Christmas is a wonderful time to spend time with family and friends, and enjoy lots of delicious food! However, we can often find that our gut doesn’t feel so wonderful during this time. This can be due to in an increase in the amount we eat and drink (alcohol in particular!), as well as a change in what we are eating and drinking.
I am not here to tell you to put down the mince pies or mulled wine however, instead I will share some tips on how to look after your gut during this period…
- Try and stick to your usual mealtimes. Our gut likes routine so changing when we eat drastically, can affect the ability of our gut to break down food.
- When you are feeling peckish it can feel easy to reach for the box of Celebrations but try and snack on something healthy, like nuts, which will help you feel for longer.
- Make sure you are still prioritising sleep. Christmas is a busy time so it can be easy to neglect your sleep however, your gut also has a circadian rhythm so it’s important not to disturb this too much. Feeling tired can also make you more likely to crave high sugar foods for an immediate energy release, which in the long run can be detrimental for our gut health.
- It can be easy to forget to drink water when you’re sipping on your mulled wine, but your gut still needs water. Make sure you always have a bottle of water on hand to stay hydrated throughout the day. Try alternating between an alcoholic drink and water.
- Many of us will experience the effects of overeating on Christmas day (I am talking reflux!) however there are natural ways to manage it. Breathing exercises can help relax your oesophagus and stop it contracting too much. This can also help active your parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for rest and digest. Wearing tight clothing can also put more pressure on the intestines which can lead to acid reflux - so try putting your Christmas pyjamas on after a large meal!
- A change in diet can disrupt your gut microbiome, so making sure you’re still getting plenty of good bacteria can help keep it balanced. You can get friendly bacteria through fermented foods including live yogurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha or friendly bacteria supplements like Probio7. I have been taking Probio7 Balance, a 14 day programme to keep my gut balanced over the festive period, and I’ve really noticed the positive benefits.
If you’d like to learn more about supporting your gut over the festive period, book a free 1:1 consultation with the Probio7 nutrition team and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more nutrition tips, recipe inspiration and lots more!