It’s the most wonderful time of year again! Family. Friends. Holiday celebrations. And no shortage of food and alcohol. Exactly how the holidays should be! And while all might be merry and bright on the outside, the rich food and festive beverages might have your insides feeling a little less cheery. So how can you get yourself back on track after a little overindulging? Keep reading for my top five healthy habits to restore gut health.
Did you know that the more you stress about your gut health, the more it suffers? Unfair, right? The truth is that stress wreaks havoc on our bodies. It increases our bodies production of cortisol, increases muscle tension, and can result in a number of health conditions from headaches to high blood pressure. And you guessed it, it can even impact gut health. Stress has been associated with changes in gut bacteria. When the balance of good and bad gut bacteria is out of balance, this can result in gastrointestinal discomfort, digestive issues and inflammation.
Therefore, if you want to improve your gut health, it’s just as important to focus on your mental health as it is to focus on your diet and physical health. How you choose to decompress is up to you! Whether you enjoy going for walks to clear your head, practicing yoga, curling up on the coach with a book, meditating, or spending time with family and friends, it’s important to figure out what helps you de-stress. And then make time for those things! Especially when you feel like your gut might be out sorts. So, if you ever needed an excuse to stay home on a Friday night, watch trashy tv and chill, this is it! This is your sign. Enjoy! There’s a 99% chance I’ll be doing the same. In the name of health, of course!
Interested in learning more about managing stress? Check out my article here.
Double Up on Your Probiotic
Doubling up on your probiotic assumes you already take a probiotic. So, step #1: if you don’t take a probiotic, be sure to add one to your daily routine. Probiotics are packed with billions of good bugs to support a healthy microbiome and are an essential element of a healthy gut. Personally, during periods of eating or drinking more than usual, I double up on my probiotic. I take one pill first thing in the morning and one at night. This was a tip from my gastroenterologist back in the day and it’s something I continue to do, especially around the holidays. Afterall, what’s better than one gut health supplement? Two!
Move your Body
An object at rest stays at rest. And the same can be said for your digestive system. If your digestive system is feeling sluggish, consider de-slugging your lifestyle. Exercise, including gentle activity such as walking, will help jump start your digestive system. When your digestive system isn’t operating correctly, waste and toxins are not properly eliminated from the body. This can result in the build up of toxins within the digestive tract, altering your microbiome, leading to further gut issues.
Choose a form of exercise that your body enjoys. If spin class leaves you feeling overly exhausted or over stimulated, opt for something more relaxing. Whatever it may be, remember it’s a blessing to move your body, and your body will thank you.
Interested in learning more about finding a workout routine you love? Check out my article here.
Support your Intestinal Lining
Leaky gut, a condition in which the intestinal lining becomes permeable and food passes from the digestive system into the blood stream, is just one health condition that can be caused by an unhealthy gut. Unfortunately, leaky gut can lead to a host of other health conditions including food allergies and mood disorders. That’s why it’s important to incorporate steps that specifically support the gastrointestinal tract as part of your overall gut health strategy.
One of the best, and easiest ways, to support the intestinal lining is to incorporate collagen into your diet. After all, your intestinal lining contains collagen. Therefore, by ingesting collagen, it will enter your digestive system and be absorb into the intestinal lining, repairing and fortifying the intestinal walls. My two favorite ways to get more collagen are to sip on bone broth (check out my article on the benefits of bone broth here!) or add collagen powder into my smoothies.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of collagen? Check out my article here.
Eat More Prebiotics
Not only are probiotics essential for a healthy gut, but prebiotics are as well. So, what’s the difference? Prebiotics fuel the good bacteria that already exists in our gut while probiotics introduce additional good bacteria. As they both play a different role in our health, it’s important to make sure you are getting a healthy dose of both in your diet.
Incorporating foods rich in prebiotics can help fuel a healthy microbiome, contributing to a healthy gut. Fortunately, prebiotics are found in some common foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet, such as:
So, when your digestive system is feeling out of sorts, pump up your intake of prebiotic rich foods to fuel the good bugs and get your system back into balance.
Life is short and absolutely deserves to be enjoyed. But when that enjoyment leaves you feeling less than your best, try incorporating the tips above to start feeling better, faster.
Enjoying JUICED? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media (Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok & YouTube), handle @juicedblog.