Beat overindulgence and an uncomfortable stomach
that time of the year again for office parties, festive gatherings
and Christmas. We over-eat so much that our bodies beg us to stop. We
ignore all the signs till a sharp unforgiving pain in the gut jolts
us to our senses.
At New Year festivities, company dinners and dances we overeat, overdrink, talk and eat, laugh and drink, and shout cheers with cake and champagne in our mouths. We dance with full stomachs, dressed in belly-strangling haute couture. Just a few weeks ago we were stressed out getting presents on time and for the right people; fighting crowds and last-minute shoppers.
this stress, binging, alcohol, gulping in air, wearing tight clothes
and dancing with full stomachs, do no favours to your system. You
feel bloated and nauseated. Apart from the hangover from the over
drinking, you are suffering from a bad case of indigestion.
Too much stomach acid causes stomach pains, bloating, excess wind, belching or heartburn. Indigestion is the general term used to describe these symptoms.
To protect itself from the stomach acid, which is as corrosive as car battery fluid, the stomach produces a mucous that lines its inside. If the amount of acid is too much for the mucous to contain, the stomach lining gets inflamed. This results in the pain and discomfort felt as indigestion.
Heartburn or reflux oesophagitis is a form of indigestion. Excess acid gets forced back from the stomach into the food gullet (oesophagus) which, unlike the stomach, doesn’t have a mucous lining. You feel burning in your chest and you have an acid taste at the back of your throat. The pain can be so bad you might think you’re having a heart attack.
fatty and spicy food such as chocolates, pickles, curries, sauces,
stuffing, mince pies, and puddings and cake, all contribute to acid
build up in the stomach. Add to this alcohol, smoking and stress.
ways of preventing indigestion
and its symptoms can often be prevented or at least minimised by
following a few, standard guidelines.
Never smoke before or while eating.
often causes you to swallow small amounts of air, which form air
pockets in the digestive tract with the added pressure of food.
Smoking also slows the body’s ability to digest food
Eliminate certain gas forming foods such as beans, cabbage, cucumbers
Eat at a table in an upright, sitting position
Go for a small walk after eating, which will help stimulate the
Don’t chew with your mouth open and don’t talk so much during
meals, which cause you to swallow air.
Never exercise or dance following a large meal
Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing
Chew food thoroughly and slowly, allowing for a leisurely meal
Try not to consume alcohol with food. Drink plenty of water instead
Add antacids to your Christmas shopping. Antacids neutralise excess
stomach acid and help relieve indigestion
Eat at least a few hours before going to bed to ensure a silent night
you don’t want to be branded a party pooper there are a number of
ways to relieve indigestion.
find that consuming ginger with a meal helps to reduce suffering and
stomach upset. Fresh ginger can be ground and added to foods or taken
in tea or capsule form. Herbalists recommend consuming 500mg of
ginger with a full glass of water after each meal.
which help to speed the digestive process often eliminate heartburn
altogether. Papaya enzymes are sold in chewable capsule form, and are
taken immediately following a meal with a full glass of water. Enjoy
the fruit itself for dessert.
Consuming more fibre nutrient foods is another natural way to alleviate future suffering. Bulk foods help to absorb excess acid and gas, and allow your body to rid itself of toxins more quickly. For those who respond poorly to high fibre vegetables, fibre pills and beverages are an alternative.
teas containing even trace amounts of peppermint, chamomile, ginger,
rosemary, licorice root or catnip help the stomach lining repair
itself. Often, one cup of herbal infusion following a meal is enough
to keep heartburn and indigestion at bay.
Yoghurt and Papaya
1/2 tbs fresh peppermint leaves, ground
to 8 tbs plain yoghurt
ripe papaya, peeled and cubed
the ground peppermint into the yoghurt. Serve a few papaya cubes and
a dollop of peppermint yoghurt in individual bowls. Serve cold.
and Ginger Soup
Chinese pear, do not peel
cups water, boiling
sugar to taste
pear into halves on the cross section and remove core. Place pears
into a pot and pour in the boiling water. Add the ginger. Place the
pot with the ingredients into a steamer and steam for 20 minutes. Add
sugar. Serve warm.