By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
This holiday is a wonderful time to give thanks and appreciate all the good things you have in your life. Unfortunately, the downside can be digestive upsets, bloating, flatulence, fatigue and indigestion from all the excess food.
Don’t despair! It’s easy enough to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving while supporting good digestion and good health.
Here are some foods and habits you can use on this day of feasting.
Foods like sauerkraut and other fermented veggies support the digestive system and support a healthy microbiome. The microbiome not only helps to maintain a healthy immune system, it also helps to digest food, absorb nutrients and produce vitamins.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding ACV to salad dressing and marinades can help to optimize your digestion. It has been shown to manage blood sugar levels and reduces cravings. Apple cider vinegar boosts hydrochloric acid in the stomach and stimulates digestive enzyme production, allowing for improved digestion and nutrient absorption. Add it to warm water with a little honey to enjoy while eating your festive meal.
Adding lemon wedges to your meals, marinades or to tea with ginger can help support bile production and fat metabolism. Lemon helps to digest the fat in the meal while also offering vitamin C and regulating blood sugar.
Enjoy shellfish, turkey, chicken, eggs, legumes and/or bananas at Thanksgiving, as these foods are all full of this feel-good amino acid. Tryptophan helps to support feelings of contentment and satisfaction as well as rest and sleep. It also can help reduce sugar cravings.
Chewing your food slowly and thoroughly allows the digestive enzymes in your saliva, such as our amylase, to mix in with food, which is the beginning point of digestion. because. Your stomach-brain connection takes time to alert you that you are full. If you eat quickly, this message comes through too late—when you are already over full. When you take the time to appreciate and enjoy your meal, you naturally eat less.
Water helps support fullness and discourages us from over eating. It also offers the benefit of reducing hangovers and the negative effects of alcohol. Drinking adequate amounts of fluids also improves the digestion of a meal. Making fun water blends naturally can be a great addition for your guests at the table.
Veg it up!
No table is complete without tons of vegetable-based side dishes. Veggies can ease and support digestion with the benefits of added fiber to fill you up. Interesting and delicious vegetable-based dishes can really make a dinner filling, interesting and healthy.
Papaya, Kiwi & Pineapple
Serve these fruits at the beginning of the meal to support protein digestion. Eating light healthy foods also helps to reduce overeating of the nibbles and the main meal. Research shows that people can consume a day’s worth of calories just in the nibbles at a holiday party.
I hope you use these simple tips to aid your digestion and support a healthier Thanksgiving.