Beating the Holiday Bloat With Fruits and Veggies

Bloating, constipation, gas—these are not positive attributes you want to be carrying with you (or passing out of you!) during the holiday party season. Earlier, you learned about holiday spices that can speed up digestion and help ease your tummy woes this festive feasting season. But don’t stop there—there are also fruits and veggies you can add to the mix. Eat them raw or try these recommended recipes for an equally enjoyable (but not any less effective) solution to your holiday feasting stomach woes.

Fennel.
Fennel, with its licorice-like flavor, speeds up digestion by increasing the production of gastric juices. These gassy juices are what help your stomach break down foods, so the more juices, the faster the work. Fennel will also decrease bloating, so add a little to your diet anytime you feel the bloat. In California, wild fennel grows all over the landscape, so grab a few long stalks. The thicker part (the bulb) that looks like celery can be eaten raw in salads in slaws, roasted with meats, and tossed into fresh veggie juices. The thin, feather-like tops (the fronds) can be boiled for an instant tummy tea.
Try: Cranberry Apple Fennel Compote, Penny Pinching Epicure

Apples.
Apples may be common, but they are still powerhouses in the fight for health. Full of insoluble fiber, apples keep you regular by promoting good digestion and preventing constipation. Eaten regularly, they can create stable intestinal health. So eat up and be regular.
Try: Pomegranate Apple Salad, About.com

Asparagus.
Asparagus helps to relieve constipation, so if holiday binging has gotten you backed up, munch on a few spears (or bunches) of these stalky veggies. Don’t go to heavy on the cream sauce, though—a bit of olive oil and lemon will dress these up perfectly.
Try: Roasted Asparagus, Food Network

Red beets.
Beets—yet another cure for the holiday back up. Their vibrant red color is reflective of their high concentration of antioxidants which, in this case, have been documented to fight off colon and stomach cancers. Eat beets to feel better today, and eat them to feel good for days to come.
Try: Citrus Beet Salad, Everyday with Rachel Ray

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