It's the turkey ... and mashed potatoes ... and pie - all the good food at your holiday meal. But too much of a good thing puts stress on your digestive system.
Kristen Woodruff is a clinical dietitian with Freeman Health System. She said, "So it becomes stretched, opens and this allows the stomach contents to reflux back up into the esophagus."
And that causes heartburn. Even the individual food choices impact the potential pain. Added Woodruff, "We tend to flip the food pyramid upside down and we have a lot of high fat and high sugar meals and a lot of low fiber meals."
All bad for your system. Woodruff says it's okay to go overboard, but to stick with your favorites. "Accept the fact you're probably going to overindulge in a few foods but don't waste those extra calories on food you can eat any time of the year."
And plan ahead. When you know you're in for a big dinner, cut back earlier in the day. Woodruff said, "What you want to do is choose small meals, go for lots of fiber, lots of fruit and vegetables. Watch your portions during the day."
And that includes drinking alcohol - which can pump up the amount of stomach acid. It's also a good idea to skip napping on the couch - Woodruff says you'll feel better if you take a walk after that big meal. With Freeman Medical Focus, I'm Gretchen Bolander.