One of the side effects of over-indulgence at Christmas is the very uncomfortable condition of indigestion (more technically known as dyspepsia).  Indigestion often presents as a sensation of fullness or discomfort in the abdomen accompanied by pain or cramps, heartburn, nausea, and large amounts of gas in the intestines (charming!).  Overeating or eating too rapidly is not the only cause of indigestion – it can also result from stress, anxiety, an improper diet (e.g. a diet too high in carbohydrates may aggravate this condition) or an over-consumption of stimulants such as coffee, tea, alcohol and/or cigarettes.  Naturally, there are also physiological reasons as to why indigestion occurs such as an over/under secretion of stomach acid.  While the long-term side effects of indigestion are not life-threatening, it can lead to more chronic digestive problems such as gastric/peptic ulcers or even ulceration of the oesophagus.  Also, nutritional deficiencies may develop due to poor absorption of vitamins and minerals in the digestive tract.

Conventional treatment of indigestion is usually with antacids.  Antacids contain magnesium and / or aluminium and these are possibly more destructive than helpful due to their side-effects e.g. diarrhoea, excessive wind etc.  In fact, a reliance on these over prolonged periods of time can cause poor digestive function due to the neutralizing effect of these medications on stomach acid.

There are more natural (and equally as effective) ways to deal with indigestion.  Apple cider vinegar taken before meals can help promote effective digestion – dilute 1 tsp in a little warm water and drink before meals.  Eating papaya before meals is also beneficial for digestion – papaya actually contains enzymes that can help break down protein and other foods in the stomach (pineapple has similar enzymes, providing the fruit is ripe).  It is best to eat slowly and chew each mouthful thoroughly – this will ensure the beginning of the digestion of food, in the mouth, which inevitably aids breakdown of food in the stomach. 

The Natural Way’s Herbal Tea is excellent for aiding in the relief of indigestion and heartburn.  Some of the herbs in our Herbal Tea – namely catmint, licorice and fennel – are specific for the calming of the digestive system, thus would be excellent to sip after a heavy meal.  Call 1300 SLIMMER to find your closest clinic and pick up a box of our Herbal Tea today.

The best tip for anybody susceptible to indigestion is to practice moderation – Christmas is not a time to over-indulge, it is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends.  Keep this in mind and BON APPETIT!                  

 P.S.  If you want to over-indulge over the festive season, why not make it stone fruit?  These beautiful fruits are literally brimming with lots of vitamins and minerals (especially Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene), and are packed full of fibre to help keep your bowel function regular.  Best of all, these fruits are so low in calories that you will not be putting all of your hard work to waste (or should I say, by indulging in stone fruits extra calories won’t be left sitting around your waist?).  For a Christmas Day dessert with a difference, make up a big fruit platter of stone-fruit and serve with frozen yoghurt / low-fat fruche–a healthy indulgence for the whole family to enjoy!     

If 2011 is going to be YOUR year to get back the body you want, call The Natural Way on 1300 SLIMMER and let us help you to make your weight loss wish come true. 

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About Lose Weight With Sue

I am a naturopath for The Natural Way. We have 24 clinics nationally that help people to lose weight & educate on how to keep it off.
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