Five steps to better digestion

Lifestyle Saturday 22/October/2016 19:40 PM
By: Times News Service
Five steps to better digestion

Foods eaten during festivals taste good because they’re often rich, and high in fat and sugar — qualities that cause not only weight gain but also digestive discomfort. During this hectic time of year, most of us eat more — especially at celebrations.
Giving up treats and favourite dishes would be like going through the season without a single cornucopia or twinkling decoration. Rather than suffering digestive distress through indulgence, or choosing to deprive yourself entirely, start with a plan for how you’ll deal with digestive upset, then take action.
Steps to feel better

  • Stay hydrated. The hectic pace of festivity may make you forget to drink enough water. Non-alcoholic sugary beverages like mulled cider, hot chocolate, and pumpkin-flavoured coffees can also throw off your body’s balance. Remember to drink plenty of water every day throughout the holidays.
  • Prioritise food choices. Sure, that slice of pumpkin pie looks great on the plate and tastes yummy going down, but will it be worth the heartburn and bloating you’ll experience later? Raw veggies are a healthful and fibre-filled alternative to fatty hors d’oeuvres, but be aware that raw vegetables can also cause bloating and gas. Pay attention to the foods that trigger discomfort and decide how important they really are. You may be able to substitute something else that’s just as satisfying but less upsetting to your stomach.
  • Reduce portion sizes. Do you give yourself license to overindulge during festivals, figuring you’ll pay for it later when you step on the scale? Large portions can also make you pay for them right away when you feel indigestion or reflux after finishing a big meal. Reducing portion sizes can help ease holiday strain on your stomach and digestive tract. One easy trick for controlling portion sizes – serve yourself on a dessert-size dish, rather than a large dinner plate. Smaller portions will look like more on a smaller plate.
  • Limit variety. Whether a buffet or a sit-down dinner, festival meals often feature multiple dishes that just look so good you want to try them all. Mixing too many different foods, however, can lead to stomach upset. Trying everything — even if it’s just a bite or two — can rack up the calories, fat and sugar. Instead, choose just a few favourites to have at each meal.
  • Keep exercising. Along with all the other benefits exercise brings, it can also promote digestive health. In addition to its positive physical effects, exercise can also help relieve holiday stress — a contributor to stomach upset. Whether it’s an hour at the gym or 30 minutes on a yoga mat in your living room, it’s important to maintain an exercise regimen throughout the holidays.

Festivals are meant to be a time of enjoyment, and that includes eating foods you just don’t have around at other times of the year. With some proactive steps, you can help ensure you stay bright and your stomach stays healthy throughout the season.