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Recommendations for keeping you on the right track during the holidays

Recommendations for keeping you on the right track during the holidays (Enlarge)

During the holidays most of us skip from one meal to another, eat heavy dishes, try new spices and get stuffed with large quantities of food.

When the stomach feels overloaded we will most likely suffer from different problems such as heart burn, bloating and even diarrhea. Digestive problems can be prevented before they happen or treated once they occur in order to avoid any unnecessary suffering; all you need are some tips and a small medication kit.

Treating heartburn
If you suffer from heartburn after eating, it is most likely that holiday meals will cause you great distress. Therefore, plan ahead and try to avoid spicy, oily foods which usually cause heartburn. Choose baked foods over fried dishes and mostly avoid large quantities of alcohol or beverages containing caffeine.

The solution: you can take heartburn medications after meals such as Rennie or Tums which immediately ease heartburn and are taken once symptoms begin. These tablets are also safe for use during pregnancy and contain calcium carbonate which immediately neutralizes stomach acid.  Another drug is Maalox which contains aluminum-hydroxide and magnesium-hydroxide compounds and is taken thirty minutes to an hour before meals and before going to bed. If you want a natural solution you can also chew fennel seeds which ease heartburn.



Bloating and gas
A bloated stomach filled with gas causes considerable discomfort and even embarrassment. Avoid fat "bloating" foods such as beans and broccoli. Choose vegetables that are rich with nutritional fibers.

The solution: there are some nonprescription drugs and supplements to ease bloating and gas. Gas-x contains a substance called simethicone which prevents bubbles and foams in the digestive system. Carbosilan also contains an activated carbon compound which absorbs gas in the digestive system. These medications can be taken after meals.

Bloating, gas and digestive problems can also be treated by taking Probiotics - "friendly intestinal bacteria", which enhance regular digestion and prevent bloating. Probiotics can be taken as a tablet or by eating a probiotic-enriched yogurt on a daily basis.



No one wants to spend the holiday running to the toilet, but all the changes in nutritional habits, heavy meals and travelling can cause is important to try and include products containing Probiotics in between holiday meals in order to strengthen the digestive system. If you suffer from diarrhea after a meal, make sure to drink lots of water in order to prevent dehydration. Eat lots of rice, bread, bananas, soup and potatoes.
The solution: if you suffer from heavy diarrhea you can take nonprescription drugs such as Imodium which slows the transition of food in the digestive system and also prevents stomach aches. In case of watery diarrhea that continues for more than 24 hours, consulting with a doctor is advisable.



Many holiday meals lack sufficient nutritional fibers, thereby causing a magic cycle causing a feeling of food "stuck" in the digestive system after a heavy meal. That’s why many people skip breakfast, the most important meal of the day, and tend to eat large meals again and again. If you frequently suffer from constipation or get constipated during the holidays, it is important to drink enough liquids, eat foods based on fruits and vegetables, dried fruit and grains.


The solution: make sure to take Probiotics. You can also enrich drinks and food by adding a powder containing nutritional fibers. There are natural food additives containing Psyllium or dried fruit essence which ease constipation. Another possibility is taking a teaspoon of paraffin oil every morning, which can help prevent severe and painful constipation.   



Bad breath
The assortment of foods, ongoing meals and disruptions in one's eating routine can also cause bad breath. It is important to avoid spicy foods such as garlic, onions, tuna, fat cheeses and processed sausage. These leave fats in the mouth with a strong odor that is hard to get rid of.


The solution: chewing a sugar free gum or sugar free candy after meals can leave a pleasant odor and flavor in the mouth. Also make sure to brush your teeth after every meal (particularly before bed) and use mouthwash and dental floss. Drinking herbal tea between meals can also help.



By: Marganit Benish, Infomed system
Published on the