Is it really possible to resist the eggnog or the chocolate pudding served for that long-awaited family Thanksgiving dinner? Then there are those unforgettable Halloween treats and the tasty presents brought over by your relatives and friends.
If you already have gastrointestinal problems such as acid reflux, also known as heartburn, or you’re prone to it during holiday feasts, this piece is a godsend for you. Let’s go over a few essential steps you can take to minimize and prevent heartburn during this holiday season and enjoy the meals even more!
Go lighter with your recipes
There are many healthy foods that are packed with nutrients and extremely good for your immune system as well as your gut. But if you’re dealing with heartburn, or you tend to have larger food portions during the holidays, those same foods can trigger acid reflux.
For example, tomatoes, citrusy fruits, as well as fat-rich ingredients and certain spices can make your heartburn worse. Instead, go for lighter recipes, and prepare the food to preserve the nutrients and to protect your gut. You can roast veggies, broil them, and avoid deep-fried and meals that are too heavy on the fat.
Portion control and savoring your food
Even if you do create a holiday menu that’s primarily based on gut-friendly foods, you should also be more mindful as to how and how much you eat.
For starters, it’s best to monitor your intake and control the size of your portions. That way you’ll avoid overeating and putting too much pressure on your stomach and acid production.
Plus, be more mindful when you munch! Mindful eating is a wonderful way to savor each bite, every flavor, but also the conversations and the holiday atmosphere.
Help your GI tract prepare and recover
For those among you with a sensitive stomach, it’s wise to think ahead. The amount and diversity of food can be overwhelming for your gut, and triggering acid reflux can disrupt your holiday enjoyment.
A gut-friendly reinforcement to your daily menu such as GI Revive can help stabilize your GI tract and boost proper food metabolism.
It can reduce the inflammation so often associated with holiday feasts, and you’ll be able to strengthen your natural microbiome balance. That way, you can help your belly stay healthy and resilient before and after the holidays, too.
Limit alcohol and smoking
Acid reflux isn’t only linked to the food you consume, but to other habits you have such as smoking and alcohol consumption. During the holidays, people usually let themselves enjoy these habits even more than they normally do. That alone can be a nasty way to worsen holiday heartburn.
Sure, treat yourself to the occasional glass of wine over dinner, but moderation is key when it comes to alcohol and acid reflux. When it comes to smoking, on the other hand, the only way to mitigate the impact is to try and quit this habit altogether.
Take a light walk instead of a nap
Another common tradition in most families is to take an hour or two after the holiday dinner to just relax and lie down. Some even love to take a nap! Alas, that means that big meals and lying down can worsen your acid reflux.
Instead, take a walk in the nearby park with your family or play some volleyball in the backyard. A light activity is a better option for your metabolism, and it can help minimize or prevent heartburn after that heavenly feast. Regular exercise is great for your immune health every day, so it’s wise to add it to your schedule to treat acid reflux, too, and the holidays might not be so demanding in the future.
While some people struggle with acid reflux all year round and know how to minimize its impact, others find the holidays particularly difficult for their GI tract. Although you might need to tweak some of your holiday recipes and adapt your habits during the holidays, it will be worth your while to help you enjoy your holidays more.
Should you discover that heartburn is a regular occurrence for you even after the holidays, you can schedule an appointment with us and see how targeted lifestyle changes can help get your health back on track.