Who doesn’t love a big holiday dinner? The hungrier you are, the better it feels to dig in! And yet, with all the novel foods we eat during the holidays, old GI problems could rear its ugly head. Luckily, heading off what ails you couldn’t be easier
Prone to cramps? Take some D daily.
As levels of the “sunshine vitamin” plunge in the fall, painful abdominal cramping increases. The fix: 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Not only is the nutrient effective at easing the cramps that flare after indulging in holiday faves like alcohol, dairy or fatty foods, it soothes the pain of serious conditions like Crohn’s disease for 67 percent of folks by calming digestive inflammation, suggests research in United European Gastroenterology.
Gassy? Knock this back.
Enjoying meals without painful gas is as easy as sipping 1 tbs. of pure aloe vera juice an hour before eating. It has an 80 percent success rate at preventing buildup of gas (even for folks with serious conditions such as IBS), suggests a study in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. That’s because aloe helps the gut move, replenishes water and boosts beneficial mucus in the GI tract, which blocks gas from forming.
Often backed up? Try an acupressure trick.
If you tend to feel “backed up” after a heavy meal, try this: When you sit on the toilet, take a clump of toilet paper and hold it with firm, steady pressure on your perineum (the area between your anus and vagina). Release and repeat three times. A University of California study found the acupressure fix has a 72 percent success rate at getting things moving instantly by relaxing bowel muscles. Even better, 82 percent of volunteers were so happy with the move, they continued using it after the study.
Battle heartburn? Chew this post-dessert.
Pop a piece of gum after dessert to dodge even severe heartburn (called GERD). UK scientists say chewing sugar-free cinnamon or fruity gum for a half hour after eating washes painful acids out of the esophagus.
‘Park’ your fork!
Place your fork on the edge of your plate while you chew, and you’ll cut indigestion risk by 32 percent. It gives the GI tract more time to digest, blocking bottlenecks that worsen heartburn, bloat and gas.
If you struggle with GI problems during the holidays, you know how hard it can be to enjoy yourself. But if you prepare with these simple tips, you’ll have a merry season for once!