Holiday Eating Tips to Help Prevent an Upset Stomach

The holidays are right around the corner and with it comes a host of tummy related problems that can wreak havoc on enjoying your festivities. Holidays are grueling to our stomachs because between October and January, our stomachs are exposed to enduring a lot, from Thanksgiving indulgence, including stuffing, ladle after ladle of gravy, an overdose of Halloween candy, heavy Xmas foods, sweets, and one-too-many flutes of champagne.

Unfortunately, for a vast majority of us, we pay the price for all of that overeating, resulting in many holiday nights bloated with stomach aches, heartburn, gas, weight gain, diarrhea or constipation, and a routine nightcap of antacid.

There are a number of factors how holidays make us sick and many reasons why you should be cautious to avoid them as much as possible to get through them with minimal damage. Here is a list of some things that cause us so much distress during the holiday season and how you can moderate your indulgence for a happy, healthier stomach.

Portions

The more food you cram into your stomach, the more pressure on your esophageal sphincter, the muscle that keeps digested food down where it belongs. When the pressure is great enough, food and acid will back up, causing heartburn. Too much food can also slow down your whole digestive system leading to stomach aches and constipation.

Rich foods

Holiday foods are generally high in sugar and fat. Both cause weight gain and added over a few months, that excess weight can trigger an upset stomach. Fat is an immediate problem since it slows down the digestion and can trigger acid reflux. Foods known to cause reflux include chocolate, gravies, dairy, coffee, alcohol, mints, and acidic foods.

Lack of fiber

Fiber tends to be missing from the holiday dinner table so you need to supplement with some form of fiber to keep things moving. Whether in pill or liquid form, take enough daily fiber to avoid constipation associated with holiday eating.

Holiday stress

During the holiday season, stress can trigger your adrenals to go into overdrive which suppresses the proper function of the digestive system. This can be set off by mall shopping, cooking, cleaning, travel, and family conflict causing upset stomach and heartburn. Stress causes our system to get out of its harmony stage where we burn fat normally and instead holds on to the fat as a survival mechanism.

Alcohol

Not only does alcohol have a lot of calories that can pack on the pounds, but the sugar content in wine and spirits can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Try to limit the amount that you drink and avoid the creamy, rich eggnog if possible.

The holidays are a wonderful time to be with family and friends, but a bit of caution regarding over indulgence in the rich, decadent foods that mark the season can help you feel much better once January rolls around. However, it's hard to resist all the delicious food surrounding us during this season. If you've fallen victim to overindulging in holiday foods and are suffering from an upset stomach, contact us and our team of pharmacists at Brant Arts will try to help.