If you like to hover over the buffet table more than usual at a celebration, indigestion may dog you long after the party's over. Here are some tried-and-true treatments.
1. Drink hot ginger. Jennifer Strong, a registered acupuncturist in Comox, B.C., who also practises traditional Chinese medicine, suggests that you drink one-eighth to one-quarter teaspoon of ginger powder brewed in hot water with some honey to help with stomach trouble.
2. Brew herbal tea. A cup of mint or ginger tea will help ease gas and bloating, says Julie Zepp, a naturopath in Regina.
3. Be relaxed. It's best to be relaxed before you eat, says Strong. When you're stressed, the parasympathetic nervous system, key to healthy digestion, shuts down. Try stress-reducing meditation to keep discomfort at bay.
4. Don't eat two to three hours before bedtime. "You need to give your digestive tract a break in the evening so it can do its work," says Strong.
5. Enjoy a walk after a meal, says Strong. Walking works wonders for constipation.
6. Consider organic hemp oil. Found in most health food stores, hemp oil is another great fix for constipation, says Strong. Hemp seed contains essential fatty acids, which support the cleansing of toxins in the intestinal tract.
7. Take a full-spectrum digestive enzyme. The best remedy for indigestion is to pop this enzyme before dining, says Zepp. Enzymes help our stomachs break down food. The theory is that when we cook our food, it destroys some of the enzymes. These supplements, available at health food stores, replace the destroyed enzymes and, therefore, support digestion.
8. Exercise. If you know that you're going to be overindulging, plan on some kind of exercise every day to combat the effects.
9. Take some time alone to restore your energy, says Strong.
10. All the experts agree on one thing: prevention is the best cure for overindulging. That means not drinking too much, avoiding hangovers and saying no to yet another high-cal appetizer to prevent indigestion. If you go the hedonistic route, follow our advice for a happy, healthy holiday.