Five tips to prevent holiday heartburn and other tummy troubles

The goodies in the break room … the holiday parties … the family feasts … all those rich foods and the excessive snacking might not just lead to weight gain. For many of us, this is the time of year when we also suffer with more bloating, gas and heartburn. Tummy troubles can also keep us up at night. Less sleep may compromise our immune system and make us more susceptible to colds and flu. It’s a vicious cycle!

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to stop participating in holiday festivities. You just need to be smarter about your choices. Here are my five favorite tips:

1. Choose healthier snacks. It’s okay to have a small taste of a favorite seasonal treat, so you won’t feel deprived. But fill up on the foods that have fewer calories and greater nutritional value. For example, choose veggies or whole-grain tortillas and salsa over potato chips and sour cream/cheese dips.

2. Slow down. Eating too fast, or not chewing your food thoroughly, will stress your digestive system and cause a stomach ache. Slow down and savor the flavor.

3. Avoid portion distortion. Choose an appetizer-sized plate, and take smaller servings.

4. Use supplemental support. Take digestive enzymes just before you eat. These can help break down food more effectively. Consider a green tea supplement to aid digestion, improve calorie burning and fight free radical damage. Sunphenon is a standardized and decaffeinated green tea extract that provides 300 mg of the powerful antioxidant EGCg.

5. Pass on the sweet after-dinner drinks. Have a cup of peppermint green tea after a big meal to aid digestion.

Enjoy your holidays, and stay healthy!