How to Keep Your Gut Health on Track Through the Holidays

There’s a reason the holidays are widely regarded as “the most wonderful time of the year.” The glistening decorations, the cheerful music, and the delicious food—oh, the food! With season's greetings come lots of eating which can leave your digestive system more twisted than a candy cane.

How to Keep Your Gut Health on Track Through the Holidays
[image: pexels by daria shevtsova]

You don’t need to swear off all your favorite holiday delectables. Here’s a quick guide to supporting your gut health while still partaking in all that is merry and bright.

What Is Gut Health?

The gut refers to your digestive tract or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It encompasses all the parts of the body that are responsible for food intake. While the GI system primarily functions to take in and process nutrients, it’s also been found to impact other aspects of the body, such as the nervous and immune systems. A healthy gut is vital to overall well-being.

The key to maintaining gut health is microbiome diversity. The gut microbiome contains trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes. The bacteria can be good or bad, but it all needs to be there in some capacity to balance each other out. When the scale tips in the direction of bad bacteria, that’s when health issues arise.

Specific types of bacteria are linked to the development of certain conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Some signs that your microbiome is off-balance are:




Stomach pain




If you experience these symptoms during holiday festivities, it’s time to detoxify and take additional steps to improve your gut health.

Tips for Keeping a Strong Gut During the Holidays

1. Hydrate

Water keeps your digestive system moving. It’s recommended that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water, increasing the amount if you’re consuming drinks like coffee or alcohol.

2. Eat Mindfully

Put smaller portions on your plate and take the time to savor your food. Eating more slowly aids digestion.

Choose wisely. Holiday parties are an endless soiree of fancy cocktails and tasty treats. Have one or the other instead of indulging in both.

Diversify your plate, incorporating fiber-rich vegetables, clean protein, and healthy fats.

Avoid or limit foods you know to cause discomfort. If you do have something that doesn’t agree with you, look for the best cleanse for bloating and gas.

3. Get Moving

No turkey coma for you. Go for a post-meal walk to stave off reflux.

4. Manage Stress

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, but all that dashing through the snow can be harmful to your gut. Give yourself time to breathe, relax, and sleep.

5. Monitor Booze Intake

You know what happened to Grandma when she drank too much eggnog. Alcohol is often just empty calories. You can still enjoy a few libations and if you do go overboard, stock up on a hangover quick fix.

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year

Don’t wait until the new year to commit to good health. If you haven’t already, start during the holidays. You’ll be well on your way to forming the habits that will help keep your gut, and your whole body, healthy all year long.

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