How to Prevent Indigestion This Holiday Season
For many of us, the Christmas season is a time for excesses and indulgences, not least with regards to what we eat. Not surprisingly, cases of indigestion spikes up around this time. Avoid the discomforts of indigestion by following these five tips.
- Watch out for harmful compounds. Indigestion is hastened by sulfites, a type of preservatives commonly used in dried fruits and other processed foods, and aspartame, an artificial sweetener most often used in soft drinks and other carbonated drinks. Other commonly added food substances you should avoid are nitrites, nitrates, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- Drink more water than usual. If you eat more food during the holidays, it’s only reasonable to increase your water intake as well. Proper hydrations is necessary to maintain good bowel movement, plus it will also help prevent headaches from hangovers.
- Know your food triggers. Some people are more susceptible to indigestion caused by foods such as tomatoes, onions, milk, coffee, and chili. If you notice experiencing a feeling of bloating and tiredness every time you take any of these (or any other food triggers), make a note to avoid them in the future.
- Mind what you eat. The holidays is a busy time but with lots of food available. So not only are people less likely to pay attention to what they eat, the food most commonly available – alcohol, chocolates, and aged foods most notoriously – are not good for the digestive system. If possible, bring a healthy snack you can munch on anytime.
- Stock up on fiber. The more we eat, the more we need fiber to regulate our bowel movement and improve our metabolism. Fiber, especially from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, releases digestive enzymes that break down food before it ferments in the digestive tract.