Here's a great article from Explore Supplements, written by Dr. Robert Blair, that outlines what you can do to stay on track and feel great come January 2013!
Surviving the Holiday Feasts
The holiday season is rapidly approaching. In addition to the wonderful visits with friends and family that often occur during the holidays, many of us spend a lot of time eating lots of food. Not only do we have our traditional holiday feasts with friends and family, but we also find ourselves taking part in holiday office parties and other events where food is present in abundance. Surviving these holiday feasts can be a challenge for many of us. However, there are things we can do to survive the holidays without feeling like we ate a bowling ball:
- Don’t go to a party hungry. Going to a holiday party hungry will almost always lead to leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. According to WebMD, this can further lead to a slower digestion process, upset stomach, and heartburn. Instead of going to a holiday party hungry, try eating a healthy snack shortly before leaving home. This will help regulate your hunger and help you avoid over-eating.
- Watch your portion sizes. At holiday parties, people often want to try all the foods offered. While there is nothing wrong with this, many tend to forget that true portion sizes are much smaller than they think. By eating smaller portions of each food item, it’s easy to sample each type of food with less chance of over-eating and causing digestive discomfort.
- Limit high fat foods. Many holiday foods are high in dietary fat. Not only is fat high in calories, but it can slow down digestion and possibly trigger heartburn. If you choose to consume high fat foods, make sure to consume small portions.
- Get some exercise. Rather than sitting down on that comfortable recliner after a large holiday meal, get some exercise. Taking even a leisurely walk around the neighborhood can help ward off that uncomfortable bloated feeling. Pick up the pace to a brisk walk if you want to burn off some of those extra calories.
- Eat slowly. Eating slowly gives the brain time to send “I’m full” messages to your stomach. Waiting for this cue helps to prevent the consequences of over-eating.
In addition to these tips, a number of dietary supplements can help support a healthy digestive system during the holidays, specifically fiber, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and aloe.
- Dietary Fiber. Most people do not consume the amount of fiber needed each day (20 – 35 grams per day for most adults). Dietary fiber has numerous benefits including helping to maintain normal digestive tract health and movement. Dietary fiber also helps maintain the beneficial bacteria in our digestive tracts. Try nutraMetrix Advanced Fiber Powder to help maintain a healthy digestive track and ensure you're getting enough dietary fiber each day.
- Probiotics. Speaking of beneficial bacteria, probiotic supplements are a great way to support a healthy digestive system. Maintaining optimal bacterial balance is important to maintaining optimal digestive health; therefore, choosing a probiotic supplement that contains a variety of bacterial strains, such as NutriClean Probiotics, makes it easier to obtain the most comprehensive benefit. Some of the most beneficial strains include Lactobacillus acidophilus,Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium breve.
- Digestive Enzymes. Digestive enzymes are an essential element of healthy and complete digestion, beginning with enzymes released by our salivary glands as we chew. Eating too rapidly can lead to inefficient digestion, as some of our digestive enzymes are not given time to complete their job properly. Additionally, the body’s ability to make certain enzymes declines as we age. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can promote healthy digestion and break down foods that are typically hard to digest. A good digestive enzyme supplement will contain at least three types of enzymes: proteases to digest proteins, amylases to digest carbohydrates, and lipases to digest fats. Other beneficial digestive enzymes to consider include lactase (digests lactose) and cellulase (breaks down cellulose, normally indigestible to people). Isotonix Digestive Enzymes with Probiotics contains a blend of the enzymes listed above to provide maximum digestive support.
- Aloe vera. Aloe vera promotes healthy digestion by providing natural plant enzymes that break down food. These enzymes include amylase (starch), cellulase (cellulose), lipase (lipids), and alkaline phosphatase (proteins). Aloe supplementation also helps to support a healthy gastrointestinal pH, normal composition of intestinal flora, and helps to promote an overall healthy digestive process. Consumption of aloe vera can promote bowel regularity and intestinal comfort after eating. Try Ultimate Aloe Juice, which contains all of these important enzymes and comes in four flavors: Kiwi-Strawberry, Pomegranate, Cranberry-Apple, and Natural Flavor.
Combining these dietary supplements with healthy eating habits will definitely help you—and your stomach—ease through the holiday feasts.