Thanksgiving dinner is an important meal. It’s also a meal that can span three days, with no real beginning and no perceptible end. It’s a marathon for your digestive system.
For some of us, that’s not such a good thing. More about that in a minute.
Let’s talk about how much you eat at Thanksgiving—you, the presupposed average American.
Before the table is ever set, you’re probably grabbing almonds and candy from decorative holiday tins. Next, you’re eating little mouthfuls of whatever you’re supposed to be chopping. Soon you’ve snuck a roll because they’re better when they’re hot and fresh.
And that’s all before dinner even starts.
After the mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, turkey, and variations of jello are all cleared away, the pies come out. And it’s desserts for days: chocolate, banana cream, pecan, apple. (And it’s a shame to not try a bit of each.) Then, later on, it’s turkey again, this time in sandwiches! Cookies of some sort or another invariably appear in the late evening.
By then, if you haven’t relieved some digestive pressure, which it’s likely you haven’t (your lower intestine is about 15 feet long and it takes up to 36 hours for food to completely pass through the colon), your body’s working overtime to pull nutrients, sort waste, and move things around in order to process and make room for everything you’ve just fed it.
We murmur sleepily from our food comas, “Good thing it’s just once a year.”
As Americans, we dutifully down our Thanksgiving meal with joy and gratitude. But as we age, our bodies may struggle to digest larger amounts of rich food. Or at least, to digest it in a graceful or timely manner.
So here are some tips to aid your digestive system. These are not holiday-specific tips for improving digestion. But they are timely.
Quick & Effective Tips for Optimal Digestion
Following these guidelines will help your body to process and draw nutrients from foods without becoming backed up, swollen, or irritated.
Prepare for a sugar rush
To help your body prepare for the excess indulgences, you can take a supplement including chromium, cinnamon and fenugreek to support normal blood sugar levels. We recommend LifeTime Blood Sugar Formula.
Start your day with a glass of water to kick-start digestion. Staying hydrated throughout the day helps maintain the mucus lining in the digestive tract.
Consume foods high in soluble and insoluble fiber, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Fiber aids in regular bowel movements and overall digestive health.
Include probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi in your diet. Probiotics support a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Consider supplements or foods with natural digestive enzymes, like pineapple (bromelain) and papaya (papain), to aid in breaking down food. Prepare for your meal with LifeTime Quick Digest.
Chew your food
Chew your food thoroughly to break it down into smaller particles, making it easier for your digestive system to process.
Incorporate ginger into your diet. It can help reduce nausea, bloating, and improve overall digestion.
Drink herbal teas like peppermint, ginger, or chamomile before and after meals. These can help soothe the digestive tract.
A short, gentle walk before a meal can stimulate digestion and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Eat slowly, savor each bite, and be present during your meal. Avoid distractions like TV or smartphones, as this can help you better recognize feelings of fullness and prevent overeating.
Have your pie and eat it, too
With a weekend full of delicious, rich meals, you can help your digestive system get back on track by getting the most out of your food with LifeTime Candida Quick Cleanse.
Treat Every-BODY with Kindness (And That Includes Your Own!)
Thanksgiving, and our collective decision as a society to take a day and just go ham (pun intended), is a true test of our digestive mettle.
Remember, though, it’s not just about surviving Thanksgiving but also ensuring that your digestive system can thrive year-round. By practicing these habits, you can savor not only the taste of your meals but the comfort of optimal digestive health.