If you’re anything like us, you have a sort of Pavlovian response when you think of holiday meals that is, you cringe. What starts off with light salivation at the thought of turkey, pies and countless chips and dip soon becomes despair as we’re reminded of that painful belly bloat that makes us reach for a muumuu post-dinner.
But this year it’ll be different, if you take these tips into consideration. Registered holistic nutritionist Andrea Donsky shares how you can beat belly bloat once and for all.
Take digestive enzymes
We naturally have these in our digestive tract, but when we overeat, taking digestive enzymes can help to give our system a boost. “I’m a big fan of Renew Life Digestive Enzymes,” says Donsky. “If you’re eating a lot of cooked foods, which we tend to do around the holidays, experts recommend taking them to help break down the food better so you get less gas and bloating.” You can take these with your meal to stave off that eater’s remorse.
Eat more fibre
Around the holidays we load up on things like shortbreads, mashed potatoes and meat. We tend to forget about our daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and this can make you less, well, regular. “Eat your broccoli, also make sure you’re including green vegetables, salads, whole grains instead of white stuff,” says Donsky. “Mettrum Originals Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds are great because you can throw them on top of a salad, throw them in a shake, and they also have protein, which helps to wake up our brain.”
Drink some aloe vera juice
This plant is good for more than your skin, but hit the health food section of your grocery store to get food-grade juice. “There’s a company called Lily of the Desert, and I would recommend taking their preservative-free Aloe Vera Juice,” says Donsky. “It helps soothe the lining of the stomach and esophagus.” After all those glasses of wine and eggnog, consider this a critical step.
Try activated charcoal
Not the stuff from your barbeque, activated charcoal is super buzzy as an ingredient at some of our fave juice bars. “Let’s say you’ve eaten too many things with preservatives, like high fructose corn syrup or food colouring, and it’s not sitting well with you. In these cases I’m a big fan of activated charcoal,” says Donsky. “It sort of helps pull things out of your body. I only use it on special occasions, but you can take it as a capsule or [in juices] and it helps to relieve that gas and bloating.”
Pop a probiotic
Hopefully you’re already eating probiotic foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut, but a supplement can help balance out the good and bad stuff in our guts. “I like Bio-Kbecause there’s a lot of research behind it,” Donsky says. “There are certain probiotics you don’t have to keep in the fridge, but as a rule of thumb I would keep them in the fridge and take them with food.”