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Foods that aid digestion

It is the season of love, of giving, sharing and of course: overeating. It is also the time of the year when demand for digestive supplements spikes.

 

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I prefer the more natural approach over pills. Ideally, we’d all just stop reaching for that third cookie, that extra serving of gravy or that delicious eggnog that has your name written all over it. But let’s not be too hard on ourselves during this time of year which can already be stressful enough. Instead, try adding foods that can help relief the digestive discomfort that can be synonymous to Christmas.

 

SAUERKRAUT

Full of live enzymes and probiotics that help break down your food, making it easier to digest and allowing you to get more nutrients out of every bite.

Make sure to purchase an unpasteurized (raw) one in order to get the full benefits of this delicious product.

 

SPROUTS

Similar to sauerkraut, these little guys are jam packed with live enzymes that love nothing more than to break up the food we ingest. Buy them online at SPUD or sprout your own at home!

 

PINEAPPLE

This exotic fruit is packed with the digestive enzyme known as Bromelain which helps break down the collagen in animal protein. Bonus: it´s also anti-inflammatory, delicious and easy to add to meals as a dessert (if you left any room for it). At this time of the year try canned pineapple, but make sure you chose a sugar free, organic version in a BPA free can.

 

Betaine HCl

When all else fails, get those stomach juices flowing at optimal levels with Betaine HCl. Our body´s digestive enzymes are only activated when our stomach´s acidity reaches its optimal level. However, due to increased stress, eating on-the-go or when rushed, we don´t allow our body the time it needs to prepare properly for the food it is about to receive. With HCl, a little help can go a long way. Make sure to read and follow the instructions of this product carefully before consuming it.

 

STEP AWAY FROM ICED WATER

One of the easiest things you can do to help improve digestion – and it won´t even cost you a penny – is to NOT drink ice cold drinks before or with your meals. Not only do our digestive enzymes need a specific pH in order to be activated, they also need to be at body temperature in order to work optimally. That big glass of iced water is just going to shut down your digestive fire, causing you to feel heavy and bloated after a meal.

So let´s all do ourselves a favor and reduce drinking during our meals. If need be, have some warm tea or a glass of wine to put you at ease 😉

 

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