Thursday, October 02, 2014

FESTIVE DIGESTION - Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor ( N.D.)


Holidays are great but over eating is the norm and you can be left feeling gassy, bloated, nauseous and digestively upset. So this is an article to equip you with digestive tools to feel great and still enjoy this wonderful festive season!

What are the reasons for feeling digest upset at the holidays?Everyone's digestion is designed to work in specific ways. Optimally functioning, food goes in - is chewed well – enters your stomach which is an acid environment, to break food down – then goes into the small intestine which is alkaline where the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder secrete fluids to continue to digest food so you can absorb nutrients.

So how how do we optimize digestion?

Chew well and eat slow – digestion starts in your mouth – eating slow also allows you to better assess when you are full

Digestive Enzymes - Betaine HCL, Protease, Lipase, Cellulase, Pancreatin, Amylase can help digest protein, fat and carbohydrates

Avoid foods you know you are sensitive or reactive to – common foods are wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, citrus, peanuts, and seafood

Food Combining – some people are sensitive to certain combinations of foods – common combos that negatively affect people are: protiein-starch; protein-fruits; starch-fruit

No need to feel bloated and indigested this holiday.
Here are some helpful ideas for your digestion.

Wait 2 hrs before indulging in dessert – this allows some digestion time between your meal and dessert – you may be too full for dessert or will have emptied enough of your dinner into your small intestine to accommodate dessert.

Liver function – healthy digestion depends on good liver function – liver herbs like Dandelion and Milk thistle, along with bile salts and essential fatty acids help your liver to function properly

Healthy Bowel Elimination – nothing feels less appealing than a big dinner when you are constipated!  1 – 2 bowel movements a day is key to a clean healthy functioning system. Ways to improve this are increased fiber like oat, flax seed, and psylliumMagnesium and exercise, like an after dinner walk, are also helpful ways to encourage more bowel movements.

Enough water – your weight divided by 2 is the ounces per day you need. 
How do you use these?

Digestive enzymes are usually in capsule or tablet form and are available at most health stores. A standard dose is usually 1 – 2 per meal.

Liver herbs, Bile salts and EFAs are usually found on their own or in combination and these are usually taken with meals at 1 – 2 caps once to twice daily.

And fiber products can also be found at health food stores in capsule or powdered forms. 2 caps twice daily or 1 tsp daily are usually suggested with a meal.

Magnesium comes in powder or capsules and the citrate form would better encourage increased bowel movements.

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