Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday SOS -- Natural Ways to Soothe Digestive Distress

It happens every year....

The Thanksgiving feast kicks off the yearly "gastro-intestinal mayhem marathon" of holiday office parties, neighborhood gatherings, friendly potlucks, church outings and family traditions. We know better, but somehow we manage to throw willpower and common sense out the window, and stuff our faces with new and unique edible temptations being passed on trays or displayed on the buffet. Hors d'ourvres to desserts....we just don't know when to say 'enough'.

And then we feel it on the way home....the heartburn, bloating, abdominal pain, and gas.

This may be the "most wonderful time of the year", but it's the cruelest time of the year for your digestive system.

Here are some suggestions to get you through the season of self-sabotage:
• Aloe juice: 2 oz per day, with a meal (if constipated)
Aloe has both antibacterial and antifungal properties and contains flavonoids that bind with growth factors to help heal sores and lesions in the digestive tract.
• Pancreatic (Digestive) enzymes: Follow label instructions.
The older we get, the more likely we are to benefit from the supplemental use of digestive enzymes to replenish what the body needs for optimum digestion. By the time we're 40, we produce 40% less enzymes than in younger years. Without enzymes to process a meal, we can end up with heartburn, or feeling bloated and/or gassy. There are several choices, including pancreatic, papaya and bromalain enzymes. LNH suggests seeing a trained enzyme specialist for testing and specific suggestions.
• Bromelain: 500 mg, as needed (good for diarrhea and constipation)
• Probiotics: 1 billion live organisms per day
Probiotics are the "good bacteria" that lives in your intestinal tract, and promote healthy digestion and enhance the protective barrier along the digestive tract. To restore friendly bacteria, it is suggested to take a dose of probiotics morning and night for 5 days, and then move to a maintenance dose, taking it in the morning.
• Herbal Teas: Fennel (general digestion, licorice (constipation), ginger (diarrhea and nausea), and chamomile (unless allergic to ragweed)

Happy feel-good partying!


source: Taste for Life Magazine, December 2010

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