It is that time of year again when we feel we have the guilt free go ahead to let our hair down, not thinking twice about drinking at lunch time and eating chocolate for breakfast, and gym…well see you in the new year. I say, why not! Go and have fun, party, drink and have a good old merry time.
But…..beware of two things, especially if you have worked hard to get your gut in a healthy state. You don’t want to undo it all.
1. Alcohol irritates the gut lining destroying the mucous membranes, whose job it is to protect us from nasty substances. Harmful particles such as undigested food, toxins and bacteria pass into our bloodstream, (this is known as ‘leaky gut’) resulting in systemic inflammation as well as an inflamed gut lining. Gastritis is a common condition which can result from drinking too much alcohol.
2. Sugar and processed foods damage our gut flora. Bad or potentially pathogenic bacteria that reside in our gut feed off sugar and processed food and can cause IBS like symptoms such as constipation and diarrhoea. It is common for people to experience ‘alcohol runs’ after a heavy night out and this is the reason why. We want to promote the growth of friendly bacteria instead of feeding the bad guys.
I am not here to be a complete party pooper and take all your fun away, instead I am going to suggest recommednations to keep your gut as healthy as possible this Christmas:
– Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). As you are most likely going to be eating more than usual, I suggest giving your digestive system a helping hand. ACV provides your gut with a head start when it comes to digesting your food. It is also helpful at reducing acid reflux, common from over-indulging and increased alcohol intake.
– Eat fermented foods or take a probiotic. This will help to keep your microbiome in check. Shop bought fermented foods and drinks cannot always be trusted though so if you haven’t made your own I recommend a supplement.
– Eat lots of fruits and vegetables as this is food for your good bacteria and they will thank you for it.
– Supplement collagen powder to repair any damage caused to your gut lining from increased alcohol intake. This is also great for your skin too keeping wrinkles at bay.
– Make bone broth as this contains lots of natural collagen great for repairing your gut lining and reducing inflammation. Add it to stews or soups or just drink a cup daily.
The aim of the blog post is to make you mindful of the implications that the festive season can have on your gut, without being a humbug and ruining your fun. So, take on a few of my recommendations (if not all) to keep your gut in the healthiest place it can be. It will thank you in the new year and you won’t be starting from scratch again.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further information such as supplement recommendations.