Holiday parties practically revolve around delicious homemade meals, drinks and desserts. However, excessive drinking and eating can lead to bloating, gas, high acidity, bowel irregularity and frequent loose motions. Simple lifestyle changes can help you boost metabolism, improve your digestive system, promote the absorption of nutrients, gradually rid the body of unwanted waste and promote overall health. Here are a few tips that will get you one step closer to staying fit.
Regardless of the season, you should practice drinking at least 3 litres of water throughout the day. It will keep you hydrated and since your intestine uses water to digest, it can ease the process. Low water intake can lead to constipation, slow down the digestive system, build-up toxins in the body and increase your risk of developing digestive issues. Keep a jug at your workstation or a water bottle with you to ensure you drink adequate water at regular intervals.
2. Add Fibre to Your Diet
Fibre-rich foods ensure your gastrointestinal tract works smoothly. It enables your body to absorb nutrients and improves stool consistency and movement. It further boosts healthy gut bacteria and lowers blood cholesterol. Beans, oatmeal, fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains are a potent source of dietary fibre. Some other foods which contain fibre include pears, pistachios, raspberries and sweet potatoes.
3. Add Foods with Enzymes to Your Meals
Add avocados, bananas, honey, kefir, mangoes, pineapples, papayas and sauerkraut to your meals, they are a rich source of enzymes, which are vital for breaking down food. Additionally, they help your intestines absorb nutrients needed for energy. Make sure you chew each bite thoroughly to activate the enzymes.
4. Take Probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast which are vital for our digestive system. They combat the effects of antibiotics, poor diet and stress by keeping the body healthy. Additionally, it also bolsters nutrient absorption, promotes immune system and may even treat irritable bowel syndrome. Though probiotics they are naturally present in our body, you can increase the intake by consuming certain foods such as dark chocolate, soy milk and yogurt.
5. Enjoy Smaller Meals
Treating yourself to small frequent meals is ideal for improving digestion. It can also reduce heartburn. However, mini-meals can somethings pose a danger of overheating, so the key is portion control. Make sure you eat in a small plate, snack on fruits, Greek yogurt, vegetables and nuts. Snacking frequently will make you feel full even during lunch and dinner which will restrain you from overeating and keep you on track with your weight management.
6. Best to Avoid Sugar
Fatty and high-sugar foods dull down the whole digestive process which enables food to retain for longer in your gut. It further promotes unhealthy bacteria growth in the stomach and draws water into the colon, which can cause discomfort and loose stools.
7. Exercise and Avoid Stress
Excess levels of stress can lead to anxiety and depression which can send your digestive system into overdrive. Stress can lead to an imbalance in gut bacteria and increase your risk of inflammation. Working out on a daily basis can help combat stress and boost endorphins. Find activities you thoroughly enjoy such as running, yoga, going to the gym and add them to your daily routine.
8. Tips for During the Christmas Party
It is never a good idea to cut down on something entirely and deprive yourself to the point you binge later on. Practice moderation make a conscious decision which party you want to enjoy drinks at but avoid desserts and carbs, which one you want to enjoy dessert at but forgo alcohol and greasy foods and which one you want you to indulge in all meals but let go of booze and sugary treats. Choose any one indulgence and if this doesn’t work then limit the quantity to small portions.
As a rule of thumb, don’t get drunk at Christmas parties, this will always leave you craving for the munchies which makes you gobble down food. Sometimes we get the same urgency at a buffet table; you need to remember it is not a race. Take your time to chew slowly, enjoy every bite, feel the texture and flavours. This will break down food properly and let you coat every bite with saliva which leads to proper digestion and thus will also serve as a buffer to avoid bloating.
Do not drink during meals, limit your water intake, juices and alcohol for 30 minutes after your meal. If you drink immediately afterwards this will dilute the digestive juices that are actively working towards breaking down the food, you just ate.
9. Tips for After the Christmas Party
These seeds freshen not only the breath, but also aid digestion. Carry a few seeds with you to chew right after your meal to deflate your stomach.
Ginger is ideal for relieving nausea and intestinal pressure. Chew on a small piece of ginger or drink ginger tea to ease digestion.
You can opt for aromatherapy during the night or in the morning after. Herbal oils such as basil, cinnamon, peppermint and orange help ease stomach troubles.
The next day cook a light meal with protein-rich foods in herbal ingredients to help digestion. Enjoy fruits and vegetable salads. Eating light will allow your gut to relax and return to its original eating patterns.