Herbfacts

Barbecue Season: How to avoid indigestion

As soon as the sun comes out it’s time to dust down the grill and light up the barbecue.

Editor Jane Garton shares some top tips for staying healthy during barbecue season.

Cooking up a feast on the barbecue is one of the delights of a long hot summer day. It provides the perfect opportunity for relaxing with friends and family over a healthy meal al fresco. But the downside is if you leave food out in the sun for too long, take it off the grill too soon, or even eat too much your digestion and your stomach may start to play up.

If despite your best intentions you start to feel less than well, here are some herbal remedies that could help to bring relief.

TURMERIC

A dose of turmeric can help to put things right. The healing secret is a component called curcumin, which is the main biologically active phytochemical found in the root.  According to ayurvedic traditions, turmeric can soothe the stomach and balance an upset digestion. Just take a small spoonful of turmeric and stir it into a cup of yogurt and eat slowly.

In Japan they have a whole row of turmeric preparations for curing hangovers.  So if your upset stomach could have something to do with overdoing the Pimm’s on a hot sunny afternoon it may be worth reaching for some turmeric.

ARTICHOKE

Eat too much off the grill and up go your chances of indigestion, bloating and heartburn. If you start to feel the effects of over indulging, artichoke extracts can help to relieve the discomfort. They help the digestive process by stimulating the production of bile and breaking down and eliminating of fatty foods and alcohol from the body.

Artichoke extract can be taken daily as a protective measure or you can increase the dose for fast relief from immediate symptoms if you overdo it.

HERBAL TEAS

Sipping a cup of peppermint, ginger or camomile tea can be very soothing for an upset stomach.  Aim to drink around three cups a day until you feel better.

STAY SAFE

  •  Never leave raw meat or fish out in the sun – keep it cool and covered until you are ready to put it on the barbecue
  •  Before you start, brush the grill rack with oil to stop food sticking
  •  Don’t use too much oil on food as it could cause coals to flare up
  •  Use heavy duty, thick foil for making foil parcels
  •  Don’t try to thread too much food on skewers – leave gaps between each piece to ensure thorough cooking
  •  Always check food is cooked through to the middle before eating