Last week I had a look at the ways I try and stay calm in the often-chaotic run up to the festive season. This week I am going to have a quick look at the best ways to eat, drink and be merry – hopefully without paying the price for it!
Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)
EATING RICH FOODS & AVOIDING INDIGESTION
One thing most of us are guilty of at this time of year is eating a lot of extra and rich food, which we would not usually consume – and then being surprised when we end up with indigestion, bloating or stomach ache!
The fact is, if we eat any foods which our body is not used to having regularly (mince pies, turkey, Christmas pudding, sprouts etc.), our digestive system does not have all the enzymes it needs to break them down. This is because we only produce the enzymes we need to break down the foods we normally eat. Our body does not tend to waste time producing enzymes ‘just in case’ we decide to eat a mountain of sprouts!
This means that all those more seasonal foods do not get digested as well as they could be, which in turn results in bloating, wind and the symptoms of ‘indigestion.’
The other problem at this time of year is the sheer volume of foods we might choose to eat – a lot more than we normally would. Again, our digestive system is not actually aware of our plans for a festive feast, so may react with shock when we throw a load of extra food at it! Again, the result would tend to be bloating and indigestion symptoms.
So how can we avoid this? Well option one is, obviously, stick to a more normal diet – but DON’T PANIC, there is another way! Every year I get a little pot of digestive enzymes for all of us to take after our larger meals, and I cannot tell you what a difference it makes – my Dad can even have the sprouts and stuffing, without paying the price he normally would!
DIGESTIVE ENZYME SUPPLEMENTS
Digestive Enzyme Supplements are basically pills which contain all of those extra digestive enzymes our body needs to break down all that extra, richer food.
Look for a product which contains plant digesting enzymes like cellulase, to help with those sprouts. A good product will also contain lactase – the enzyme we need to digest dairy foods. Low levels of lactase are linked with lactose intolerance, making this a great choice for those who think they may have issues with too much lactose.
TRYING TO AVOID HANGOVERS & NAUSEA
The other common issue at this time of year, I am sorry to say, is an issue of ‘over-indulgence’. This over-indulgence may simply be in food, but for many, it can also mean alcohol – and we all know that extra alcohol can lead to hangovers. This is where the herb Milk Thistle can come in really handy!
Milk Thistle is a traditional herbal medicine, often licensed for the symptoms of ‘over indulgence’, including problems such as indigestion and upset stomach.
This can include those symptoms arise from over-indulgence in rich, fatty foods, and may also be helpful for those who may have over-indulged in alcohol.
Many of my friends and customers will get themselves a bottle of Milk Thistle at this time of year and take it every day, swearing that it really helps them avoid that terrible nausea we can all feel after a few glasses of wine!
A RECIPE FOR A HAPPY CHRISTMAS
Therefore, my recipe for a happy Christmas will always include a digestive enzyme taken with each meal to support my digestion, and a milk thistle tablet taken each morning and evening – to give my body a little extra help as I enjoy celebrating with my friends and family.
All that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas! Don’t forget to check back into my blog in 2018, where I will be debunking New Year Detox Myths.