Anyone who’s gone way overboard at Christmas dinner (who hasn’t?) knows that overeating can wreak havoc on the digestive system. As glorious as enjoying a homemade feast can be, holiday indulgences can leave many of us feeling… well, backed up. 

Good news is, you can prevent indigestion this holiday season with these 5 tips for better gut health.

1) Get healthy beforehand.

If your digestive tract is already healthy, it will be much more well equipped to deal with the onslaught of Christmas dinner. 

Probiotic supplements containing important bacteria strains can help restore gut health. Frequently consuming fermented foods like Kombucha and sauerkraut also do wonders for a leaky gut. For more info on healing an unhealthy gut, learn the “four R’s” of gut health



2) Stay hydrated.

Remembering to drink enough water is hard even on a normal day, let alone on some of the most exciting days of the year. Alcoholic beverages like wine, cocktails, and champagne dehydrate your body, and sugary beverages like sodas and ciders can throw off your stomach’s natural balance. Enjoy these beverages in moderation, and don’t forget to drink water alongside them!

4) Know your “no no” foods.

If you’re sensitive to gluten or dairy, or know that a particular food/ingredient doesn’t agree with your stomach, be extra careful about it this time of year. Unfortunately, those sensitivities don’t disappear on holidays. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family what’s in their dish to avoid digestion issues. 

4) Be mindful of portion sizes and variety.

At holiday meals, it’s especially tempting to load up your plate with 10 different dishes and go back for seconds and thirds. Mixing too many different foods in gargantuan portions is sure to lead to an upset stomach.

Being mindful of how full you are and strategically choosing the dishes you want most can help prevent indigestion. If you’re prone to making 2 or three plates at holiday dinners, consider making your first plate smaller, and going back for only the foods you really enjoyed on round two.

5) Keep exercising.

Maintaining your regular exercise schedule throughout the holiday season is crucial. Not only does it help keep your body’s metabolism and general health regulated, but exercise also promotes gut health by facilitating the transport of food through the digestive system. Frequent exercise also can relieve holiday stress, another prime contributor to indigestion. 

Holiday meals are meant for indulging on foods you don’t have year round. We totally endorse indulging away; but remember that if you take these steps, your digestive system will definitely thank you.

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