How to Avoid Holiday Digestive Woes

Thanksgiving is a feast of the senses, with savory, sweet, tart, and creamy foods all vying for space on the same table. The sights and smells alone have your mouth watering. Unfortunately, we all know too well that the abundance can be an invitation for gastrointestinal distress. By learning what can trigger digestive discomfort and the steps you can take to curb it, you can make your holiday season much brighter, happier, and more enjoyable.

Recognize Triggers of Distress

Along with eating a wide variety of foods that you’re not used to, you may find that when holiday celebrations come around, you eat far more than normal. Part of the reason for overeating can be the delay in awareness that you’re full. “‘It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to send a signal to the stomach to let you know that you’re full,’ says Erma Levy, a research dietician at MD Anderson.”1 Twenty minutes is plenty of time for seconds or even thirds if you’re a fast eater. By the time your brain recognizes you’re full, you may be bloated and uncomfortable. The holidays may only come once a year, but the week of Thanksgiving through the ensuing weeks leading up to Christmas, New Years, and beyond can also feel like a digestive minefield to those enduring gut issues.

Learn How Digestive Enzymes Can Help

Knowledge is power, so before we head into the “most wonderful time of the year,” arm yourself with information and tools that can help you enjoy the season without the inevitable upset stomach. One of the best tools for curbing digestive upset before it starts is by taking a digestive enzyme supplement. 

“Digestive enzymes are only available in limited quantities, so the larger the amount of food you eat, the longer it takes to digest.”2 Our bodies rely on digestive enzymes to break down large food molecules into tiny “building blocks units… These can then be readily and rapidly absorbed through the gut wall and into the bloodstream for transport to the liver and from there to other parts of the body.”3 When there aren’t sufficient digestive enzymes, the food can sit in your stomach longer, making your feel bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable. Aiding your body’s digestive enzymes with enzyme supplements can help curtail and even eliminate the stomach discomfort many of us feel around holiday meals.

Give Your Gut Some Extra Love

Another potential cause of gastrointestinal discomfort occurs when the gut flora gets out of balance. Your gut is teeming with microbiota, consisting of somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad. The microbiota participates in the digestive process, and when the balance between good and bad bacteria becomes altered, digestive distress can occur.

The gut also plays host to the immune system, and a healthy gut can help you avoid the winter bugs that can be an unwelcome addition to your holiday plans. You can help balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut by taking a daily probiotic supplement. “Healthy individuals may benefit from taking probiotics — there is some evidence suggesting probiotics can reduce the risk of infectious diseases, including upper respiratory tract infections in healthy populations.”4

Regardless of your holiday plans or menus, consider adding one of GHTs quality probiotic supplements to your daily regimen. In addition to our tried and true ThreeLac and FiveLac probiotics, GHT is also excited to announce the addition of SevenLac to our digestive line, which includes two extra beneficial probiotic strains to help you enjoy a healthy and comfortable holiday season this year.