Christmas is an exciting time of year for many of us with food, glorious food, taking centre stage at Christmas celebrations with family and friends.
The temptation to go overboard with the amount of food you eat, or to overindulge in many of those ‘once a year’ celebratory foods, can be hard to resist.
An overload of indulgence can lead to many digestive disturbances making you feel lethargic and uncomfortable.
Overloading your digestive system
Eating too much food, including the type of foods you’d normally only eat in moderation, can overload and overwhelm your digestive capacity as:
- you may not have enough digestive power in the form of digestive enzymes to breakdown your food
- too many acidic foods and drinks may trigger indigestion or reflux
- a high sugar and carbohydrate load will send your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride
If you think self-control and overindulgence may be an issue for you, have a look at our top 3 tips using herbs and nutrients to keep you on the right track.
- Digestive enzymes
Eating large amounts of food can place stress on your body’s ability to produce the right amount of digestive enzymes needed to breakdown your food (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibre and lactose). Digestive enzymes help to unlock important nutrients from your food and reduce your risk of feeling bloated, windy and uncomfortable. A large number of Australian diets are typically low in digestive enzymes (due to too many processed, refined foods) so the importance of digestive enzyme supplementation is especially relevant.
Tip 1: Digestive enzymes reduce your risk of developing digestive disturbances and provide you with the energy you need from your food.
- Indigestion & Reflux
Indigestion and reflux are associated with eating highly acidic foods or the failure of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS) to close properly after food has passed through the oesophagus, or a combination of both. This allows hydrochloric acid to flow back up from the stomach into the oesophagus, causing mild to severe burning pain in the chest and throat. Triggers for indigestion and reflux include spicy foods, or alcoholic, coffee and soft drinks which increase acidity, or chocolate, which relaxes LOS tone. How much you eat, and when you eat it can also make a big difference.
Tip 2: Amla – traditional Ayurvedic rejuvenating digestive tonic for the relief of heartburn, reflux and digestive acidity, and Licorice – traditionally used for the relief of indigestion, bloating, feeling of fullness, heartburn, reflux and digestive discomfort in the upper abdomen.
- Balancing blood sugar levels
Your body works very hard to balance your blood sugar levels and the food and drinks you consume all contribute to how well your body processes carbohydrates. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can sap your energy, lower your mood and even leave you craving more sugar or sweet foods.
Tip 3: Chromium helps to balance and normalise fluctuating blood sugar levels and reduce sugar cravings while Gymnema, also known as the ‘sugar destroyer’, helps to suppress your ‘sweet’ taste, helping to reduce high blood sugar levels.