5 ways to promote digestive health over the holidays

(NC) Large meals with all the fixings and more sweets and treats than usual – it’s easy to overindulge during the holidays, which may take a toll on your digestive health. As long you’re properly breaking down food, combating inflammation and ensuring healthy bowel movements, you should be able to enjoy the fun without having your gut slow you down.

Here are five ways to promote digestive health this season:

Keep up with your exercise routine. Physical activity increases oxygen and blood circulation within your body, and both play a vital role in keeping your digestive system running efficiently. Exercise also increases HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol), which carries excess buildup in your arteries back to the liver to be removed from the body. Be sure to stay active by enjoying the many outdoor activities accessible during the winter months.

Be prepared with healthy options. Eating a nutrient-rich, whole-foods focused diet will help ensure you’re getting enough fibre, as festive meals and desserts tend to be lower in this indigestible carbohydrate. Fibre is especially important in supporting healthy bowel movements to remove excess waste and toxins from the body. If you’ve been asked to bring an appetizer or side to a soirée, be prepared and make a dish with lots of vegetables or fruits so there will be some healthy options to snack on.

Hydration for the win. Seasonal parties, family get-togethers and festive activities may increase your alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a diuretic, which pulls water from the body causing increased urination that can lead to dehydration. Drinking enough water is a vital component to increasing circulation and, in conjunction with fibre, helps to remove toxins from the body. Consider swapping the alcohol for a healthy mocktail alternative or have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed. 

Support your microbiome. Probiotic supplements increase good bacteria in the gut and can aid in the health and smooth functioning of the digestive tract. Consider also adding foods into your daily routine, which include sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and yogurt.

Visit your local CHFA Member retail store for a wide variety of organic whole foods and supplements to aid your digestive health this holiday season. Always ensure supplements have a Natural Health Product Number (NPN), which is an eight digit number located on the product label. This means that the product has been assessed by Health Canada and is deemed to be safe, effective and of high quality.


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