When you envision winter in Dallas, Texas, it’s often a cozy scene of curling up in plush blankets by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and a plate of buttery cookies. However, the reality can be quite different, as the combination of reduced activity during cold weather and indulging in calorie-rich treats can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort or exacerbate existing digestive conditions. That’s why, at Digestive Health Centers, our gastroenterologists in Dallas, Texas, suggest these foods and tips to improve your digestive system over a well-deserved break this winter!
It’s always best to eat vegetables that are in season, and winter vegetables are great for your digestive system. Root vegetables (carrots, potatoes/sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets, turnips) ripen during colder months, as do winter greens (kale, mustard greens, leeks, chard). The high fiber content in winter vegetables is also a great tool to move along a sluggish digestive system, and it helps to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Avoid Eating Cold & Raw Foods
Cold foods and raw foods are more difficult for your body to break down, which can cause contraction of the digestive system and lead to poor blood circulation. Cooler weather means a slower metabolism
Drink Hot Tea
When it’s cold outside, we’re more likely to enjoy warm drinks. To make your GI system happy, stick to teas instead of hot cocoa or sugary specialty drinks. Hot tea is just as cozy as those calorie bombs, but you won’t have to worry about all of the milk and sugar wreaking havoc on your digestion.
Peppermint and ginger teas are known to aid in digestion, but be careful with peppermint if you have acid reflux. Hot tea is also a good way to drink more water in the winter months, when our fluid consumption is usually reduced. It can be difficult to pass stools when you’re dehydrated.
Ghee is clarified butter with the milk solids removed, and it promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. Since many adults have a hard time digesting dairy products, ghee is a flavorful alternative. It doesn’t spoil as quickly as butter (doesn’t have to be refrigerated) and also has a higher smoke point than butter.
Start using spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cayenne, and cloves. Mix some spices into your meals to add fall flavor and help you digest! This is also a great way to cut down on your salt intake.
It can be difficult to maintain an exercise regimen when the temperature outside plummets, but exercise can help to keep you regular. Sticking to your normal routine as much as possible during the holiday season reduces the likelihood of gastrointestinal upset.
Meet a Dallas Gastroenterologist
If you feel like your digestive system isn’t working as well as it used to, contact our GI specialists at Digestive Health Associates of Texas today. One of our board-certified, fellowship-trained gastroenterologists will be happy to help!
Meet the Digestive Health Centers, conveniently located in North Richland Hills, TX, and Dallas, TX, where our board-certified, fellowship-trained GI doctors, including Dr. Adnan Nadir, Dr. Venessa Beckman, and Dr. Sripathi Kethu, specializes in the treatment of a wide range of digestive conditions.
Our experienced gastroenterologists are here to provide you with comprehensive evaluation and personalized digestive treatment options. Call the Digestive Health Centers Dallas, TX, to schedule a medical appointment at (214) 646-3459.