For many, Christmas day is all about eating delicious food with friends and family. While a little indulgence during this period is fine, too much of all the Christmas goodies can have a nasty effect on your gut… and your mood. That’s right. Our gut microbiome greatly affects our overall mood and the consumption of a rich diet can leave you and your gut feeling flat and low on energy.
Luckily there are some easy changes your can make to ensure that you can enjoy your food and drink this Christmas and stay feeling festive all day long
- Replace traditional bread rolls for sour dough rolls
Sourdough is made more slowly than modern bread and involves less ingredients. The combination of the flour and water creates a natural yeast and lactobacilli (good bacteria) that makes it easy to digest. This change will reduce any bloating you may get from regular white bread, and even enable you to cheekily have more than one!
- Focus on Fibre
The high sugar and fat foods we tend to consumer over the holidays are delicious but tend to clog up the digestive system. In contrast, fibre rich foods are going to keep things moving through your system, and this will help you avoid an upset gut.
Add wholegrains and raw, cooked or pickled vegetables to your Christmas lunch to ensure you are getting enough fibre.
HOT TIP: A great way to make sure you consume these foods is to include them onto grazing platters.
- Avoid overeating
Easier said than done, we know, but overeating can be a big contributor to heartburn, bloating and uncomfortable fullness. Try putting less on your plate and taking your time to eat slowly and mindfully. Sometimes a smaller portion is all that is required to keep your gut happy and will keep you from spending Christmas afternoon horizontal on the couch*
*obviously there is nothing wrong with spending Christmas afternoon horizonal on the couch. You just don’t want to be doing it because of a sore belly.
- Drink plenty of water
Make sure you have a big glass of water between each drink. This will not only slow down the negative effects of alcohol but limit your overall amount of alcohol you consume. Reducing your alcohol consumption will diminish bloating, allow your gut to focus on properly digesting your food and ensure you wake up feeling fresh on boxing day to do it all again.
- Walk it off – keep moving!
If you’ve followed these tips but you are still feeling the effects of the food you have eaten, try going for a walk. Walking may aid in reducing bloating after meals. Additionally, it can bring down glucose levels and lower blood sugar levels. This ultimately helps food pass through your gut quicker.