The great news is that gut issues don't have to be "given" during this wonderful time of the year. Gut problems, such as bloating and constipation, are typically due to routine changes and unhealthy habits — which means they are manageable.
Here are six easy-to-digest tips to reward your gut this holiday season!
1. Eat Gut-Friendly Foods
'Though most of us consider the holiday season the perfect time for treats and indulgences, the fun celebration can quickly become a less joyful experience if you feel uncomfortable and bloated by the end of the day. Holiday foods are typically higher in fats and sugars that slow down the gut due to malabsorption. Eating greens and fiber-rich foods can help gut bacteria make short-chain fatty acids, giving our gut energy and keeping digestion running smoothly.
The key is not to give up on your delicious indulgences but to be mindful of the amount and type of food you're eating. If the hectic holiday schedule only leaves you little time to prepare a nutritious meal, make yourself a delicious green smoothie! Blend all your favorite fruits and vegetables and add a packet of Root'd for extra hydration and digestive support. Yummm!
2. Slow Down and Enjoy your Food
Life can get busy during the holidays, but it's important not to rush through mealtime. Hurrying and gulping your food down in a matter of minutes can lead to indigestion, and that's obviously no fun at all!
Try your best to focus and really take time to enjoy your food. Chewing your food longer allows you to taste and enjoy the flavors and helps break down your food into smaller pieces for better digestion. Eating at a slower pace also helps prevent excess air intake that can lead to frequent belching and bloating.
Mindful eating gives your body more time to realize when it's full so you don't overindulge. You're also more satisfied when you finish your meal, making you less likely to snack in between.
3. Go Easy on Your Booze Intake
We get it — being mindful of our alcohol intake, especially around the festive season, is much easier said than done. All our best intentions are put to the test, as we seem to slightly loosen our strict health regimes to vibe and have fun with friends and family.
Having a toast at a party is inevitable, but consider setting limits to avoid binge drinking. Consuming too much alcohol can mess with your hormones and throw off the healthy balance of bacteria in your stomach.
Alcoholic and sugar-laden beverages such as cocktails are typically high in calories but low in nutritional value, which wreaks havoc on your ability to burn fat and can sabotage your weight loss goals. If you're pregnant or taking medication, even drinking in moderation can still be too much and risky, so healthier options such as mocktails can be your perfect choice!
Mocktails let you enjoy the party season without the guilt or fear of risking your health or your little ones. Need some mocktail inspo? Try some of our roottails (Root'd-enhanced mocktails)! They're refreshingly healthy and delicious. Each serving gives you 3X electrolytes for an extra hydration boost, so be ready for that party glow!
4. Take Time to Step Back and Relax
Holiday preparation is fun but can also become overwhelming and stressful at some point. Stress can mess with your gut health as it creates abdominal tension, which affects digestion — so try your best to find healthy and meaningful ways to deal with it.
Go for a walk, run, read your favorite book, clean your house or work out at home — anything you enjoy doing to keep you calm and sane. Just don't forget to rehydrate to replenish lost fluids, especially if you opt to do activities that would make you sweat a lot.
5. Get Restful Sleep
Getting enough sleep helps keep your digestive system functioning smoothly so that you feel great when you wake up. Not getting enough sleep can disrupt your gut biome and negatively affect your mood. The last thing you'd want is to show up at your holiday party feeling groggy and cranky.
6. Establish a Routine and Be Consistent
Yes, your gut loves consistency! Erin Judge, a nutritionist, and gut health expert, explained that the gut thrives in routine, especially when it comes to exercise, meals and sleep.
Establishing a daily routine is important but doesn't have to be perfect to be beneficial. You don't necessarily have to leave a party early if you're still having fun just to keep your regular bedtime or do a 60-minute workout every day, all in the name of consistency.
Instead, try your best to still get 7-9 hours of sleep (even if it means 12MN to 10 am instead of your usual 9 pm to 6 am) and fit in physical activities (whether it's a 60-minute morning jog or workout at the gym).
Remember that it takes time and consistency to create healthy habits. Your gut also deserves a treat! It’s been working all year round, with no holiday break; in fact it works harder during the holidays to keep your immune system strong.
You got this! Stay healthy, Stay Root’d!