Christmas is coming and many people are already considering what they would eat. Most times their minds are on the Christmas meals.
Really, the aroma of food on ‘Christmas Day’ morning finds its way to our nostril. They make us salivate and desire the meals.
Sadly, our stomach is not that big to take more food like we would have loved to.
However, while it is great to celebrate and munch different things, following that line also comes with a burden.
Last year, at Christmas, Peal had a terrible experience. She could still remember how purge messed-up her outing.
While away from home, a combination of different kinds of Christmas meals caused a royal rumble in her stomach.
She was in Ikeja when it started and she had to end her outing that should have culminated in seeing a movie.
You Are What You Digest
This year, someone else may also fall victim of this rumbling stomach. But a conscious effort to know what goes into the stomach and why it has to go there may save the day.
Also, so much of what most persons will eat this period will be carbohydrate-rich.
As a result, gaining few kilogram in the next few weeks is very simple.
However, adding few foods that aid digestion to your diet this festive period is not a bad idea. Proper digestion of meals results in proper absorption of nutrients from them.
“You are what you digest,” nutritionists say.
The focus at this time should remain feeding the body what it needs, despite the urge to indulge a little.
Basically, fruits and vegetables are available on our shelves that aid digestion. They should be part of your shopping list.
Here are some of them and why you should add them.
1. Papaya (Pawpaw)
The tropical fruit, papaya, contains a digestive enzyme called papain. It should be one of the fruits you should add to your shopping list this Christmas.
This enzyme assists during the digestive process by helping to break down protein fibers.
A 2013 study indicated that Papain can aid the digestion of protein and also ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome – constipation and bloating.
Pawpaw is used as the main enzyme in digestive supplements due to its gastrointestinal capacities which were also highlighted in the study.
This is another fruit to add to your diet this period. Apples are a rich source of pectin.
Pectin is a soluble fiber that bypasses digestion in your small intestine and then broken down by the friendly bacteria in your colon.
A 2013 study says it increases stool volume and is therefore commonly used to resolve constipation and diarrhea.
3. Add Whole Grains To Christmas Meals
Adding whole grains to your Christmas meal is a good idea.
For a food to pass as a whole grain, it must contain 100% of the kernel including the bran, germ and endosperm.
Popular fibre-packed whole grains include oats, quinoa, red rice, sorghum, fonio, and products made from whole wheat (except for people who have gluten intolerance).
The fibre found in these grains can help improve digestion.
Fibre can reduce constipation and add bulk to your stool. Grains that are rich in fibre also act like prebiotics by feeding healthy bacteria in your gut.
Beetroot, also referred to as beets, is a good source of fibre too.
Interestingly, fibre also by-passes digestion and heads to your colon. In your colon, it feeds your healthy gut bacteria and this improves digestion.
You can add beetroot in your salad, rice, fruit salad or even make a smoothie with it.
This can replace your sweetened drinks.
Ginger has been in traditional use for years. For instance, in Eastern medicine, it has been used to improve digestion and prevent nausea.
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The yellowish root is said to increase gastric emptying, moving food from your stomach to your small intestine quicker.
As a result of this function, Ginger reduces your risk of heartburn, nausea and stomach discomfort.
6. Dark Green Vegetables
Vegetables in this category are great sources of insoluble fiber.
Basically, this type of fiber also adds bulk to your stool by quickening the pace at which foods go through your digestive tract.
Also, green vegetables are a rich source of magnesium that helps in relieving constipation. This they do by improving muscle contractions in your gastrointestinal tract.
Some of the vegetables in this category are spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and other leafy greens. Some are also classified as Cruciferous.
According to researches, there is an unusual sugar found in green leafy vegetables that feeds good bacteria in your gut.
The sugar is believed to aid digestion and also impairs some of the bad bacteria that could cause illnesses.
Kindly share this article with your friends and loved ones.