Suffering from lactose intolerance isn’t a life-threatening situation. But it sure makes you feel bad for not being able to enjoy common dairy products like milk and ice cream. Some of the symptoms amongst lactose-intolerant people are bloating, cramps and nausea. But there are ways to deal with lactose intolerance. Here are 9 tips below!
1) Consume Yogurt
No doubt that yogurt is a milk-based product. But the live, active culture helps to break down the lactose content and prevent stomach cramps or any kind of discomfort. Also look out for yogurt with probiotics. Just keep in mind that frozen yogurt or fro-yo is not the same as full-fat or low-fat varieties. After all, they are high in sugar and lacks the healthy bacteria found in regular yogurt due to the freezing process.
2) Look For Milk Substitutes
The good ol’ cow’s milk not doing you a favour? Replace it with other types of milk like goat’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk and rice milk.
3) Get A Lactose-Free Milk
Insist on getting some dairy fix even if you suffer from lactose intolerance? Try lactose-free milk for a change. It may not be as widely available as regular milk in Malaysia but you still can find them through online or upscale supermarkets like Ben’s Independent Grocer, Cold Storage and Jaya Grocer. Keep in mind that lactose-free milk tends to taste sweeter than the regular varieties. This is largely due to the lactose a.k.a. milk sugar content, which has been disintegrated into two forms of sugar known as glucose and galactose.
4) Take Relevant Supplements
Over-the-counter supplements found in major pharmacies may help you digest dairy products like milk. Look for ingredients that contain the likes of lactase enzyme, probiotics and lipase. If you are unsure, ask the pharmacist or make an appointment with your doctor beforehand.
5) Pair Your Milk With Other Foods
Lactose-intolerant people tend to experience stomach pain whenever they drink a glass of milk alone. Try having it with food like milk with oat cookies or milk over cereal with chopped fruits. Doing so may lessen the impact of the gastrointestinal discomfort.
6) Moderation Is Key
Just because you are lactose intolerant, it doesn’t mean you need to avoid drinking milk or consuming dairy products completely. Eat and drink them only in moderation and see how it goes. After all, you still need milk for your calcium needs, which helps to promote bone health and may prevent osteoporosis as you grow older.
7) Keep A Journal
Not every lactose intolerant person is the same. Some individuals can tolerate certain dairy products, while others may not. Your best solution is to keep a journal by writing down a list of dairy products that cause you stomach discomfort or otherwise. Make a habit of doing this on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter whether you write them physically on a notepad or type them on your smartphone.
8) Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea needs no introduction. It is one of the widely-consumed herbal teas known for its calming and therapeutic properties. If you have lactose intolerance, having some hot chamomile tea may help reduce the stomach discomfort. It also helps to relieve bloating and promotes digestive health. You can add a spoon of honey to sweeten the tea if you can’t stand its distinctive herbal taste.
9) Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains many health benefits and one of them happens to aid those with lactose intolerance. It works by neutralising the stomach acid and lessens the chance of developing symptoms commonly associated with stomach discomfort. All you need to do is mix a spoon of apple cider vinegar (preferably raw and unfiltered) in a glass of water and drink it every day.