dairy products, but in very small amounts. Chromium’s top function is to help metabolize fat, protein and sugar. Our Chromium comes in Picolinate form allowing for high absorption and making Chromium Picolinate highly bioavailable. Keep your tummy in good working order this holiday season, allow for smooth digestion and minimize the aches and pains of bloat, heartburn and constipation.
We hope these tips contribute to a happy and healthy Thanksgiving day, full of family, fun and maybe even a few surprises. Happy Thanksgiving!