It’s Thanksgiving eve. The day has passed quickly surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. Oh! What a feeling! Then, it all sets in. You look down and your gut has reached an all time extension. It’s time for a change of clothes. Out of the slimming, svelte skinny jeans and into the puffy pants. Bloated once again and it’s not pretty. Every year, most of the American population walk away from the holiday table feeling stuffed and miserable. They know it will happen and embrace the discomfort. Some even continue to eat after bloating symptoms arrives.
Bloating is the sensation of having a distended belly. The stomach will sometimes cramp, causing pain, digestion issues and shortness of breath happens in rare cases. Bloating is quite uncomfortable, but to many it is well worth the pain after a holiday meal.
Bloating after the festivities is usually caused by eating more than we need and chowing down too fast. Our bodies haven’t had a chance to digest what we’ve swallowed and bloating occurs. Air gets into the intestinal tract and causes unwanted gas. Many holiday meals are loaded with fat, slowing digestion. Also, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners and wheat products can add to the fire. Certain vegetables, like potatoes, broccoli and brussels sprouts have complex sugars and starches that don’t break down as they should. There are other conditions that trigger a bloated stomach including premenstrual syndrome, food intolerance or lack of “friendly bacteria” in the gut.
While bloating may be a symptom of something more chronic, bloating during or after a holiday meal is just a sign that too much food was consumed. There are ways to control the 3 inch expansion before, during and after a meal.
- Be careful of sugar and salt consumed.
- Stay away from salty chips and go for the crudite.
- Healthy desserts are those with small doses of sugar such as a berry crisp or poached pears with a little chocolate.
- Many are sensitive to gluten and some don’t even know it. Stay away from wheat products all together or limit the heavy carbohydrates at the table.
- There are a multitude of herbal teas, such as burdock or peppermint, to aid in digestion.
- Also, a few days prior to the holiday meal, add a quality probiotic to the daily diet. After a heavy meal, go for a walk.
- Stay away from carbonated beverages or milky drinks and stick to purified water.
- Most important, eat slowly, enjoy the company and relax. Isn’t that what it’s all about?