Here are my top tips for maintaining gut health during the holiday season:
- Stay hydrated: It’s important to drink plenty of water, especially if you’re consuming alcohol or eating salty or sugary foods.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables: These foods provide fibre and nutrients that support gut health (and reduce bloating). Try to include a variety of colours in your meals to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients.
- Limit your intake of processed foods: These types of foods can be hard on the digestive system and may lead to discomfort. If you over do it (i.e. your stomach isn’t happy), then reach for fennel, clove or ginger tea or make your own using dried spices.
- Practice stress management: Stress can have a negative impact on gut health. Try to find ways to relax and manage stress during the holiday season, such as by taking deep breaths, meditating, or exercising.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for overall health, including gut health. Take the opportunity to get back into a good rhythm and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Consider taking a probiotic: Probiotics are live microorganisms that may help support gut health by restoring the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. You can find probiotics in supplements or fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.
- Eat slowly and mindfully: Take the time to savor your food and chew it well. This can help improve digestion and reduce the risk of indigestion.