Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I wonder who gets stuffed more– you or the turkey?
We are grateful for the amazing food we will eat but turkey is just the beginning. There’s the stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls…etc. Have room for dessert? Not really, but you will eat it anyways. Pumpkin pie, apple pie and sweet potato pie, whipped cream, ice cream, etc.… all the makings for a bad belly and food coma.
Then there’s things we are not so grateful for on Thanksgiving: the stomach aches, bloating, gas, tiredness, too-tight pants and feelings of regret after stuffing our faces.
Dealing with the copious amounts of rich, fatty and sugary foods can stress out your gut. I’m realistic though– I will tell you not to miss out on all the food fun! However, there are ways to make overeating more palatable on your digestive system.
The secret? Digestive enzymes. Be prepared for the big food fest by having digestive enzymes on hand—for you and everyone else. Digestive enzymes help your body efficiently digest the three basic types of food we eat: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
While we produce our own enzymes, we are usually deficient so taking these with meals can alleviate occasional digestion-related discomforts. Heartburn, irregularity, gas, bloating, and constipation are often a direct result of inadequate enzymes. So taking digestive enzymes helps take the strain off your digestive system to break down food and absorb nutrients. It makes a huge difference in your post-meal comfort and metabolism.
When buying a digestive enzyme product, you want to make sure that it provides all of the different enzymes you naturally produce to breakdown food groups. Here’s what you should look for (names that end in –ase are enzymes): Amylase for digesting starch; Protease for digesting protein; Lipase for digesting fat; Cellulase for digesting fiber and Lactase for digesting dairy sugar.
There are lots of enzyme brands out there, but to simplify it, here is a link to digestive enzymes that I really like. Order it on Amazon and get it before Thanksgiving. Or go to your local health food store and buy it looking for the above ingredients.
There are also some great Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal formulas for eliminating “food stagnation” and help process and move our heavy holiday meals through the digestive process. The two most popular are Bao He Wan or the Curing Pills, also available on Amazon.
It’s OK to take both digestive enzymes and herbs, preferably before meals, but you can take them during or after eating (when you feel discomfort.) Just make sure you always have them on hand, even for everyday meals. In fact, I always carry enzymes with me and take them with all my meals, especially when eating out.
Here’ some other tips that your digestive system will be grateful for:
- Eat slowly and chew! Try to chew your food 20 times before swallowing. Chewing prepares your stomach to produce digestive enzymes and it slows down you shoveling food in your mouth. And stop eating just before you feel full.
- However sleepy you may be after dinner, don’t lie down with a full stomach as it slows down digestion and food left in the stomach begins to ferment, causing further discomfort and ill effects. Go for a walk around the block to get things moving.
- Make sure you eat breakfast and lunch Thanksgiving Day. Don’t fast all day: fasting until dinner only means one thing: overeating.
So let the turkey be the only one stuffed this Thanksgiving. You enjoy!