How to help digestion

The New Year’s holidays can be a time for you to spend with your loved ones, but also a time of great stress on your body. Sometimes after a particularly successful holiday, you feel like you need at least a week of extra rest to get back on track. Very often people are bothered by disturbed digestion: bloating, nausea, a feeling of heaviness, etc. Some of them are helped with:

It’s important to understand exactly what’s going on with your body in order to get it in order. For example – do you have heartburn, acidity, bloating or heaviness? Also, most people by experience know what kind of food and in what volumes causes them discomfort in the stomach. So what causes the discomfort: overeating, an unbalanced diet, or eating foods that are not suitable for your digestive tract? Based on the answers to these questions, you can choose the recovery options that work for you. Let’s go over the main “enemies” of digestion.

Reflux and heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation that spreads from the stomach higher up the esophagus. Sometimes a person experiences discomfort in the throat and neck area. The main cause of heartburn is the backflow of gastric juice (reflux). The causes of the phenomenon can be very different, but when it comes to holiday feasts, the most frequent of them is overeating and eating an excessive amount of “concentrated” products.

Large portions. The mechanism here is very simple: the more food goes into the stomach, the greater the pressure on the sphincter that holds the food lump together. As a result, food and gastric juice are pushed back upward, which leads to heartburn. In addition, an abundance of food slows down the entire digestive system, and this contributes to abdominal pain and constipation.

To reduce the likelihood of heartburn, don’t overload your stomach, choose moderate portions that your body can easily cope with.

Fat, acid and menthol. Excess fat, so often found in holiday meals, can also cause reflux. A similar reaction can occur with excessive consumption of chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and acidic foods (such as citrus fruits). Separately, it is worth mentioning mint, which is part of some cocktails and liquors. Menthol helps to relax the muscles of the digestive organs and thus increases reflux.

If you notice that your body reacts badly to fatty, sour or minty foods, try to avoid these products.

Bloated bowels.
How to help digestion with bloating

Does your stomach feel like a balloon ready to burst at any moment? Perhaps the food you have chosen is not good for your body. Most often the reason for this is poor digestibility of food.

Perhaps on your table were beans or cabbage? For many people they cause increased gas because of the large number of hard-to-digest carbohydrates in their composition. In some cases (for example, in lactose intolerance), the same effect is caused by excessive use of dairy products.

Spicy foods can also cause bloating. Capsaicin, a substance that creates a burning sensation from spicy food, can severely irritate the esophagus. Probiotics, in the form of dairy products or special preparations, can help to soothe the intestines and restore microflora after the holidays.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei help to digest dairy products containing lactose, and reduce bloating. Bifidobacteria are needed to prevent various digestive diseases and to digest fatty foods.

Feeling heavy and constipated
If you feel like you’ve swallowed a stone, it’s likely that the main reason is a lack of fiber in your diet. This happens when on your holiday table more often there are cakes than fruits. As you know, it is fiber that provides normal intestinal peristalsis, and its lack leads to constipation and a feeling of heaviness. Add more fiber to your New Year’s menu – let it be fruits or vegetable salads, which you love.

Digestive enzymes, special protein molecules that break down chemical compounds from food, can help. There are a large number of preparations that deliver auxiliary enzymes. Digestion becomes more active and you experience relief.

Elevated acidity
This condition is largely due to a fondness for carbonated beverages. Even if you turn a blind eye to the fact that carbonated drinks contain a lot of sugar and harmful impurities, the carbon dioxide in drinks itself does not contribute to good digestion. It disrupts the acidity of the stomach and negatively affects the mucosa. In the presence of gastritis or ulcers, it becomes a source of additional risk.

In addition, holiday dishes are often prepared with ingredients that change the pH of the stomach in the direction of acidification. Balancing the environment is helped by natural foods of plant origin – for example, fresh vegetables, cereals.

However, if the acidity is too strong, stronger medications such as antacids may be needed. These medications are used to treat gastrointestinal conditions. They help to neutralize the aggressive hydrochloric acid found in gastric juice. Their action begins immediately after they are taken.

Stomach cramps
Not only nutrition, but also our emotional state can affect our digestion. Stress is destructive to internal organs, so if you are the main or the only one responsible for the preparation of the holiday, it is possible that your well-being will be affected.

Although excess menthol, as mentioned earlier, increases heartburn, a small amount of peppermint tea can help with stomach cramps. Harvard Medical School professor Jacqueline Wolf, in particular, writes about this. If you do experience heartburn, Dr. Wolf recommends choosing chamomile tea.

And remember, unhealthy feelings are not necessary companions of the holiday, so try to make your feast more healthy and easy.