Rich foods, late nights, family anxieties—ah, the holidays. Though the parties and travel can be fun, let’s face it, this season can be rough on your belly. Here are some strategies to keep your gut happy so you can feel great and have plenty of energy to enjoy it all.
- Eat friendly foods. Indulging at a party is fine, but when you’re not at an event, stick to healthy foods you know. The more predictability you can give your system during this busy time, the more likely you are to digest well and get the most nutrients from meals and snacks. Batch cook good-for-you foods like roasted vegetables and DIY dressings on weekends (and fill in with convenience foods strategically) so you can grab and go.
- Feed your gut with probiotics. You know by now that a healthy gut, with plenty of diverse friendly bacteria, is essential to good health. Feeding it daily with probiotic foods and drinks is important, of course, and a supplement offers added insurance that you’re getting what you need. BIOHM, created by renowned gut health expert Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, is unique in that it contains not only robust good bacteria, but also good fungi and a powerful digestive enzyme, so your gut is optimized with more of what you need and protected against the stuff that can weigh you down.
- Get plenty of fiber. The benefits of fiber are many—more balanced blood sugar, heart health, staying full longer—and during the holidays, getting enough is even more important. Since fiber can keep your digestion regular, you’ll be more comfortable and have more energy so you can sail through shopping trips and parties like a champ. Be sure to take in plenty of both soluble fiber (found in oats, carrots, apples, beans and more) and insoluble fiber (think vegetables and nuts) in meals and snacks all day.
- Stay hydrated. It’s always important to stay hydrated, but getting adequate H2O during the holidays is even more crucial, since you may be eating richer foods than usual and drinking more alcohol. Drinking plenty of water helps your digestive system run smoothly; plus, as a bonus, it can also stave off hangovers and boost energy.
- Sleep. Getting enough quality sleep is key to good health, and it’s directly connected to your gut. Gut health directly affects brain health, and the brain regulates sleep, so having a healthy gut is an important factor in how your nights go. And the same is true in reverse; that is, poor sleep can hurt gut health, since it can adversely affect the number and diversity of gut bacteria.