It’s an annual dilemma. The holidays are full of fun, family, festivities—and dietary pitfalls. It’s important to be realistic when it comes to dealing with the temptations of the season's bounty of fatty, rich, sugary and high-calorie foods - the good news is, you don't have to be a Scrooge. However, the inevitable stray from the foods your body is accustomed to can cause you to push away from the holiday table feeling like a stuffed turkey, and possibly one with stomach or GI upset.
There is an alternative to that bloated, agitated feeling that takes a lot of the fun out of it, along with nutritional strategies for fending off holiday weight gain. Digestive supplements can support the body’s efficiency to digest food, alleviate digestion-related discomforts, and improve nutrient absorption and toxin elimination.
The digestive tract is the system of organs that takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and expels the remaining waste. Especially during the holidays, your digestive tract is a top health priority; its smooth operation is vital to optimal energy and mood.
The key is to understand which supplements can support digestive health the most efficiently. The buildup of undigested or poorly digested foods can lead to fermented carbohydrates, rancid fats and putrefied proteins remaining in your digestive tract. These waste products can be toxic and have the potential to be absorbed into the blood stream
Finding a good fit with digestive ingredients and combinations depends on which part of the digestive system you are supporting. The digestive elements most important in supporting digestive health include digestive enzymes, probiotics and good fiber, all of which possess properties that can be very effective in soothing the digestive tract.
Eat Good Fiber
Fiber Best is a blend of three synergistic fiber sources to aid in a balanced, healthy fiber intake. Fiber is essential for gastro-intestinal health, cholesterol metabolism, detoxification, hormone balance and a healthy proportion of the beneficial "good" gut bacteria. The healthiest fiber benefit will be provided by a balanced formula that includes a synergistic variety of soluble and insoluble fiber sources. A healthy proportion of the beneficial “good” gut bacteria will cause it to act even more effectively.
Dietary fiber consists of plant foods that the body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components that the body breaks down and absorbs, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates, fiber doesn’t provide nutrients to the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, although fiber is best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation, it can also provide other health benefits, such as lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. A high fiber diet also has the potential to assist in weight loss when it’s made part of a long-term, daily diet.
A major holiday weight management strategy for utilizing a fiber supplement is to take a fiber drink comprised of one teaspoon to one tablespoon of fiber mixed in a juice/water blend before consuming a high sugar meal or snack. This fiber shake will give a sensation of fullness, thus reducing the tendency to overeat, and the fiber will also slow down the rate that sugar from holiday goodies gets absorbed into the blood, reducing one of the major mechanisms by which holiday weight gain occurs.
Be careful when first starting to use a fiber supplement, if you take too much, it can cause gas, bloating and discomfort because the gut bacteria has to get used to the new form of fiber. So start slowly with perhaps ½ teaspoon at a time, and work up to one tablespoon before a high sugar/high starch meal.
Eat Digestive Bitters
Digestive bitters are an excellent way to trigger the digestive process. Bitters are used to promote the secretion of the body’s own, natural digestive fluids to support overall digestion. This includes hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes, and bile to break down fats. This means all of the digestive organs, including the stomach, liver, pancreas, and intestines, get "turned on" in anticipation of the incoming food. As soon as bitters touch the tongue, the salivary glands are triggered, and the stomach starts secreting digestive juices.
Digestive bitters aren’t a new thing. In fact, our ancestors ate bitters regularly by foraging for bitter wild berries, barks, roots and more. Now, humans eat really sweet and savory foods, so we’re not reaching for a bitter before every meal. Here are 5 reasons digestive bitters are excellent for digestion and overall health and where to get them.
Use Digestive Enzymes
Digestzyme Plus is a comprehensive digestive aid to support the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Digestive enzymes aid in regularity and the absorption of nutrients. They are secreted by the salivary glands and pancreas. Their function is to break down large macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, into smaller, more easily digested forms of these nutrients that are more readily absorbed as simpler sugars, peptides and amino acids, and fatty acids. These nutrients can then be utilized by the body for energy, growth, repair and health. Digestive enzymes also support absorption of vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining a healthy, balanced metabolism.
Supplementing with digestive enzymes can aid in the digestion, absorption, and utilization of vital nutrients stored in food. A comprehensive digestive formula provides a combination of protease (enzymes that break down proteins), lipase (enzymes that break down fat) and amylase enzymes (enzymes that break down carbohydrates). Could you benefit from taking digestive enzymes? Find out here.
Incorporate Prebiotics and Probiotics
Oligo-Supreme is a high-strength blend of prebiotics and probiotics. It is a highly- viable, pure blend that helps support and maintain a healthy balance of gastro-intestinal good bacteria. Probiotics are needed for optimal digestion and immune system support. Prebiotics contained in the formula are an excellent food source for beneficial microflora or gut bacteria.
The digestive tract is host to many living microorganisms, some beneficial and some harmful. Beneficial bacteria aid in digestion, immune function, absorption of minerals and prevent the build-up of harmful microorganisms, which can lead to health issues and a weaker immune function. Probiotics can be an effective way to support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Here's how to tell the difference between whether you may need a probiotic or digestive enzymes.
A quality probiotic supplement should include a wide array of friendly stands of bacteria. Some examples include: Lactobacillus Acidolphilus, Bifido Longum, Strepococcus Lactis, as well as the prebiotics Mannanoligosaccharides and Fructooligosaccharides.