The Art of Holiday Eating

holiday eating

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where overeating is so accepted as the norm, it’s been elevated to meme-worthy status. But as you prepare to regret nothing while kayaking down rivers of mashed potatoes and gravy, your pancreas would first like a word.

Normally, the pancreas secretes proteases, lipase and amylase to help digest protein, fats and starches. If it doesn’t produce enough, diarrhea, cramping, malabsorption of nutrients and gas/bloating can arise.

The problem with indulging and overeating enjoying large portions of a wide variety of foods and ignoring the signals your satiety hormones are sending is that your digestive system may not be prepared for the sudden influx. Your usual levels of bile, stomach acid, and pancreatic enzymes may be like carrying an umbrella in a hurricane. Additionally, aging, stress, pregnancy, genetics and medications can all impact the secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Some people never produce certain enzymes. For example, people who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme lactase needed to digest dairy products. People following certain diets (high-protein diets, high-fat diets like keto, or raw food diets that require a lot more digestive effort) may also have an increased need for certain digestive enzymes.

Flora is here to rescue you from yourself this holiday season with three digestive enzyme formulas:

Daily Maintenance, Immediate Relief, and Urgent Care

Enzyme Blend, Adult Enzyme Blend and Advanced Adult Enzyme Blend

These formulas have increasing strengths and potencies and contain a wide variety of enzymes to help digest various macronutrients. Pro-tip: enzyme potency is measured using internationally recognized, standardized units. For example, Lipase 1000 FCC LU means there are 1000 Lipase Units and this corresponds to a lab test of the enzyme’s ability to digest fats. Milligram/weight measurements are meaningless by themselves. Don’t buy an enzyme formula that only lists enzymes by weight. Of course, Flora’s use guaranteed potency FCC units—we wouldn’t steer you wrong.

In addition, Flora digestive enzyme formulas are vegetarian and gluten-free, and they work in a wide pH range throughout the digestive tract (mainly the stomach and small intestine).

Protease: helps to digest protein and can function in a wide pH range (3-6)*

Alpha-Galactosidase: helps to digest oligosaccharides/fermentable carbohydrates (vegetables, pulses/legumes/beans, and whole grains) in order to break down and access their nutrients as well as prevent gas, bloating and indigestion*

Lipase: helps to break down and digest fats*

Amylase: helps to digest starches and carbohydrates*

Lactase: digests the milk sugar, lactose, and helps prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance, including gas, bloating and cramping*

Cellulase: digests cellulose fiber in vegetables*

Bromelain: helps to digest protein, derived from pineapple stems*

By using a wide-spectrum, comprehensive formula, you not only avoid gas, bloating, and other digestive uncomfortableness, you also ensure your body absorbs the nutrients you eat.* Holiday feasts are about food, but they’re also about people and gratitude. Some digestive enzymes before or during a heavy meal will help ensure you fully enjoy the experience and have the energy to socialize afterwards rather than feeling heavy, gassy, and lethargic as you excuse yourself into a food coma. Flora’s digestive enzymes will help you truly regret nothing—at least when it comes to food choices.

Robert Dadd is a Master Herbalist (Dominion Herbal College) with a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University. His areas of research include adaptogens, probiotics, and essential fatty acids. He is currently the Product Information Supervisor for Flora Manufacturing and Distributing.

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.