Good reflexes to avoid “a liver attack” during the holidays!

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

Foie gras is in the spotlight during the end-of-year celebrations and yet it is not this liver when we talk about “liver crisis”..

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

What does “having a liver attack” mean?

We speak of a “liver crisis” when we have a feeling of heaviness in the liver region. This overflow makes us unbutton our jeans at the end of a meal, and it can be accompanied by other digestive discomforts: such as reflux, burping, abdominal pain, bloating, pasty mouth and gas fatigue, nausea and even vomiting…

We also use the expression “to have a heartache” or to be “smeared”.

It is true that the end-of-year celebrations are a good time to eat a little more than usual, and therefore quickly overload our digestive system. In medical terms we would rather talk about indigestion!

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But why does our stomach hurt when we eat too much?

You know those few bites too many that make you discreetly loosen your trouser belt…because still this Tata Chantal log has a little taste of “come back”.

Know that it takes between five and ten seconds for our mouthful to pass from the mouth to the esophagus via the pharynx. The job of the esophagus: to keep the food flowing in the right direction. The bite then falls into the stomach. In our stomach, the food undergoes a fairly invigorating massage, it is churned for at least two hours, until only tiny crumbs form. When we eat too much, the stomach is completely full and cannot properly mix the food, and therefore cannot sufficiently evacuate it to the small intestine.

Food stagnates in the stomach, unable to be digested, and can cause gastroesophageal reflux or even vomiting.

The so-called “liver crisis” of the French therefore has nothing to do with the liver but rather concerns our stomach and our intestines!

To avoid finding yourself in this situation, here are my tips BEFORE large meals:

  • Eat slowly, savor these quality dishes! We don’t hesitate to put down our fork between each bite. Know that digestion begins in the mouth through chewing. The faster you eat, the less you chew, and that’s even more work you’re giving your digestive system!
  • Plate service, very chic, and what’s more, it will avoid having eyes bigger than your stomach and better manage quantities.
  • Be careful of cocktails sipped through a straw. Indeed, although fun, drinking through a straw increases the risk of aerophagia, that is to say the quantity of air that enters the stomach and esophagus.
  • If you prepare vegetables known to be indigestible (beans, cabbage, legumes, etc.) add a pinch of cumin or fennel, or savory, the dish will be more digestible and above all more delicious! There’s more to life than just salt and pepper!

And some tips to relieve your digestive system and promote digestion AFTER a hearty meal:

  • After the meal take a large glass of water with half a spoonful of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it after the meal*. Another alternative: drink a large glass of water rich in bicarbonate (for example Badoit®) which can help neutralize reflux. The bicarbonate ion has an essential role in protecting the digestive mucosa.
  • Contraindication: bicarbonate is not recommended for people who suffer from hypertension, water retention or heart failure and those who are taking corticosteroids.
  • Why not finish with a herbal tea at the end of the meal? Okay, we’ve seen more glamour, but I insist, you won’t regret it! Leave a thyme herbal tea to infuse for 5 minutes and drink it just after the meal. About 15 grams per cup. Boil water, pour and let it infuse, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes. If you want to spruce up your herbal tea a little, you can add lemon juice and a little honey. Against bloating, it can be combined with rosemary and peppermint, antispasmodic and antibacterial.
  • You’re not too infused, don’t worry, I have what you need. In a bottle of water, slip a few pieces of fresh ginger root with aloe vera flesh or lemon wedges. Studies show that aloe vera gel has been used successfully to help detoxify. the body, promote good digestion and even in specific cases of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, or even irritable bowel syndrome. As for ginger, in 2011, during a laboratory study at the Pharmaceutical Institute of the Free University of Berlin, scientists discovered that certain compounds in ginger adhere to receptors on cells in the small intestine, thereby blocking the action of chemicals induced by the body that cause nausea. Ginger is at the top of the list of grandmother’s best remedies for stomach aches and hangovers!
  • You received a hot water bottle for Christmas, and you are on the verge of selling it again, don’t make this mistake, it can really relieve your digestive discomfort! To facilitate digestion, we place our hot water bottle on our stomach to relieve ourselves. Place the hot water bottle on your stomach after a meal, for 30 minutes, to facilitate digestion and pain.
  • To move ! And yes, I know that we tend to want to watch Netflix on the couch, but a bad idea, the best remedy is to practice gentle to moderate physical activity to facilitate digestion. But be careful, no need to start a Crossfit session, walking will be enough!
  • Do you feel the yogi in you? This is the time to practice certain yoga postures that are known to facilitate digestion, such as the cobra or the camel. It’s a real massage for your digestive organs, gentle movements accompanied by good breathing do good to the body by stimulating blood circulation in the body.

What to eat the following days?

Miso soup is a dish that is particularly good for the intestinal flora. Its fermentation produces different enzymes which make it a digestion accelerator! In addition to this, miso makes the other foods it accompanies more digestible.

If, despite these recommendations, you experience digestive discomfort, do not hesitate to massage your stomach to restart digestion and relieve any spasms.

Nothing could be simpler: use the flat of your hand and massage your stomach with circular movements, clockwise (direction of digestion). Start at the top of the abdomen, under the sternum to stimulate the stomach and finish at the level of the navel to target the large intestine. Carry out this massage for a few minutes with an oil, or even a few drops of ginger essential oil.

If gurgling sounds occur at the end of your massage, that’s a good sign!