4 Ways to Better Digestion and Metabolism Through the Holidays
All that turkey, not to mention the leftovers, can sit a little heavy in the stomach. Even several days after the big feast your stomach can feel a little sensitive and sluggish due to the quantity of rich and heavy food it has been tasked to process. Unfortunately, your digestive system hardly gets a break between now and the rest of the holiday season. Cocktail parties, cookie decorating, celebratory meals and abundant sweets are already inundating the December schedule.
Taking care of your digestive system is especially crucial from now until January 1st, but doesn’t have to compromise your holiday celebrations. Easy diet and lifestyle adaptations can help fuel your digestive fire, calm the stomach, promote efficient metabolism and create clean energy throughout your body. You will be surprised how easy it is to make minor changes to your daily habits that will have a big impact on your digestive health – without missing out on any of the celebratory meals!
1. Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as winter squash, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, black beans and peas, which are warming foods that help improve the digestive process. Rich in fiber and nutrients, these foods help keep you full, supply long lasting energy and help move foods through your digestive tract efficently.
2. Get regular exercise. Even a brisk daily walk will help keep your digestive system running smoothly. Physical movement helps stimulate the digestive process and the body will naturally trigger an increase in your metabolism as it uses more energy to move around. Regular exercise can also help prevent bloating, constipation and indigestion.
3. Increase your consumption of plant-based foods to give your digestive system a break. Animal proteins take a lot more energy to digest and can often be harder on the digestive system to process. Eating a plant based diet will help clean out your entire digestive system, lighten the load on your stomach and help increase the energy your body provides for you.
4. Pack your meals with pungent foods such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, garlic and onion, which are natural digestive stimulants. Luckily, many of these foods are already part of many traditional holiday recipes. Cinnamon and nutmeg also help keep your blood sugar steady so you don’t end up with cravings only a few hours after eating. Ginger can help naturally soothe an upset stomach or promote increased digestion after consuming a large meal.
Check back Thursday for a few digestion enhancing holiday recipes!