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Ask the expert: How to beat the festive bloat

Feeling the effects of a few days non-stop eating? Combat the rich and indulgent foods with our expert guide on how to beat the festive bloat

beat bloating
Need some remedies to combat the inevitable festive bloat?

If you are feeling discomfort in your belly after the indulgence of Christmas, you won’t be alone. But there are ways to beat bloating so you can still enjoy the remainder of the festivities. We asked our health expert Lorraine Dobell to answer the following reader question about bloating!

Q: I love Christmas and all the trimmings but I suffer terribly with indigestion and bloating. What do you recommend?

‘Tis the season to be jolly and for many of us, bloated, gassy and constipated.

From heartburn and bloating, to constipation and stomach cramps, the symptoms are varied, but each is a reminder your digestive system is having trouble coping with the amount or type of food it is being asked to process.

Read more: How to burn off your favourite Christmas foods

First things first, keep an eye on what you eat. Swap red and fatty cuts of meat, which can be hard to digest, with lean cuts of white meat or fish. Turkey is perfect! Cheese also wreaks havoc on your digestive system, so bear this in mind when the cheeseboard is doing the rounds. You should also reduce your intake of sugary foods, cakes, biscuits and rich puddings. Christmas pudding is one of the worst offenders, but how about a delicious fresh-fruit salad instead?

Chew your food. It sounds obvious but so few do! Chewing not only breaks your meal down to a manageable size, it also alerts the stomach to the imminent arrival of food, giving it the time to produce the digestive enzymes it needs to digest food properly. For a helping hand with digestive enzymes a prebiotic supplement like Molkosan Fruit taken half an hour before each meal can help.

For bloating and indigestion associated with feelings of fullness and wind there’s Digestisan from A. Vogel. It contains Cynara (Artichoke), Dandelion and Boldo to help stimulate digestive enzymes, and Peppermint to help reduce the symptoms of colic and wind. Dilute 15 to 20 drops three times a day in a little water.

If you are constipated drink plenty of water (not coffee and tea, as they can make things worse), and drink it away from meals so as not to dilute your digestive juices. For a real blast to get things moving again try Linseed or Senna. Start with a low dose and only take for a short time.

For further advice contact Lorraine Dobell and her team at Armstrong’s Health Store, 22 Town Road, Hanley on 01782 215417.

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