Natural Ways to Avoid Indigestion This Christmas
Indigestion: without a doubt, it’s one of the less enjoyable aspects of Christmas.
For many of us, sitting around the table with much-loved family and friends and eating plenty of fabulous comfort food is what Christmas is all about. However, that horrible feeling of bloatedness, heartburn and general discomfort from overeating that can follow is a not-so-pleasant by-product of all that jolliness!
Nobody wants to miss out on Christmas favourites such as turkey (yum!), stuffing (heaven!), or mince pies (my favourite!), but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of indigestion or to get rid of it if you do find yourself with that tell-tale pain just below your ribcage.
Indigestion occurs when excess acid in your stomach irritates the stomach lining, sometimes reaching back up to your throat if you suffer from reflux. This is what gives you the uncomfortable burning feeling and pain.
By taking a few sensible precautions, and planning lighter meals around the main Christmas lunch of dinner itself, you can help to reduce the risk of suffering from the discomfort of heartburn or indigestion.
Here are my top tips for a more comfortable Christmas, without missing out on your favourite foods:
Don’t Overload your Plate
When there is so much on offer, it is easy to pile your plate up far more than you would normally. Try to stick to enjoying a mouthful or two of everything – and if you have space, come back for more of whatever you’ve enjoyed the most!
Give Your Body Time to Digest Food
Chewing slowly means your body has a better chance to break down the food quickly, and also gives you a chance to enjoy it more. When you’ve finished eating, don’t rush straight to the kitchen and that inevitable mountain of clearing up! Take a few minutes to relax, perhaps stroll gently down the road for a short while, before you get to grips with the kitchen sink.
Steer Clear of Coffee…
A cup of coffee may not seem like much after a big meal, but it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back! Coffee increases acid production in the stomach, and if you are prone to reflux or heartburn, you probably already know that you are better sticking to a decaf or non-caffeinated drink instead.
…And Back Away From the Booze
A nice glass of wine, gin or port go hand in hand with a lovely Christmas meal, but if you have had warning signs of indigestion or heartburn during the meal, try to resist adding alcohol into the equation.
Choose Lighter Versions of Holiday Favourites
Instead of diving into a heavy pud, cream or a Boxing Day fry-up, choose some lighter versions of seasonal favourites that will give your digestive system time to recover from a day of overload.
Low-fat Christmas Pud This recipe uses grated carrot and apple to give moisture instead of hard-to-digest fat, but still contains plenty of delicious sultanas, currants and raisins.
Alternative to Brandy Sauce This delicious sauce contains just 50 calories per serving and uses skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and cornflour instead of cream.
Vegan Full English A tasty vegan fry-up is more digestible than a traditional fried breakfast, and contains ginger, which is well known for soothing the gut. Obviously if you are someone who finds peppers hard to digest, you may want to give that ingredient a miss.
Try Milk Thistle for Natural Relief
Plan ahead and buy a box of easy-to-take Milk Thistle tablets to relieve the symptoms of over-indulgence in food or alcohol this Christmas. HRI Milk Thistle tablets contains 300mg of extract from Milk Thistle fruits, Silybum Marinaru, which have been trusted as a traditional way to ease indigestion and upset stomach for centuries. Always read the patient information leaflet.
However you choose to reduce the chance of indigestion this Christmas, we hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy time with friends or family to the full. Cheers!