Food to eat when you have over-eaten
Let's face it: we will be eating and drinking until our clothes don't fit anymore over the Christmas break.
But registered nutritionist Rob Hobson has revealed that there is a way to eat and drink your way out of feeling uncomfortably too full.
And many of them are items you probably already have in your fridge and kitchen cupboards.
If you’re suffering from the excesses of eating too much rich food, which can involve heartburn and reflux, then try switching to lower fat products such as skimmed milk.
High fat particularly saturated fat foods, take longer to digest and empty in the stomach and can make reflux and heartburn worse.
Therefore, a lower fat diet in the interim may help to improve these issues.
Bloating after meals is not uncommon. Fennel, caraway and mint help to relieve bloating by relaxing the gut wall, loosening the valve between the gut and oesophagus.
Try making your own 'tummy tea' to drink after meals by adding fresh mint along with a teaspoon each of fennel and caraway seeds to hot water and sipping slowly.
It’s worth noting that this is for bloating, and not heartburn or reflux, this will be made worse by encouraging the gut wall to relax.
Pineapple and Papaya
These tropical fruits contain the digestive enzymes called papain in papaya and bromelain found mainly in the stalk of pineapple.
These enzymes help to digest proteins and have traditionally thought of as a way of improving digestion and helping with digestive issues.
Although the evidence for their effectiveness is not that strong, these fruits contribute to your daily intake of fibre and other key nutrients, and also make a healthy starter or dessert to accompany a heavy overindulgent meal.
Maintaining a healthy gut is key to keeping it working properly, so a lack of good bacteria may encourage bloating.
You can keep your gut in good health by topping up on foods such as live yoghurt that contain beneficial strains of bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
You could also consider a probiotic supplement. Research has shown that probiotics may help with bloating in some people with IBS.
Dark green, leafy vegetables
Green vegetables, such as kale or spinach, are some of the most nutritious, with superior levels of certain nutrients including iron and magnesium.
Tucking into plenty of these at mealtimes is a good way to get back on track. The fibre content of these vegetables is also high and can help with digestive issues.
These greens also help to increase bile flow through the liver, which can help the body to get rid of waste products.
These are another high-fibre food that has been shown to help with symptoms of wind, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
They are a source of insoluble and soluble fibre, and can easily be added to casseroles, stews, soups, porridge, cereals, yoghurts and desserts.
Try adding one tablespoon daily to your diet and in particular during and after periods of excess.
Beans and Pulses
Overeating rich foods and the dehydrating effects of alcohol can lead to constipation, which will leave you feeling sluggish and generally uncomfortable throughout the day.
Beans and pulses are rich in soluble fibre that dissolves in water and forms a gel that helps to soften stools. It also improves gut transit that can relive constipation.
If you’re going to increase your intake of high-fibre foods such as beans and pulses, then do so slowly and make sure you drink plenty of fluids to avoid bloating.
Oats are very good for you in many ways and much of this goodness is down to their high level of soluble fibre.
Oats are a particularly good breakfast food to eat if you suffering with acid reflux, and they may also be useful at dealing with other digestive complaints after overeating, such as wind, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
Dehydration is often overlooked, but the effects can really impact on how you feel during the day. If you feel thirsty, then you’re already dehydrated.
Overindulging in alcohol can leave you really dehydrated the next day as it decreases the production of anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water.
You can adopt the strategy of drinking water between alcoholic drinks, but if that all goes to pot, then focus on rehydrating the next day.
It’s not just about water: tea, coffee, milk, watery fruits and even soups are all useful ways to increase your intake of fluids. You can also make water more interesting by adding citrus fruits, cucumber or herbs such as mint or rosemary.
Ginger or Chamomile tea
Heartburn and reflux are normally the result of inflammation in the stomach, which is caused by excess acid that is produced to help digest food.
Overeating foods high in fat (especially saturated fat) can increase the risk of heartburn as they take longer to be broken down so increasing the time it takes the stomach to empty.
Getting back to normal healthy eating will help prevent heartburn and sipping ginger or chamomile tea between meals may help to soothe inflamed gastrointestinal tissues and reduce oesophageal spasms.
Globe artichoke supplements
The liver is well equipped to take a bit of a beating now and then, and it has the unique ability of being able to repair itself by naturally regenerating.
The liver contains cells called hepatocytes that absorb nutrients and detoxify and remove harmful substances from the blood.
Too much sugar, bad fats and alcohol can all impact on the health of your liver and increase the risk of fatty liver in the long-term
Globe artichoke extract is thought to have a direct effect on the liver to help protect it against toxins. It also contains cynarin that promotes the production of bile, which in turn improves the digestion of dietary fats.
This supplement form of the vegetable may also help to reduce the symptoms of indigestion including nausea, wind and stomach pain.