Gut-Friendly Holiday Foods

Dairy alternatives, foods high in soluble fiber, and indulging in moderation are the keys to a gut-friendly holiday season.

From Christmas feasts to New Year’s Eve champagne toasts, the holiday season comes with excessive eating and drinking, not to mention stress and changes in routine, all of which are can be harmful to the intestine.

Indeed, whether or not you suffer from a chronic gastrointestinal problem, the holiday season is notorious for causing gastrointestinal upset in the form of gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort. Sugar is known to promote inflammation, and research suggests it may do so by disrupting the healthy balance of gut microbiota, both by increasing the abundance of “bad” bacteria and decreasing the amounts of ” good » bacteria.

But that doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the wonderful treats available during the festivities. It just means that you need to consider your choices carefully. By implementing these four simple practices, you can help keep your gut in check all season long.

1. Recognize triggers

From prime rib to pie, many of the most popular holiday foods (and drinks) contain high doses of fat and sugar and can trigger intestinal issues. If you consume them frequently or in large quantities, or if you add alcohol to them, the risk of problems increases even further.

Gut-friendly alternatives? Fermented dairy products like kefir and Greek yogurt contain microbes that help improve tolerance to these dairy-containing foods, compared to similar unfermented versions (eg milk), in people with dairy intolerance. lactose. Kefir has also been shown to benefit the gut microbiome.

2. Limit food portions

Rather than filling your plate all you want, try the healthy plate method, which not only controls portions, but also minimizes trigger foods and maximizes gut-friendly foods. The rule of thumb is: Fill your plate half with vegetables and fruits, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with carbs. Step it up a notch (if it’s not during the holidays, it’s in your day-to-day life) by filling the protein section with fish, poultry, or even beans, rather than red or processed meat, and putting whole grains in the carbohydrate section.

The key is moderation. Too much of anything is never good, and that applies to food and drink while on vacation. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge yourself, just try to do it in moderation. Indeed, overeating in general can cause a variety of digestive issues, such as gas, bloating, and heartburn. Eating too many trigger foods, such as saturated fat and sugar, further increases the risk of disorders.

Sometimes it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you are full. One way to make sure you don’t overeat is to practice mindful eating, paying attention to every bite of food and putting your fork down between bites.

Another tip: stay hydrated. When you’re done filling your plate with gut-friendly foods, drink a glass of water during or after the meal; it aids digestion.

3. Pay attention to fiber

Fiber can really help keep things balanced in the midst of all that’s going on during holiday stress, disrupted routines, and late nights.

Try to incorporate the following fiber-rich foods into your diet during the holidays:

Fruits (especially bananas and berries)
Cooked vegetables
Nuts or nut butter
Yogurt with fruit or 1 or 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or chia seeds.
If you’re bringing a dish to a party, prepare one that’s high in soluble fiber, such as Brussels sprouts, green beans, or sweet potatoes.

4. Keep stress at bay and stay active

The holidays are a stressful time of year, and there’s an intimate relationship between stress, anxiety, and gut health. Research shows that diet, stress, and mood can impact the gut microbiome. Staying active is a great way to reduce stress, by increasing the production of endorphins, chemical signals in the brain that promote well-being. Exercise also contributes to gut health and aids digestion. Go to the gym, take a walk, or hang out with your family, friends, and loved ones.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.