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Deck the bowels with Probiotics this Christmas
Posted 10 months ago by Katie
You may be well on your way to winding down for the Christmas holidays and looking forward to giving yourself time off to rest and reset but what about your digestive system? With the forthcoming feastings your digestive system certainly wont be getting a break and for many comes the added stress of indigestion and bloating. To keep your gut microbiota joyful this season be sure to keep your levels of good bacteria topped up with a good probiotic which will keep your digestion ticking along nicely and help to reduce the uncomfortable seasonal bloat. You can also adopt some healthy diet and lifestyle habits to support optimum digestion and vitality.
Probiotics and Bloating
Most of us will experience some symptoms of indigestion over the festive period and bloating is a common complaint. Supporting your digestion with probiotics this Christmas can help to lessen the discomfort often felt after indulging by reducing bloating naturally and eliminating waste gases. The human microbiome consists of trillions of organisms living in the body which aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. They also support the production of digestive enzymes which aid in the digestion of food, including all of those foods you are not used to eating on a daily basis but want to treat yourself with over the festive period. We all need more good bacteria as our increasingly busy and toxic lifestyles work against the health of the gut. Stress, poor diets, environmental toxins, and antibiotics, all affect the health of our microbial communities. There is increasing evidence to support the use of a probiotic to help with digestive symptoms. A recent study conducted in 2014 reported the therapeutic benefits of taking a probiotic in reducing bloating and abdominal pain in adults with irritable bowel syndrome. (1)
Fermented foods can be a welcome addition to the diet or for a more therapeutic affect you may like to try Optibac Probiotics One week flat . This probiotic is specifically formulated to help support digestion and alleviate abdominal bloating and has clinical trials conducted on strain specificity with a proven health benefit. It contains a specific strain taken from kefir which helps to digest troublesome foods such as starch and lactose, which can often trigger bloating in those with a food intolerance. So perfect if you want to join in with the cheese board action!
More ways to beat the bloat this Christmas.
> Hydrate. Drink a huge glass of water upon rising to support your liver and flush waste accumulated whilst sleeping. Drinking more water will aid the digestive process and support gut motility and elimination.
> Follow Good eating Habits by remembering to have breakfast in the morning. This will kickstart your digestion for the day ahead.
> Embrace plant based proteins and reduce your intake of animal protein which is much harder to digest and sticks around for a lot longer in your intestines than say beans, nuts, and pulses.
> Minimise wheat and dairy which will clog the intestines and slow bowel transit time. Many people are lactose intolerant or have non coeliac gluten sensitivity which can cause bloating and bowel changes.
> Eat Mindfully and remember to breathe. Digestion begins in the mouth and so it is really important to take the time to chew your food properly as this increases the secretion of digestive enzymes and affects your ability to digest and assimilate nutrients from your food. Before you indulge take a bit deep belly breath, acknowledge the food you about to consume, and don't forget to chew your food thoroughly with all the banter!
> Take a gentle walk after your xmas lunch to ease any indigestion or bloating. It's also a great way of topping up on your vitamin D levels which will support your immune system and mood.
> Consume digestive bitters rich in enzymes before lunch or include some fermented foods rich in gut friendly probiotics with your xmas lunch such as sauerkraut or kimchi. The gut balance revolution is coming in 2018 so why not get a head start now. My favourite bitters is Nature's Answer Bitters with Ginger.
> No raw after 4pm as raw food is alot harder to digest and will just add to the digestive burden. During the dark winter months our bodies need warm, nourishing foods which keep us grounded and balanced.
> Focus on seasonal foods to nourish and support your body during the colder winter months when immunity can become compromised. Eating seasonally is important for your digestion and for the environment. Brussel sprouts, cabbage, root veg, broccoli, leafy greens, cranberries, satsumas, apples, blackberries, elderberries, rose hips.
> Swap coffee for a turmeric latte to support digestion and reduce bloating. Turmeric is an ancient medicinal spice with anti inflammatory properties which can help to reduce gas, bloating, and cramping and support the digestion of proteins, so very helpful if you overindulge in the turkey.
> Maintain a healthy sodium potassium balance after eating all of those salty snacks by adding a banana in to your morning porridge bowl. Sodium retains water in the body which can lead to bloating and so it could be the salty nuts and crisps you ate rather than indigestion that's causing the bloating.
> Eat more garlic. In some cases bloating can be caused by SIBO (Small Itestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). Garlic has antibacterial and anti parasitic properties which can help prevent opportunistic pathogens from increasing in numbers.
Wishing you all a very Merry Bowel and a Happy flat stomach!
You can read about our other Natural remedies for bloating here.
You may be interested in reading more about Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Bloating.
Jafari E et al (2014) ‘Therapeutic effects, tolerability and safety of a multi-strain probiotic in Iranian adults with irritable bowel syndrome and bloating.’ Archives of Iranian Medicine, pp. 466-70
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