Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea? The holiday season will do that to you! After a month of parties, cookies and eggnog, your stomach might be fighting back. Here’s five things you can do to get your digestive tract back in working order after the holidays.

Meditation. Home to the second greatest concentration of neurons outside of the brain, the gut is frequently referred to as the second brain. The stress of the holiday season can upset digestion by reducing blood flow to the gut and by affecting motility. To get your gut back in order, try meditation. Even if you don’t have much time, a minute or two of taking slow, deep breaths before mealtime can do wonders!

Eat fermented foods. Restore your gut flora with fermented foods, which are tasty sources of beneficial probiotic bacteria. You can find fermented foods at Earth Fare including kimchi, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso and kombucha. Try kefir in a smoothie, fermented kraut on your lunch salad, and season roasted vegetables at dinner with a pat of miso paste and butter.

Slow down. Slowing down while eating helps with digestion by getting digestive enzymes and stomach acid flowing in the stomach. It also lets digestive enzyme-rich saliva do it’s job of “predigesting” food before you swallow.

Fill up on fiber. Fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and adds bulk to stool making it easier to pass. Fiber is found in plant foods, so be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

Hydrate. Did the lack of anything green over the holidays get you a little backed up? Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to get food moving through the gut, like this digestion tea. Make sure your urine is pale yellow or clear to ensure adequate hydration.

This digestion tea is made with ingredients to help soothe an angry stomach. Ginger is one of the most effective ways to relieve nausea and vomiting, fennel prevents gas and bloating, and mint calms the muscles of the digestive tract and encourages the production of bile, which helps digest fat.

Digestion Tea
Serves 1

– 6 thin slices fresh ginger
– 10 fresh mint leaves
– ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
– 1 black peppercorn, lightly crushed
– 2 thin slices fresh orange
– Honey, optional, to serve

1. Place ginger, mint, fennel, and peppercorn together in a reusable tea bag or tea ball. Place orange slices in a tea mug along with tea bag/ball. Top off with very hot water and let sit 2 minutes to steep. Serve sweetened with honey, if desired.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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About the Author

Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT

Rachael Hartley is a private practice dietitian and food and wellness blogger at The Joy of Eating. She believes loving every bite of food is central to living a happy and healthy life. Through her practice and blog, Rachael inspires clients and readers to rediscover the joy of eating with nourishment, not deprivation, and to nurture a healthy relationship with food. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.