The summer holidays have arrived. It’s the time of year when many of us sit back and overindulge. After all, we’ve earned it. Be careful though; overdoing it can really spoil the fun.
For our supporters who celebrate Christmas, it’s a time of year we associate with hectic shopping sprees, lovely food and drinks and getting together with family and friends (some charming, others less so). So you shop, you eat, you drink, you laugh and you bicker. Then, indigestion strikes…
- You feel stuffed full and bloated.
- You feel nauseous, and vomiting is a real possibility.
- It’s difficult to hide your burping and other side-effects of gas.
- There’s a burning sensation in your stomach or upper abdomen.
- You’re regurgitating acid.
Why do you get indigestion?
Indigestion, or dyspepsia, has a number of causes, mainly lifestyle-related:
- Eating when you’re excited or stressed.
- Eating too fast or too much.
- Eating fatty and rich foods.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Indigestion may also be the result of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
Can you avoid the burn?
It’s hard to restrain yourself during the holidays. Just one more helping of roast, please, then another handful of nuts, a top-up of champagne. These tips could help your digestive system stay calm and untroubled when you can’t say ‘No thanks!’
- Before the event, when you’re dressing, don’t put on tight clothing that confines your abdominal area and squeezes your stomach. You’re guaranteed indigestion if your food’s normal pathway is constricted.
- Avoid the particular foods that you know give you indigestion.
- If tension is in the air, keep calm and detached. Stress and eating are not comfortable companions.
- Eat slowly.
- Concentrate while you’re eating – it’s called ‘being mindful’. A lot of time and effort has gone into bringing that food on your plate, so appreciate it.
- Don’t talk with a full mouth (really, it’s not a good sight!) and chew with it closed.
- Otherwise, the air you swallow will worsen indigestion.
- Don’t have too much fatty or spicy food, caffeine, fizzy cool drinks or chocolate, which are also on the list of indigestion culprits.
- Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining. Between drinks, have a glass of water.
- Don’t smoke at the table. If you haven’t given up yet, at least don’t light up before or after eating. (And make quitting altogether your New Year’s resolution.)
- Don’t lie down for at least two to three hours after eating.
- When going to bed after a big meal, use pillows to raise your head at least 15 cm above your feet to encourage your digestive juices to take their normal route through your digestive system instead of flowing into your oesophagus.
- Dietary experts recommend adding these digestion-aiding ingredients to your meals: mint, fennel, ginger, cumin seeds and caraway seeds.
- Help restore your gut flora with fermented foods such as yoghurt and buttermilk.
- If possible, take a walk before eating, or about one hour afterwards.
- Probiotics restore gut flora.
- If you’re feeling the telltale signs of indigestion, try these all-natural Flora Force remedies: Cayenne and Fennel (to relieve indigestion and flatulence), Ginger (to ease nausea and indigestion), Slippery Elm (to coat the mucous lining of your digestive system and encourage digestion) and Turmerynne™ (for abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas).
Acknowledgements & Photo credits
Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer, based largely on the excellent article posted by specialist writer and editorial professional Lauren Burley Copley.
- Copley, L. B. A natural approach to indigestion. 2014. Australia. http://goo.gl/PPkVmU
- MayoClinic.org. Indigestion. http://goo.gl/Gd4Qvx
- “Stop heartburn” courtesy of vivienviv0 / Pixabay.com