How to beat the bloat this holiday season


Ah, Thanksgiving, the start of the winter eating, I mean, holiday season.  Rich, heavy foods to keep our minds off of the coming winter (and the fact that Uncle Harry has had one too many again).  After the lighter eating we've been doing over the summer, it can all be a bit of a shock to our digestive system.   Sometimes a surreptitious loosening of our belt can often do the trick to relieve the pressure after a large multi-course meal.  For many of us, however, a heavy meal can often be followed by bloating and digestive discomfort which even the cutest pair of stretchy pants can't help. Here a few pointers to help you to beat the bloat and have a delicious and more comfortable holiday:

  • Peppermint tea:  Peppermint has long been used to ease a variety of digestive discomforts including gas, bloating, indigestion, cramping of the gastrointestinal tract and nausea.  A cup of hot peppermint tea with a touch of honey can help calm digestion down after a heavy meal.  For more information on peppermint at MedlinePlus, click here.
  • Belly rub:  A nice belly rub isn't just something enjoyed by the family pets.  Rubbing your belly in a clockwise direction can help to move the digestive qi along, especially when it's gotten a little stagnant after a heavy meal.
  • Step away from the couch: While it is very tempting to give in to the food coma from all that turkey and stuffing, a wonderful way to help your body to digest a big meal is to move. So, take a break before dessert and go for a walk around the neighborhood.  Not only can it feel great to get a breath of fresh air, but walking will help to stimulate your digestion.
  • Hold the ice:  Still drinking those iced coffees from your local coffee joint?  Well, time to shift to warmer drinks.  As the weather cools, our bodies need a bit of help to make sure our digestion continues to be efficient and trouble-free.  Drinking cold liquids and eating raw, uncooked foods is similar to throwing cold water into your furnace while it is trying to heat your house.  Like the furnace, your digestion will have more trouble working smoothly if it has to work even harder to warm up the food that is coming into it.  Bloating, gas and discomfort are all signs that the digestive system is over-worked.  So make sure to help with warm, cooked foods and drinks especially in colder weather.
  • Acupressure: The acupuncture point Triple Warmer 6 is a great point for treating pain and distention of the upper and lower abdomen.  Press on the point pictured below for several minutes.  You don't have to be exact, but if you are in the area and find a sore spot, spend some extra time there.

Now that you are armed with some tools to help beat the bloat this holiday season, go forth and feast!

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all!