Digestive tips for the Christmas season: preventing a bloated stomach
Company parties, Christmas markets, baking biscuits and finally the big feast at the holidays: no one can avoid feasting and a food coma at Christmas time. But not everyone can handle the sumptuous food and many people can no longer tell the difference between their belly and a bauble on the Christmas tree at the end of the day. But there is another way: find out how you can get through the festive season without a bloated belly in our blog post.
Eat slowly and consciously
Digestion begins in the mouth. It is therefore important to chew properly and not gulp down food hastily. Saliva contains enzymes that initiate digestion (e.g. amylases, which break down carbohydrates). In addition, the gastrointestinal tract has less work to do to break down the food components if they arrive in the stomach already sufficiently broken down. It is not said for nothing: "Well chewed is half digested". So take your time to eat and chew thoroughly (at least 30 times per bite). If you gulp down your food hastily, you usually swallow a lot of air with it. This first ends up in the stomach and then in the intestines, where it favours a bloated stomach.Avoid bloating foods
Typical bloating foods include pulses such as lentils and beans, onions, cabbage and wholegrain products. However, sugar substitutes such as sorbitol in chewing gum and sweets can also cause problems. Foods high in sugar or fat, carbonated drinks and processed foods are also often not well tolerated. In general, however, tolerance always varies from person to person. A food diary can help to identify suspicious foods so that they can be consciously avoided.If the symptoms always occur after eating certain foods, you may be suffering from an intolerance. A visit to the gastroenterologist will provide you with clarity.Go for herbs and spices
The popular herbal schnapps does not help to promote digestion. On the contrary, it actually slows it down. Herbal teas made from fennel, caraway, ginger, camomile or aniseed, for example, are a better choice. These have an antispasmodic, calming effect or can inhibit the growth of gas-forming bacteria, for example. As the active ingredients they contain are not water-soluble, it is not possible to benefit from the full power of the plant substances in teas. Extracts such as those in our deaerator capsules are more effective. It also makes sense to use plenty of digestion-promoting spices such as caraway, turmeric or black pepper when cooking..
Read more about bloating and our deflatorhere.
Rely on Ayurveda
Digestion is the central theme of the traditional Indian healing art of Ayurveda. Here too, mindfulness and the use of digestion-promoting spices (e.g. black pepper and Turmeric) and herbs play a major role in eating. But there are even more recommendations to follow for good digestion. For example, you should give your body enough time to digest your meal and avoid snacking between meals. Regular meal times and routines are also important. Ideally, the main meal of the day should be at lunchtime. In the evening, however, you should only eat something light (e.g. soup) and avoid raw food. To prevent a bloated stomach, you should never eat until you are completely full, but only fill your stomach to about two thirds. Meals should also be prepared as freshly as possible and eaten warm.
Combine exercise and relaxation
Instead of lying sluggishly on the couch, we recommend a digestive walk. This gets your metabolism and bowels moving. To prevent digestive problems, regular exercise is a must. However, you should not do any intensive sport immediately after eating. Endurance sports such as swimming or running are ideal. Abdominal exercises such as sit-ups or cycling with your legs in the air while lying down are also said to help, as they act like a bowel massage . Yoga exercises such as the cobra, downward facing dog or bending forward are also popular for bloating.Positive side effect: exercise also reduces stress. Too much stress can also cause digestive problems. Especially during the hectic Christmas period, which is packed with appointments and errands, there is often no time to relax.
You can find out how to relax during the Christmas period here.