Maintaining a Healthy Gut During Holidays

Maintaining a Healthy Gut During Holidays

If you’re not careful, the holidays can throw off your digestive system and leave you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, or even struggling to maintain regular bowel movements.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. By eating a high-fiber diet, avoiding trigger foods, building in exercise and de-stressing activities, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep, you can maintain your gut health during the holidays.

Eat a High-Fiber Diet

The holidays are a time for indulgences and favorite foods, but too much of these dishes can throw your gut microbiome off balance. From sugary desserts to alcohol, these festive foods can lead to bloating, gas, and digestive discomfort.

Eating a high-fiber diet is one of the best ways to keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy. Fiber helps with digestion and regulates blood sugar levels, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Be sure to choose fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts. These foods also contain resistant starch, a prebiotic fiber that feeds good bacteria in your digestive tract.

Holiday stress is a major factor in the development of gastrointestinal problems, so make sure you carve out some time for self-care. Whether that means a yoga session, a run in the park, or some meditation, it’s crucial to get the rest and relaxation you need. This will help your body feel its best, and you can enjoy the holiday season as usual!

Avoid Trigger Foods

If you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, you probably know that certain foods can make your symptoms worse. These are known as trigger foods and are usually high in fat, sugar or salt.

They can cause bloating, cramping and diarrhea. The good news is that you can learn to identify your trigger foods by tracking your food intake and stomach symptoms. It's advisable to use low profile incontinence underwear just in case of accidents.

Avoiding those that trigger your symptoms is the first step to regaining control over your diet. Once you have identified which foods are causing your issues, eliminate them for up to two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

Once you’ve eliminated your triggers, replace them with healthy alternatives. For example, if you crave potato chips, try a bowl of 94% fat-free microwave popcorn (affiliate link). Or baby carrots offer chewing satisfaction without the excess calories and non-nutritional carbs that come with the other options. This will help you curb your cravings and achieve weight loss success.

Get Moving After Dinner

The holiday season is a time of indulgent food and alcohol, jam-packed social calendars, travel and activities. These factors can take a serious toll on your gut health.

Maintaining a healthy gut is all about a balance of foods and drinks that support the good bacteria in your digestive system and the bad ones that can trigger unpleasant symptoms like bloating, stomach discomfort and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It's also important to make sure you get plenty of movement. By walking after meals, you can help your body release serotonin, which is a feel-good hormone that can ease stress and anxiety.

Don't skimp on water either - especially if you're drinking alcohol, which can dilute your fluid intake and cause dehydration. A hydrated gut will have more energy and be better equipped to fight off food poisoning while you're away. Lastly, take a probiotic to boost your gut microbial diversity. They can be found in supplements or a range of fermented foods, such as live yogurt and kefir.

Stay Hydrated

With the holiday season comes a plethora of foods and beverages that can be problematic for those with digestive issues. The sugar and alcohol in these drinks can throw the balance of your gut microbiome, causing inflammation and gas production.

Luckily, there are ways to keep your gut healthy during the holidays without giving up on all of the festive food and drinks you love. The key is to make sure you’re hydrated and eating a healthy diet full of high-quality, good-for-your-gut ingredients.

Stay Hydrated - Water is essential for a healthy immune system, helps with digestion and can help you avoid catching a cold or flu. Drinking plenty of water will also help you maintain a healthy weight and boost your energy levels.

Choose Water Over Seasonal Drinks - Coffee, eggnog, and other seasonal beverages can be very dehydrating for your body and gut. Instead, swig a glass of water after drinking them and keep a bottle handy to sip on throughout the day.