The holidays aren’t known for their healthy food options. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. But instead of skipping out on your favorite meals this year, simply add these healthy holiday food items into your diet. Balancing heavy holiday meals with these foods will help regulate your digestion and will prevent stomach pain.
8 Healthy Holiday Food Options to Try This Season
1. Whole Grains
Fiber is a staple in any healthy diet, and whole grains lead the pack with high levels of fiber. In order to maintain a healthy diet, you should aim for around 20 to 30 grams per day. The best part of whole grains during the holidays is that they will help you feel fuller faster, which will help you avoid overeating.
Holiday feasts are great until you realize you’ve eaten too much. As soon as you feel a stomach ache coming on, try eating or drinking ginger to soothe it. A simple recipe is to slice ginger and add hot water for tea or into a soup to warm and soothe.
3. Lean Meat and Fish
Red meats have higher fat contents than their lighter meat counterparts, which can aggravate your stomach if you eat too much of it. Red meat sits in your stomach longer than lean meats, causing bloating, cramping and gas. This can be avoided by eating red meat in moderation and with plenty of greens on the side!
Yogurt is jam-packed with healthy probiotics that help keep your digestive tract running smoothly. Foods with a high probiotic count, like yogurt, will help balance your body’s “good” and “bad” bacteria. Start your morning with yogurt and fruit to aid in digestion of those large holiday meals.
Did your holiday meal give you indigestion? Try peppermint tea or candies! The chemical compounds in peppermint activate pain-relieving channels in your colon, relieving pressure caused by gas. If you’re prone to heartburn, however, peppermint can worsen symptoms.
Celery is a magical vegetable that’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help keep your body strong. Because of its high water content, it can also help keep you hydrated. What’s truly wonderful about celery is that it contains an odorless compound (NBP) that aids in digestion and reduces bloating.
7. Miso Soup
Soup is a wintertime favorite, but that’s not only what makes miso so wonderful. This ancient Chinese recipe is filled with nutrients that supports healthy digestion. It’s also nourishing to the kidneys!
This bright, tropical fruit is known for its high concentration of fiber, but it also contains a special digestive enzyme that helps alleviate diarrhea. Pineapple also helps keep cholesterol levels steady.
Harmonizing Your Digestion
Is all of that holiday food making your stomach hurt? Make a congee! Congee a simple rice soup/porridge that is easily digested. It’s great when you’re healing from a sickness or when you want to calm and nourish your digestive tract.
Simple Congee Recipe:
1 cup white rice to 5-6 cups water, slow cook for several hours until you reach a porridge consistency.
Enjoy for breakfast (like they do in China)!
Things to Add to Your Congee:
- Carrot—to eliminate flatulence and aid in digestion
- Ginger—to warm the digestive tract
- Yogurt and honey—to nourish the heart and lungs
- Fennel—to harmonize the stomach and reduce gas
This season, add these healthy holiday food options to your diet to help keep your body happy and functioning properly!