Digestive Health Tips on this Thanksgiving Eve
If we are being honest with ourselves, no matter how good our intentions for eating well tomorrow, we will falter. We will eat too much. We will eat things we shouldn’t. Then we will eat a little more. And you know what? That’s okay. I promise, it is okay. With that being said, here are my top 5 digestive health tips to ease the discomfort of eating what you shouldn’t on Turkey Day:
1. Drink plenty of water. Water is important for your digestion. It keeps the food you eat moving along through your intestines and it keeps your intestines smooth and flexible, too. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of chronic constipation. The food you eat makes its way from your stomach to the large intestine, or colon. If you don’t have enough water in your body already -- if you're dehydrated -- the large intestine soaks up water from your food waste. This makes hard stools that are difficult to pass.
2. Take an enzymesupplement. For example, Bluebonnet’s Full Spectrum Optimum Enzymes® Vegetable Capsules, which provide a unique blend of plant-based enzymes – most importantly, proteases, amylases and lipases that aid in the proper digestion of protein, fat and carbohydrate respectively. This distinctive vegetarian blend of enzymes works synergistically with the body’s own enzyme system to enhance the digestion of protein, carbohydrates and fat-rich foods in the diet. ♦
3. Take a pre- and probiotic supplement. Probiotic bacterium, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus bulgaricus and bifidobacterium, such as those found in Bluebonnet’s Milk-Free Acidophilus Plus FOS Vegetable Capsules, favorably alter the intestinal microflora balance in the body, aiding in the digestion of foods and antagonizing the proliferation and growth of other pathogenic strains of bacteria. FOS (fructooligosaccharides) is known as a “prebiotic,” a term used to describe a substance that is conducive to the formation of life. It is a short-chain, nondigestible oligosaccharide, which provides a food source for the healthy growth offavorable bacteria in the intestines which in turns allows for the proper digestion of foods.♦
4. Get some rest post-meal. In response to the arrival of food in the stomach and small intestine, the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system increases and the activity of the sympathetic nervous system decreases. This shift in the balance of autonomic tone towards the parasympathetic system results in a subjective state of low energy and a desire to be at rest. Relaxing after a large meal allows the blood flow to focus on your digestive system enhancing the breakdown of foods.
5. After you rest, get out and move. Once your body has been allowed to digest your meal, it’s time to get out and accomplish some physical activity. Go for a brisk walk, hold a family football game, or even just do jumping jacks during TV commercials. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, regular exercise, along with a high-fiber diet, can alleviate constipation in those who often have difficulty making regular bowel movements because it increases the movements of the muscles of the colon, which in turn promotes normal bowel habits. Plus, you’ll feel less guilty going in for seconds.
♦These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.