Indigestion is a common problem that affects many people. It stems from a range of digestive issues, caused by eating or drinking. Although indigestion is common, each person may experience different symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and belching.
Common causes of indigestion include eating too fast and consuming too much; things we are all often guilty of when it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving. The stomach has a natural stopping point when eating, however, our brain sometimes ignores what our stomach is telling us and overrides what it needs.
With a combination of large portions, rich foods, lack of fiber and holiday stress (Web MD, undated), it’s no wonder we have digestion issues over the holiday season
The Fast-Acting Enzymes + Daily Probiotic Capsules from Digestive Advantage® assist the breakdown of hard-to-digest carbohydrates to help prevent digestion issues before they start. The Digestive Advantage® probiotic is covered in a natural protein shell which makes it stronger than others. Where some probiotics struggle with harsh stomach acid, Digestive Advantage® probiotics are strong enough to survive 100x better*.
Here at Digestive Advantage®, we have put together a list of common Thanksgiving ingredients that are often the culprits for causing digestive problems over the holiday season.
It is important that you choose your turkey wisely at Thanksgiving; after all, it is the main event everyone looks forward to.
Due to its dry nature, eating turkey can require a lot of chewing and there are two problems that can occur from this. Firstly, when you chew you can create gas from swallowing too much air (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Secondly, if you don’t chew your meat enough, you can end up swallowing large pieces, meaning your body can’t break the meat down as easily (Live Strong, 2017). To help aid the digestive process, you should always break down your food as much as possible in your mouth first. This action then makes the food easier to digest further in the stomach.
Mashed potatoes, a favorite side dish to accompany your meat, is a comforting element of your Thanksgiving meal. Often people add butter, milk and/or cream to improve texture and flavor. It’s these added ingredients that can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea (Everyday Health, 2017). People who are lactose intolerant will experience gas and bloating and the fat content can stimulate contractions in the digestive tract. These contractions can have alternate effects, either slowing down your digestive process or speeding it up (Everyday Health, 2017).
Turkey stuffing usually consists of dried bread, pork sausage meat and onions. Unfortunately, some of these ingredients can cause digestive discomfort, such as bloating. Onion is a gas producing vegetable that causes abdominal discomfort and can give you flatulence. The wheat within the bread is called a short chain carbohydrate, which is poorly absorbed by the small intestine. This means it is passed to the large intestine and results in the production of gas (Health Line, 2017). Some people are gluten sensitive (Health Line, 2017) which can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach pain.
The sugar, raffinose, found in vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage can all lead to intestinal gas once digested (Everyday Health, 2017). These vegetables are high in insoluble fiber which can lead to poor digestion, resulting in symptoms including gas, bloating, abdominal pain and changes in stool frequency and consistency.
We all know that celebrating Thanksgiving often involves a celebratory glass of fizz, or a beer or two. However, moderation is key during the holiday season, as you don’t want to increase the risk of getting indigestion (Everyday Health, 2017). Alcohol causes your stomach to produce more acid than normal, irritating your stomach lining (Men’s Health, 2015). It speeds up the movement of your colon muscles, allowing no water to be absorbed by the colon. Therefore, many people experience diarrhea after drinking (Health Line, 2017).
How to aid digestion after your meal
Enjoy a nice brisk walk with the family after your Thanksgiving meal. This light exercise will help aid the digestive process (Shape, undated). Keep hydrated, but avoid downing loads of water, as it will make you feel even more full. Take small sips of decaffeinated hot drinks, such as peppermint tea. This will help relax the digestive tract, allowing you to remove any trapped air, reducing the effects of bloating and feeling too full. Change into those sweatpants, as the more restricted you are around your waistline, the more uncomfortable you’ll feel (Cosmopolitan, 2016).
If you’ve overindulged this year, why not try Digestive Advantage® ‘Fast Acting Enzymes’. They will help restore the natural balance of good bacteria in your intestines, helping to lessen minor abdominal discomfort and bloating, and help relieve gas pain*.
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE.
Chris Kresser (2012) Got digestive problems? Take it easy of the veggies
Cosmopolitan (2016) How to feel better ASAP after overeating
Everyday Health (2017) Excessive gas and the foods you eat
Everyday Health (2017) 11 foods to avoid when you’re having digestive problems
Health Line (2017) FODMAP 101: A detailed beginners guide
Health Line (2017) 12 Foods that cause bloating, and what to eat instead
Health Line (2017) Why do I get diarrhea after drinking alcohol?
Huffington Post (2013) This is what happens to your body after the Thanksgiving meal
Live Strong (2017) Poor digestion of Meat
Mayo Clinic (2017) Belching, intestinal gas and bloating: Tips for reducing them
Men’s Health (2015) This is your body on booze
Shape (Undated) Ate too much at Thanksgiving dinner? Do these 3 exercises!
Wed MD (Undated) Winter Holidays, Upset Stomachs