It’s the holiday season! But let’s be honest, many of us struggle with digestion during this festive time of year. There are numerous culprits for digestive disruption and dysfunction. Changes in routine due to time off, changes in exercise habits, increased consumption of festive foods (usually sugar, dairy and alcohol); all of which can change your body’s digestive rhythm. Fortunately, there are many habits and supplements that can soothe and support GI distress! Things like herbal teas, enzymes, hydration and more. Today we will take a closer look at simple ways to support your digestion during the holidays — and basically all year too.
Digestion Support For The Holidays:
- Stay Hydrated. Many of our bodily functions are dependent on our hydration status, including digestion. Making sure you are hitting your daily hydration goals is essential. Try to consume at least 8-10 cups of room temperature water.
- Move Your Body. Many people’s exercise routines slow down during the winter. especially during the weeks where our days are shortest. Aim to engage in gentle indoor exercise or even just stretching for at least 10 minutes per day. Take a look at this short yoga flow for digestion support!
- Try herbal teas. Herbal tea consumption might be the easiest way to supplement with digestive herbals. Drinking teas with herbs like chamomile, fennel, ginger, licorice, caraway, lemon, or peppermint can help with bloating, gas, nausea, indigestion or constipation.
- Use Digestive Bitters. Digestive Bitters are another easy to use herbal preparation! Digestive bitters are typically taken by spraying into your mouth. The bitter notes of the herbs stimulates a release of salivary and peptic enzymes. Try these bitters from our Mustard Seed Label or from Herb Pharm.
- Take Digestive Enzymes. Give your GI tract a boost of enzymes by using a high quality digestive enzyme. Enzymedica is a staff favorite!
- Drink warm water with lemon. Lemon has cleansing properties and can help move things along in the digestive tract. Just make sure you swish with plain water after to rinse your teeth!
- Breath work. How does breathing affect digestion? If you are stressed and in a chronic state of activated sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), your body doesn’t prioritize digestion. Taking deep slow breaths can help bring your body back into it’s parasympathetic state (rest & digest).
here is nothing wrong with indulging in all of the holiday treats and festivities, but implementing just one or two of these habits could help keep your digestive system running in tip top shape. Remember that stress can take it’s toll on your physical health as much as your mental health. So stressing about your digestion and consuming certain foods can have a negative impact. Be proactive! Engage in positive stress management and try these tools.
It’s normal to enjoy the experience of food. I encourage you to enjoy that spoonful of cookie dough, clink wine glasses with your spouse and build a huge cheese plate. It’s not always about the food itself, but the memories and people surrounding the food. Stay present (and hydrated), enjoy the season (and the treats), and keep a box of ginger tea on hand (and maybe some enzymes).
Please Note: The FDA has not evaluated the above statements. This article does not replace medical advice. Please consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet or lifestyle.