We love holiday meals! The turkey, the gravy, the ham, the green bean casserole and, last but not least, the PIE! It is all so delicious while we are eating it, but after an hour or two, we may be singing a different tune. Bloating is very common, especially after a big, salty meal. The good news is that there are some actions you can take to prevent belly bloat or stomach aches during the holidays.
Normal belly bloat happens after eating a big meal, after drinking carbonated drinks or if you are experiencing constipation. Gas is the culprit, as it builds up in your digestive tract while you are digesting, eating and drinking. Also, air gets trapped in your body as you swallow and chew your food, which also contributes to the gas build up. This all creates an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach, making you feel as stuffed as the turkey. Here are some ways that you can prevent belly bloating for a pain-free holiday:
1. Drink Water
While wine may be flowing at dinner, remember to drink water before, during and after the meal. This will restore the sodium balance in your body after downing all the salty foods at dinner. Water can also help flush your system and aide digestion, according to Everyday Health.
2. Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger is known for easing upset stomachs and helping with digestion. In the book “Healing Foods” by DK, they say that ginger “protects and heals the gut, hastens the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, and reduces wind, bloating and cramps.” Maybe try sipping on ginger tea after your eat to help your stomach.
3. Eat Slowly
When you eat too fast, two things happen: 1) you swallow excess air and 2) you can’t properly judge if you are full or not. Too much air in your digestive tract plus overeating can cause even more bloating. Try to eat slower, and you will be more satisfied in the long run.
4. Eat Probiotic Foods
Probiotics provide healthy bacteria for your digestive system. This will help your body digest all that holiday food when the time comes. You can take probiotic supplements or eat foods like yogurt, kombucha or kimchee.
5. Use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is another natural remedy for upset stomaches. According to an online article about bloating, peppermint oil can relieve bloating by increasing gastric emptying, stimulating secretion of digestive juices and bile. You can ingest peppermint supplements, or you can even rub diluted peppermint oil on your stomach to soothe stomach pains.