The holidays are tough on the gut. Stress can slow the digestive system, and having too much on the to-do list can aggravate it. Plus, if you're traveling, let's not forget to mention airplane germs! And overindulging in too much richer-than-usual food and drink doesn't help. We asked gut health guru Tina Anderson, CEO of Just Thrive Probiotic for her top tips on how to stay healthy and balanced over the holidays.
“The gut is the foundation of your health. When digestion is optimized it’s likely that your whole body feels and works better,” says gut health guru Tina Anderson, CEO of Just Thrive Probiotic. “Healthy digestion provides a solid foundation for full-body health—from improved psychology to better brain power to metabolic well-being and efficiency.” Here are Anderson's seven well-considered tips for better gut health during the holidays. Please share!
Pack healthy snacks
When traveling to visit family and friends, be sure to pack nutritious, on-the-go snack foods like nuts, veggies, and whole fruit. Healthy snacks keep you from reaching for sugary treats.
Be sure to DRINK ENOUGH WATER! Water helps keep your digestive system well-lubricated and moving, helping you to avoid constipation from dehydration and stress. Add a lemon wedge for extra flavor.
Slow down and don’t overdo it
Overeating or drinking too much alcohol can create stomach distress, causing your gut to become overwrought. Don’t hurry when you eat! Gulping can cause gas, indigestion and bloating.
Bring a favorite healthy dish to the party
Most holiday parties are centered around food. If you have food sensitivities, bring a dish that you love and can eat to the party. Steer clear of your “temptation foods that you know will upset digestion. Instead, fill up at the veggie tray – your body and your gut will thank you!
Schedule in some “me” time
Big family gatherings can be challenging! So, hit the gym, get a massage, or take a walk. Try to incorporate deep breathing techniques for mental and emotional balance into your “me time” to alleviate the negative effects that stress has on the digestive system, including acid reflux, gas and stomach cramps.
Get enough good sleep
SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL! Lack of sleep leads to lack of focus and decreased functionality. And…it’s hard on the digestive system. When you sleep, your body has a chance to detox, rebalance and restore. Try to get eight hours a night and see how much better you feel.
Last, but not least: Take a daily probiotic
Probiotics help to recondition your gut, removing the impurities (bad bacteria) so the good gut bacteria can flourish. Look for spore-forming, bacillus strains of probiotics that survive stomach acids and make it all the way to the intestines where they can do their good work. New research shows that specific bacillus strains can reverse leaky gut in as little as thirty days!