Avoid indigestion and tummy troubles this holiday season

The parties of the holiday season result in overindulgences of all kinds. These tips will keep your digestive system healthy and help you avoid indigestion.

It’s the start of the holiday party season. Company parties, family dinners, and get-togethers with friends are wonderful occasions—but sometimes our stomachs feel stretched to their limits. As our stomachs cope with fat-laden hors d’oeuvres, high-calorie baked goods, eggnog, and bottomless wine glasses, how’s our digestive system to cope?

A small 2010 study showed that drinking alcohol slows down digestion after we eat a rich, high-calorie meal, but it doesn’t cause indigestion (such as heartburn, bloating, and belching). But other holiday overindulgences can lead to indigestion, for example

  • eating too much
  • eating too quickly
  • eating high-fat foods
  • eating when feeling stressed

Avoid these high-fat appies
When bellying up to the buffet table or ordering appies at a restaurant, there are a few appetizers you should take a pass on, including

  • spinach artichoke dip  (it’s loaded with saturated fat and over 2,500 mg of sodium)
  • fried calamari (a typical portion contains 900 calories, 54 g of fat, and 2,300 mg of sodium)
  • chicken wings (loaded with fat, 60 g of fat, and over 2,000 mg of sodium)
  • fried mozzarella sticks (46 g of fat and over 2,800 calories)
  • sliders (they’re so cute, but three of these mini burgers contain 81 g of fat and 2,270 mg of sodium)

Tummy soothing tips
These tips are basic common sense, but they can help you avoid indigestion after that big party or meal.

  • Eat slowly.
  • Cut back on alcohol consumption (besides being high in calories, it can irritate the stomach lining).
  • Wear loose-fitting garments to avoid compressing your stomach, sending food back into the esophagus.
  • Don’t lie down right after you eat (especially on the dance floor!).
  • Wait at least three hours after consuming a big meal before you go to bed.
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