This time of year, we love indulging in rich comfort food like stuffing, pot roast, and sugar cookies at family gatherings and holiday parties. The one downside is that it’s easy to overdo it on our favorites. As a result, overindulging in these holiday comfort foods can trigger gastrointestinal (GI) problems including heartburn and gas. These bothersome symptoms also make enjoying time with friends and family difficult. Luckily, you can soothe those symptoms quickly and naturally — even if you’re at a holiday party. Try these three natural remedies for GI upset to instantly quash trouble, so you can get back to the fun.
To stop heartburn in its tracks, undo the top button on your pants, then slip a hair tie around the button and through the buttonhole on the other side to gain an extra inch (no one will even notice it tucked under a sweater!). In a study published in the journal Gut, scientists found that tight-fitting clothes put extra pressure on the abdomen, pushing stomach acid up into the esophagus. But simply expanding your waistline puts the brakes on a painful flare-up.
You love your aunt’s Brussels sprouts, but the gas afterward? Not so much. To tame trouble, tuck ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds in your purse before leaving the house, then eat it after the meal. Fennel turns off gas-forming enzymes in the GI tract, cutting gassiness within 20 minutes, previous research suggests.
If you’re prone to diarrhea after overindulging, savor a spoonful of raw honey before the neighborhood cookie exchange. Research published in Food Quality and Safety says honey soothes the GI tract and improves fluid absorption to keep loose stools at bay, plus it speeds recovery by 50 percent if you do get diarrhea.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.