Don’t let ‘what helps with bloating’ be one of the first searches you make on your recently unwrapped tablet or smart phone — get ahead of the game with these hacks.
Christmas is known as the time of goodwill, but not necessarily the time of good gut health, and all the festive treats can challenge the willpower of even the most dedicated fitness fanatics. Especially when it comes to the main event on the day itself.
The build-up, family influence and delicious cooking smells that have been wafting through the house since the morning mean that many of us overindulge when it’s turkey time. So how can you recover when you’re feeling a serious food baby coming on?
Don’t rely on a Christmas miracle, natural solutions are all within your reach to banish your bloat and get you back to feeling merry and bright.
Stretch Your Legs
Suggest a household walk after dinner to help beat the bloating feeling — you may want to crawl straight back to the sofa but resist! Take the dog, children, or enjoy the excuse to have a little air away from arguing in-laws and overbearing aunts by having quick solo stroll around the block.
Giving your circulation a boost with gentle exercise will help to invigorate your muscles and organs, and you’ll find you flush out those toxins and fluids much quicker than if you remain sedentary.
If the weather outside is frightful, you could always do a few strolling laps of the house, including the stairs. You could stretch your arms out wide and over your head intermittently to further encourage blood flow.
Avoid Fatty Foods
Okay, so this may not be popular advice, but if you’re feeling the bloat, it’s best that you try to avoid saturated fats like a cheeseboard or chocolates.
Your body is likely to be working hard to digest all the food you’ve had at dinner, and fatty foods require extra effort to be broken down. They also move more slowly through the digestive tract, so you may actually be prolonging the time it takes for your body to feel better.
If you can’t face skipping out on dessert altogether, then a good alternative is cultured yoghurt, as this contains probiotics which can help with digestion and reduce excessive gas. Even a spoonful on the side in place of brandy cream may make a difference, so you don’t have to feel like you’re totally missing out.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water helps to flush out excess toxins in the body, so though you may feel too full to drink a big glass of h2o, it will really help — especially if your dinner has been high in salt. You don’t have to down it all in one go, just sip at it as you have your stroll or watch that Christmas special on TV.
Remember that not all drinks equal healthy hydration — alcoholic and carbonated options will prolong and encourage further bloating, so go easy on the refills of bubbly.
Herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint are also a good after-dinner choice, as they’re well known for their calming and soothing effects, plus may provide gas relief too.
Get on the Ginger
Ginger has long been hailed as a natural digestive aid and it can really help to sooth your stomach. Chop some root ginger into inch-long pieces and soak it in boiling water to make a natural tea. If you aren’t a fan of the flavor, you could always try adding freshly cut orange or lemon for citrusy twist.
Take Home Message
We know that Christmas is not the time for restraint, but giving your body a little help processing all the extras can definitely pay off when it comes to how you feel after the indulgence. Of course, there’s a lot to be said for the option of taking a tactical afternoon nap, too…