CAT | Digestive Health
We say it every year: We’re not going to overindulge. No second helpings. Just one small slice of pie. And where do we find ourselves? Groaning on the couch after yet another delicious holiday meal, plagued by uncomfortable gas, bloating and indigestion. Thankfully, adding a digestive enzyme supplement to the menu may help ease holiday indigestion without bringing the festivities to an end.‡
Just What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins produced by the body as needed to help break down foods into usable nutrients that can be absorbed from the digestive tract and used throughout the body. Raw foods also contain some digestive enzymes. However, cooking and processing depletes the natural enzymes from our food, which can slow the digestive process. Poor eating habits, age, stress and a diet high in processed foods can result in a reduced ability to properly digest food, which can cause undigested food to remain in the intestines longer. The result is often occasional heartburn, indigestion, gas and bloating, and other issues.
How to Choose an Effective Enzyme Supplement
When choosing an enzyme supplement, look for a multi-enzyme blend made with plant-derived enzymes, which are effective over a broader range of pH levels in the body and may provide more complete support.‡ If you have a sensitive stomach, choose an enzyme supplement with soothing herbal ingredients including ginger root and marshmallow, as well as amino acids for added intestinal lining support.‡
We do our best throughout the year to make smart choices when it comes to what we put on our plates, but the holidays have a way of tempting our senses and testing our willpower. Be sure to give yourself the gift of good digestive health and remember your enzymes!‡
Are you ready for GERD Awareness Week? November 23 – 29, 2014 is dedicated to raising awareness nationwide about gastroesophageal reflux disease, a chronic digestive disorder that causes stomach contents to back up into the esophagus, often resulting in heartburn, indigestion and/or acid reflux.
While occasional heartburn and reflux are not uncommon, GERD refers to the more serious, long-lasting disorder (more than twice a week for two weeks), which affects about 20 percent of Americans. And although anyone can develop GERD, the National Institutes of Health tell us certain groups are more likely to develop the disorder: people who smoke, are overweight or obese, pregnant or taking certain medications.
Occasional Heartburn & Reflux? Simple Tips to Follow
Many people don’t realize that occasional heartburn and reflux may be controlled through a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, which in turn may help prevent the development of GERD. Here are some simple, everyday tips to follow:
- Avoid greasy, fried foods and spicy foods
- Avoid processed foods high in refined sugars
- Avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus
- Avoid alcohol and carbonated beverages
- Avoid chocolate and caffeine
- Consume more dietary fiber
- Do not overeat or eat too quickly; chew your food well
- Try to stop eating 2 to 3 hours before sleep
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Quit smoking
To find out more about how you can get involved in your community, visit the GERD Awareness Week page on the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders website for helpful tips, resources and ideas.