With Christmas coming in just 17 days, being kind to your gut may sound impossible. Christmas can be harsh on the gut, we tend to celebrate by over indulging on festive treats and for some the stress that comes with Christmas can also aggravate the gut. Follow our advice below to make sure you and your gut can both enjoy the festive season spirit this year.
- Reduce stress by preparing Christmas dinner the night before- Preparing a Christmas dinner for the whole family can be really stressful and increased stress has been shown to aggravate the gut. You can help tick of that to do list and save time by preparing ingredients such as vegetables the night before.
- Reduce alcohol consumption- With all the Christmas parties and festive markets selling mulled wine, it can be hard to say no to alcohol this time of year. Christmas favourites such as mulled wine, sherry and Irish cream are also loaded with calories; alcohol can also make some conditions of the gut worse. Stay hydrated by drinking alcohol free drinks where possible such as our spiced winter punch below.
- The traditional Christmas dinner can be healthy- Turkey is a great source of protein and B vitamins. Be kind to your gut as well as your waistline by removing the skin as this contains the most fat. Try filling your plate with more vegetables; you can roast potatoes and other vegetables in less oil to consume fewer calories. Even swapping double cream for custard or yoghurt to have with your Christmas pudding can reduce the calorie content.
- Beat the bloat- Enjoy your dinner, eat slowly, chew your food well and don’t overdo it. If you’re feeling really full and bloated after dinner you might find drinking a cup of peppermint tea helpful.
- Get some exercise- There’s nothing more refreshing than taking a nice long walk after a Christmas dinner. Taking some mild exercise post-Christmas lunch can help with your digestion and can also help with stress levels too.
There’s more information about gut health on our website.
Spiced winter punch
- 1 ltr of your favourite fruit juice- apple and red grape juice work well
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- A strip of orange peel
- 4 cloves
- 3 star anise
Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer for around 5 minutes on a low to medium heat.
Pour into a glass and enjoy!