Thanksgiving is here, which means plates full of turkey and dressing as well as endless supplies of desserts. And turkey sandwiches for days! Every year, we pile our plates high with reckless abandon, pushing aside memories of the bloating, gas, cramping, and often, constipation following a second piece of your grandmother’s pecan pie. Before you let loose and suffer the consequences, here are four foods to eat sparingly so that you keep your bowels up and running during holiday munchathon.
Anything processed, including frozen foods and canned foods, contains high amounts of salt and other additives that all hinder your body from digesting properly. The additional salt can also lead to dehydration, and dehydration means less moisture. Try eating fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much as possible.
Sure, yogurts contain healthy bacteria, which do help regulate the digestive system. However, dairy such as milk, cheese and ice cream contains no fiber, so it leads to hardened stools. Drink plenty of water and fibrous foods if you do plan on eating a good amount of dairy.
White bread and sugary treats have high calories and little nutrition; including little fiber. Since fiber is essential in softening stools, the lack of it could make things a bit… well, hard.
Protein is important. One of the great things about consuming protein is that it takes your body longer to break down, keeping you feeling full longer. The problem with getting all of your protein from meat is that it’s generally a challenge for your body to digest meat. On top of tough digestion, a lack of water and little fiber can make your stools even harder when digesting meat.
This holiday season, enjoy the food, but be mindful of how much of these foods you’re eating. Quickly upping your intake of any one type of these foods can throw your digestive system off from its normal cycle. That post-turkey nap would be a lot sweeter without the cramping and pain from your bowels being in a holding pattern.