‘Tis the season to be jolly. But amongst all the holiday parties, baking days, cookie exchanges, dairy-free hot chocolate, vegan eggnog and the cornucopia of food around us at all times we may start to feel a little more jiggly and bloated instead! Here are some tips to help keep your tummy tame, waistline in check and bloating to a minimum:
Probiotics are good bacteria that keep our digestive system balanced. It aids the stomach in the breakdown and digestion of food, preventing acid reflux, relieving constipation and bloating. One of my favorites during the holidays is Kombucha – a cold, fermented bubbley tea that contains probiotics, making it a fantastic digestive tonic. It’s great to drink in between meals to help keep belly flat and bloating at bay. Serving it up in a champagne flute makes it even more festive!
2) Don’t drink while eating
When we eat, our body is working REALLY hard to digest everything we consume. Our body’s digestive enzymes are required to breakdown the food we eat and assimilate nutrients. Drinking with meals flushes away those precious digestive enzymes resulting in undigested food, cramping, gas and bloating. Gross. Drink at least 30 minutes before or two hours after meals for optimal digestion.
3) Chew your food!
The digestion of carbohydrates begins in your mouth. Amylase, which breaks down carbs, is secreted through your saliva gland. By munching away longer, you will not only be breaking down the food into smaller pieces, making it easier for your body to digest, but you’ll be kick-starting the digestive process right in your chomper! See those teeth? They aren’t there just to look pretty … use those pearly whites and chew, chew, chew till your food is liquid!
4)Take a tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar before meals.
This is ONLY for people who suffer from an underactive stomach. An underactive stomach is one of the most common digestive complaints. Many people confuse it with an overactive stomach and take antacids as a result—which makes the condition even worse! An underactive stomach is one that does not produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL). Hydrochloric acid is released in the stomach to break down food, including fiber and plant roughage. The enzyme pepsin, which is used to digest protein, is activated only in the presence of HCL.
Acidic foods like apple cider vinegar can help stimulate HCL. Try taking one tablespoon before a meal or add to salads. If you take apple cider vinegar with your meals and your symptoms dissipate, it’s because you have low stomach acid. If they worsen, you have high stomach acid.
5) Fill up on Fiber
If your bloated belly is solely a result of excess food consumption, starting your day right can help set you on the right foot so you don’t over eat later in the day when the buffet table is setup. Starting your day with smoothie rich in fiber and protein helps to curb cravings and ward off hunger during the day. Plus the fiber helps to balance blood sugar levels and can help absorb the excess sugar floating around in your bloodstream from all those cookies. Vega One is a perfect solution as it contains 15grams of fiber and 20 grams of plant-based protein helping to keep you satiated. Plus it contains vitamins, minerals, and 6 servings of greens providing overall health during the holiday season. Blend some up with some almond milk and frozen berries and you’ll be good to go!
6) Drink water to drain that water
The mish mash of foods we’re combining, cocktails we’re consuming, and excess salt intake during the Holidays can cause some pretty severe water retention during the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid drinking water. In fact, it’s the opposite. Water helps flush out toxins and excess fluids from your body, minimizing puffiness, so drink up. In addition, dandelion root tea (which is caffeine-free) helps to increase your water intake, PLUS it’s a natural diuretic helping to eliminate excess fluid retention through the excretion of urine. Sip on a steeped cup of tea before bed or before an event!
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