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Digest Better This Holiday Season!

Posted to: Wellness Blog by Dr. Joanne on Nov 14, 2014
Tags: bloating (3), digestion (3)

The holidays are a time when many of us overindulge with yummy food. With all the parties and celebrations, it's hard not to! Below, see my best advice on supporting digestion  and relieving discomfort so you can best enjoy the holiday season.

Tips for Improving Digestion

  1. Eat simply for most of the day. If you know you are going to have a big meal for dinner, eat simply the first part of the day. Avoid grains and other high carbohydrate foods such as potatoes at other meals. Have a simple meal of protein (meat, eggs or beans), veggies and healthy fat such as olive oil or coconut oil. 
  2. Limit dessert to one time during the day. Instead of snacking on cookies and other sweet things throughout the day, plan to have your yummy treat at a single time. At this designated time, eat to your heart’s content and sample whatever delights you on the menu but do not go overboard. Eat this treat by itself, away from your meal and other food.  It’s also okay if this dessert replaces one of your meals for the day (okay for special occasions only!)
  3. Chew your food until it’s a liquid. This is such a simple and effective practice but many find it difficult to break the habit of eating too quickly. Commit to making this a habit and it will provide benefit in many ways.
  4. Increase your digestive powers with one of the following to help your body break down and digest your food. When your food is properly digested those uncomfortable feelings of bloating, pain and indigestion will be a thing of the past!
    • Bitter herbs such as Gentian (Gentiana Lutea), Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) or Angelica root (Angelica archangelica) stimulate your stomach and pancreas to release the enzymes needed for digestion.  (Example formula: Digestive Bitter Formula by Herb Pharm). Take 10-20 drops of liquid tincture 15 minutes before eating.  
    • Apple cider vinegar – 1 tsp in 2 ounces of water 15 minutes before meals. ACV is another way to stimulate your stomach’s production of the acid needed to start the process of digestion.
    • Digestive enzyme that contains enzymes to break down the main food groups – protease, amylase, lipase, and lactase.  Take 1 -2 capsules at the beginning of meals or as directed on the label.

Indulge a little too much, and now suffering with indigestion, bloating or heartburn?? Here are some tips to help decrease your discomfort!

  1. Ease discomfort with calmative herbs such as fennel seed, peppermint, or chamomile. These herbs can help ease indigestion, relax abdominal cramping and dispel gas. (Example formula: Intestinal Soother by Herb Pharm)
    • If gas and bloating is the main issue, choose Fennel. Fennel can be taken by making a tea from the seeds or as a liquid herbal tincture.
    • If cramping and pain is the main issue, try enteric coated peppermint oil capsules.
  2. If you have heartburn try DGL (deglycyrrhized licorice), Aloe vera juice, or slippery elm. These herbs soothe and coat the tissues of the upper digestive tract, relieving the pain from stomach reflux.
  3. Homeopathic Nux vomica – the go to remedy for relieving indigestion from overeating and overindulgence of both food and alcohol.
  4. Topical Castor oil - useful for upset stomach, pain and bloating.  Apply castor oil to the abdomen and liver area (upper right abdomen) and cover with a heating pad. Leave on for 30 minutes. (Caution: castor oil is messy and stains so protect the area with an old towel or shirt.)

Happy Holidays!!!


Dr. Joanne Aponte is a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor & Holistic Wellness Expert. She is available in the store every Tuesday & Thursday from 12-7 to help answer your questions regarding natural wellness.

Disclaimer: The information contained in the GHM Wellness Blog is intended for educational purposes only. The information is not intended to be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any medical condition. Always consult with your personal physician or other qualified health care provider before making any changes to your health care routine.

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