It happens every year… Family and friends come together to give thanks by gorging themselves on a mouthwatering turkey feast until they almost pop. It’s a delicious tradition you look forward to, but after consuming an average of 4,000 calories, you don’t always feel so hot. All that salt, sugar, and saturated fat makes you bloated and tired, and in desperate need of a nap. This year, try some of these foods to help deflate that post-Thanksgiving gut. You might be able to ditch the elastic-waistband, and maybe even get inspired to play that post-dinner game of backyard football this year.
Peppermint tea has an amazing ability to ease the bloating and gas that comes with the holiday. The menthol found in peppermint leaves helps digestion by relaxing the stomach and opening the digestive tract, allowing things to get moving quickly. The peppermint aroma has also been shown to lessen cravings, preventing you from going back for seconds. It will also freshen your breath and promote a relaxed mood.
That’s right, spicing things up can do wonders for your gut. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers, increases the digestive enzyme flow, thereby reducing gas and bloating. It also zaps the bad bacteria living in your stomach that causes bloating in the first place. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper on your mashed potatoes, or give your yams a little kick. You could even try to impress your friends by mixing a half teaspoon with water and taking it like a shot. It sounds crazy, but it’s a popular method for people who want the health benefits of capsaicin without burning thier mouth.
Bananas have some of the highest levels of potassium, a mineral the helps to regulate sodium in the body. Sodium is one of the main culprits in making you feel bloated, and the turkey-day meal is chock full of it. To battle the bloat with bananas, consider bringing a banana cream pie. Or even better, bring some bananas to slice on top of the pumpkin pie. Delicious.
This year, try to incorporate some fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi or kefir. You might not be familiar with all of these, but why not use the year’s biggest food Holiday to experiment with some new flavors? These foods have been “activated” by healthy bacteria that have an amazing ability to assist in digestion and help improve the quality of your gut flora. The probiotic power of cultured foods can be a game changer for the usual post-thanksgiving misery.
Lemon and water — an old trick that works. Lemon juice has a similar composition as our digestive juices. When we stuff ourselves, we sometimes just don’t have enough hydrochloric acid to digest everything. A glass of water with lemon juice will help get things going and make you feel better.