Help your holiday season flow easier

(BPT) – As people fill their holidays with parties, friends, family and celebrations, a bit of added stress and a tremendous amount of decadent food are also thrown into the mix. For many Americans, this may lead to digestive problems, too.

“One issue surrounding the holidays is that most of the deliciously tempting foods available are fat- and sugar-laden and contain very little fiber,” says Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. “Another issue is that these foods are often served with alcohol, which can leave you feeling dehydrated. Add a lack of exercise during this busy time, and you’ve created the perfect storm for occasional constipation.”

There’s no need to feel alone if you happen to encounter such an experience. Each year, over four million Americans suffer from constipation, leading to 2.5 million visits to a physician’s office. Dudash says that it is not uncommon for people to experience occasional constipation around the holidays. To help prevent an occurrence of constipation, Dudash recommends the following tips:

Drink water. Many holiday celebrations include alcohol, but don’t forget to stay hydrated by also drinking water or unsweetened juices during the festivities. Try to sip at least one glass of water with each meal.

Make simple food swaps. Avoid overindulging in high-fat, sugary foods, which can negatively affect digestion. Instead, make festive yet healthy fiber-filled dishes, such as a seasonal fruit salad of apples, pears, pomegranate and grapes, or roasted vegetables.

Make some time for physical activity. Exercise not only helps relieve stress, but also improves your overall energy. If your holiday travels take you away from the gym, try walking to the nearby mall in the early morning hours before it gets busy, sign-up for a dance class, or check out local hiking and biking trails. Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.

After trying these tips, if on occasion you still experience constipation, Dudash recommends using a laxative such as Senokot Tablets. Senokot contains a natural vegetable laxative ingredient that provides gentle, overnight relief from occasional constipation. Please read full product label before use.

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