It’s only human to enjoy the extra feasting of the holidays. While I strive for 80/20 balance when it comes to the foods I eat year-round, the holidays are definitely a time when the scales occasionally tip a little more toward that 20%.
That’s why I like to incorporate more foods, herbs, and homemade remedies this time of year to support my digestion.
Poor digestion can be downright uncomfortable and even embarrassing: bloating, acid reflux, burping, gas, and irregular stools to name a few. It can already be stressful enough being around family without the added layer of digestive distress. Poor digestion can also severely impact our hormones.
This Apple Cider Vinegar Digestive pulls together some seasonal favorites – cranberries, citrus, and fennel – to make a tangy and refreshing drink that supports digestion. It’s a holiday staple that I love to serve in place of “cocktail hour” before or after dinner.
Cranberry – Some consider cranberries as a superfood. (Fun fact: they are actually a fruit, not a berry.)
They’re just bursting with antioxidants and nutrients. If your experience with cranberries only covers canned cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving or taking a cranberry juice or supplement when you have a UTI, this is definitely a fruit you want to add to your diet more often.
One study shows that regular consumption of a cranberry beverage helps regulate blood sugar, “good” cholesterol, and inflammatory response. (1) Cranberries are also drawing attention to their potential effects for cancer and vascular disease prevention and their ability to support digestion by inhibiting the colonization of H. pylori. (2) (3)
As you can see, calling this North American fruit a “superfood” isn’t a stretch.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been used for centuries to promote health. Studies show ACV can help maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels, along with a healthy weight. (4) (5) (6) If you have low stomach acid, the natural acidity of ACV can help raise stomach acid levels to assist with digestion.
Fresh ginger – I’m sure many of you (if not all) have turned to ginger in times of stomach upset or nausea. Ginger has been used for thousands of years to help ease indigestion and many studies have reviewed its gastroprotective effects. (7) I wrote a very in-depth article on ginger if you want to learn more.
- Sparkling water gives this drink an effervescent fizz that feels especially festive and is a great option for a “mocktail” if you’re participating in Dry January, or abstaining from alcohol at any time of year. Try mixing with warm water for a more soothing experience.
- If you’re short on time, this drink will infuse in just 24 hours. But we encourage you to wait the full week for a more robust flavor and to increase the potency of the infused ingredients.
- Try blending the strained ingredients until they are in small chunks for a chutney to add to your holiday table.
- Pair with our Healthy Fennel and Orange Digestive Cookies and you won’t even feel like you missed out on dessert.
- Searching for more digestive support? Check out our new Gut Health Trio.
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 orange, peel and pith removed/sliced
- 4 crushed cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons peeled/grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ of a large fennel bulb, sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
- 18 oz. apple cider vinegar with “The Mother”
- Raw honey to taste
- Add cranberries to a quart-sized jar and lightly muddle to crush. Add remaining ingredients (except honey) and pour in apple cider vinegar to cover ingredients. Secure lid and store in a dry location away from direct sunlight for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week.
- Strain infused apple cider vinegar into a clean jar and stir in honey
- To serve: Pour a 1-ounce amount of apple cider digestive over ice and dilute with water or top with sparkling water.
Find more hormone-balancing recipes in Overcoming Estrogen Dominance
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.
More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements, and natural protocols to rebalance hormones. You’ll also find easy, hormone-balancing recipes that are free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, and nightshades. These recipes are highly anti-inflammatory, low in sugar, and made with powerful medicinal ingredients to help heal your body naturally.
To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.
- Chew, Boon et al. “Chronic consumption of a low calorie, high polyphenol cranberry beverage attenuates inflammation and improves glucoregulation and HDL cholesterol in healthy overweight humans: a randomized controlled trial.” European journal of nutrition vol. 58,3 (2019)
- Mantzorou, Maria et al. “Cranberry: A Promising Natural Source of Potential Nutraceuticals with Anticancer Activity.” Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry vol. 19,14 (2019)
- Li, Zhe-Xuan et al. “Suppression of Helicobacter pylori infection by daily cranberry intake: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology vol. 36,4 (2021)
- White, Andrea M. et al. “Vinegar Ingestion at Bedtime Moderates Waking Glucose Concentrations in Adults With Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes” American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care (2007)
- Shishehbor, F et al. “Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats.” Pakistan journal of biological sciences : PJBS vol. 11,23 (2008)
- Kondo, Tomoo et al. “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass, and serum triglyceride levels in obese Japanese subjects.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry vol. 73,8 (2009)
- Nikkhah Bodagh, Mehrnaz et al. “Ginger in gastrointestinal disorders: A systematic review of clinical trials.” Food science & nutrition vol. 7,1 96-108. (2018)