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Nutrition

Natural ways to ease festive indigestion

Peppermint tea is a handy and natural remedy for indigestion

Over the past few days you may have been one of many that have overdone it with the food and drink. Christmas and New Year tend to be a time when people enjoy some less healthy foods and over indulge in some tasty but naughty items.

As good as these indulgent foods and drinks might be at the time, they can cause a number of problems for your digestive system. Irregular eating times, rich foods and binding party clothes can all lead to indigestion and heartburn, which can affect you for a number of days at a time.

Indigestion can be incredibly uncomfortable and can lead to stomach pains, heartburn, nausea, lower chest pain and flatulence. All of these symptoms can disrupt your daily life and flare up if you happen to eat something else that doesn't agree with you. 

While over-the-counter remedies, such as antacids, can help relieve symptoms temporarily, your indigestion can flare up again shortly after taking them, especially if you continue to overindulge. 

However, there are some natural remedies, in the form of everyday herbs, that can help to dissipate the symptoms that are commonly connected with indigestion and to help reduce their reappearance in the future. While this doesn't give you an excuse to continue eating unhealthy and rich foods, it can help relieve the discomfort associated with indigestion, bloating and heartburn. 

Lemon balm

Lemon balm, also known as Melissa, comes from the mint family and has been used for centuries to ease the symptoms of indigestion as well as reduce stress and anxiety. 

You can take lemon balm daily or just as needed and it is available in capsules or dried for brewing as a refreshing tea. A tea is the easiest way to take it and can be a great beverage for after meals to ensure you aren't left with uncomfortable symptoms.

Fennel     

Fennel seed mix is often served after dinner in Indian restaurants because it is particularly good at aiding digestion. It can help to reduce spasms in the intestines, reduce cramps and flatulence and ease indigestion. 

Just as with lemon balm, fennel has a long history and has been used for years against gas and indigestion. You can either eat fennel seeds after a meal or when symptoms start or brew a few leaves in hot water for a beneficial tea. It has a slight liquorice-like flavour, which can be eased with a spoonful of honey.

Ginger

Ginger regularly pops up in old forms of medicine, especially within Indian and Asian remedies. It has been used for over 2,000 years as a cure for indigestion and sickness - including nausea associated with travel.

Ginger helps to calm the stomach and reduce symptoms such as sickness and bloating, which can then lead to a reduction in any abdominal pain associate with indigestion. It can be eaten as a powder, raw, or again as a tea, which is quite reviving.

Peppermint

Peppermint is incredibly easy to get your hands on. It can be found in sweet mints as a raw herb and in prepared teas in most supermarkets. Making it an ideal choice for easing indigestion.

It works by relaxing your stomach and intestines, which can reduce cramps, gas and nausea. It also has an antimicrobial action, meaning it kills microorganisms that can upset your stomach.

You can eat or drink peppermint throughout the day if you tend to suffer from regular indigestion, or finish off a meal with a mug of peppermint tea. If you don't like using ready prepared teabags, you're able to brew a tea from fresh or dried leaves.

 
 
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