The holidays are filled to the brim with family gatherings and indulgent treats. While you might be looking forward to the hustle and bustle, your gut often experiences the worst discomfort this time of year. Increased exposure to carbs, gluten, and sugar, coupled with holiday stress, travel, or lack of sleep, can be rough on your body and especially your digestion. That’s why we’re sharing these quick tips for a happy holiday gut.
Take Daily Probiotics
Probiotic-supplements are a great way to add good bacteria to your body in preparation for holidays and the earlier you start in the season, the better. That’s because probiotics are made of good live bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. But when you get an infection, there’s more bad bacteria, knocking your system out of balance. Good bacteria helps eliminate extra bad bacteria, returning the balance.
For an added bonus, try Norm’s Farms Organic Elderberry Gummies with Probiotics. They’re filled with immune-boosting nutrients like elderberry and zinc, while offering the good probiotics you need for optimal gut health during the holidays.
Drinking at least 60 to 80 ounces of water per day has been shown to be beneficial for the mucosal lining of your intestines; meaning, drinking more water keeps you more regular. Be sure to increase your hydration habits if you’re exercising more to balance your holiday caloric intake or if you’re consuming a lot of diuretics like coffee, tea or alcohol (*ahem* we’re looking at you, New Years Eve).
Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods First
If you can, eat your veggies FIRST so you’re guaranteed to get them in at every meal over the holidays. When there are so many delicious foods on the table, it’s tempting to skip the veggies altogether. But you need the nutrients and fibers in vegetables to optimize your energy levels and feel your best, so resist skipping out!
Walk it Off
You don't have to exercise for 60 minutes a day every day, but if you can incorporate intentional movement, you’ll support healthy digestion. Especially after meals, moving your body keeps the blood flowing and your heart rate elevated – this will bring energy and a sense of wakefulness to your digestive tract.
Get a Full Night’s Rest
Your gut and brain have a special two-way communication system called the gut-brain axis, which influences many of your body’s cognitive and emotional functions. That’s why your gut can affect your mood, sleep, and circadian rhythm. Alternatively, insufficient sleep can contribute to systemic inflammation and can have serious effects on your gut. Yikes! We know you’re on vacation, but try for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to keep things running smoothly.
The Benefits of a Healthy Gut
There are tons of benefits to keeping your gut happy and healthy. Here are just a few of the additional advantages you’ll see when you start to take care of your digestive health over the holidays and year-round.
- A healthy gut promotes good mental health, so you’re more resilient to life’s challenges.
- A healthy gut will give you more energy, giving you the power to take on adversity.
- A healthy gut helps your immune system fight off infections, including bacteria, and yes — even viruses!
- A healthy gut promotes a healthy nervous system, which means you can feel more relaxed in your body, even when the world is in chaos.