Kudos to you for trying to stick to a gut-supportive diet over the holidays. We know it’s not easy, especially when treats are being brought to the office, dropped off by granny, or lining the aisles of grocery stores. If you happen to have a treat here or there, don’t stress. These tips will help improve your digestive symptoms and keep you on track towards a healthier gut.
1. Lemon Water and Apple Cider Vinegar
Meet two of your greatest allies over the holidays for improving your digestion: citric acid and acetic acid.
The citric acid from lemons and acetic acid from apple cider vinegar can help stimulate protein digestion and prevent bloating. If you know you’ll be having a heavy meal (or experience digestive symptoms after a meal), squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon into a glass of room-temperature or warm water and add 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar.
Drinking lemon water and apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning is a great way to improve your digestion throughout the day.
2. Chew Your Food Slowly and Thoroughly
Alright, we know you may be thinking, “okay, captain obvious,” but you’d be surprised how little we tend to chew our food before swallowing it. Many of us eat while driving, working, responding to emails, and instagramming. A lot of the time, we’re hardly paying attention to the actual eating process.
Undigested food is one of the major causes of digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and acid reflux (after all, if you don’t chew your food — who will?). And on a more serious note, when undigested food enters your GI tract, it can attract “bad” bacteria to break it down and ferment it.
An overgrowth of bad bacteria is what causes candida, gut dysbiosis, and prevents you from being able to heal leaky gut.
As you can see, you can make a big difference in your digestive symptoms simply just by chewing your food and eating with no distractions. The goal is to chew fibrous, tougher foods up to 30 times before swallowing, and softer foods (including smoothies!) 5 to 10 times.
3. Take Gut-Supportive Supplements
There’s a time and a place for nutritional supplements, and the holiday season is a time when your gut could certainly use extra support. The holidays can be stressful for some people, and chronic stress is one of the root causes of compromised gut health.
4. Reduce Stress Levels
Speaking of stress, don’t let your exercise routine or doing activities you love slip away from you in the midst of holiday chaos.
Although it may be tempting to skip the yoga class to get your holiday shopping done, or reduce your 10-minute meditation down to 5 minutes, taking time for yourself and prioritizing relief is essential for a healthy gut. There’s no harm in booking yourself a mini massage or facial on the way home from picking up the turkey, is there?
5. Drink Bone Broth
Bone broth is the perfect substitute for regular broth in holiday recipes, and it also happens to be the perfect food for a healthy gut. Bone broth is loaded with collagen and anti-inflammatory amino acids, which help reduce intestinal inflammation and “heal and seal” the gut lining.
There are so many ways you can enjoy bone broth over the holidays. You can sip it from a (holiday) mug on a cold winter’s morning, or add it to your healthy holiday recipes. For festive twists on spicing and sipping bone broth, check out our Bone Broth Sipping Guide.
It’s simple to make bone broth at home, but if you don’t have the prep time in your schedule while running holiday errands (a collagen-rich bone broth takes at least 10 hours to make), you can leave the time-consuming stuff to us and get bone broth delivered straight to your doorstep.
Above all else, enjoy the holidays. There’s nothing more nourishing for your mind, body, and soul than sharing a meal with people you love. Don’t let your diet be a source of stress over the holidays, just do your best.