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Top tips for looking after your digestive health this Christmas

From: Happy Food,

Top tips for looking after your digestive health this Christmas

It’s the same every year – once the festive season arrives, we abandon all our good habits and dive headlong into a month of OTT indulgence. From mince pies and marzipan to stuffing and stollen, we’re faced with an abundance of food that’s just a bit too hard to resist – meaning that second helpings become an all too common occurrence.

Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t prepared for this sudden binge. Unable to cope with so many rich foods, our digestive systems often start to play up – leaving us feeling uncomfortable at the least opportune moment.

Worried about experiencing digestive problems this Christmas? No one’s saying you have to stick to salad – but nutritionist Amanda Hamilton and the team at Imodium do have some have some helpful advice. Remember these tips and you won’t be left regretting any dietary decisions this festive season...

Canapé catastrophes

Christmas is supposed to be a season of bright colours – so why is most party food boring old beige? Canapés, sausage rolls, sandwiches, cake... it’s all made of beige coloured wheat which is high in gluten and low in nutrients. For some people, repeatedly eating wheat-based products can lead to bloating and an irritated bowel. Try to add some colour to the menu with crudités and dips, fresh fruit and juices to aid your body’s effective digestion.

Under pressure

Love them or hate them, having your in-laws over and your other half’s mother watching your every move in the kitchen would make anyone anxious! Apprehension or stress can imbalance your digestive system, leaving you feeling below par. Try to take measures to ease your stress, incorporating relaxation therapies such as yoga, meditation or music into your festive routine – or just step outside with a calming cup of peppermint tea for a moment to get away from it all.

Christmas dinner don’ts

The components of a Christmas dinner – meat, vegetables and potatoes – all sound like good healthy fare, but the problem is the goose fat, booze, mince pies and trifle that go along with them. It all adds up to a lot of work for our bodies – especially the digestive system. Lighten the load that your stomach has to bear by removing the skin of fatty meats and cutting down on the portion size of the puddings.

Social overload

As your social calendar begins to fill up, it’s easy to feel there is ‘so much to do, so little time’ and the fun can quickly descend into stress. The Uncomfortable Truth Study, conducted by Imodium, found that frequent diarrhoea sufferers saw their symptoms surface most often when experiencing stress or anxiety. To prevent stress induced symptoms cropping up it is important to get the proper amount of rest and ‘me’ time. If you feel burnt out rather than bouncing with energy then forgo one of the many festive parties and get more rest.

Post-party lifesavers

Bananas! Because bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6, they help your body to regain lost potassium and can reduce the headache and nausea which may follow after a night of festive parties. Avoid painkillers if you can as they may irritate your stomach. If you are experiencing diarrhoea then an over the counter anti-diarrhoeal treatment can help to reduce the loss of fluids and salts which can make you feel depleted.

New Year rebalancing

Try to incorporate natural yoghurt or healthy probiotics post -Christmas to boost your digestive system. You can do this quite simply by including yoghurt at breakfast - either spoon some over a bowl of fruit, nuts and muesli, or make a delicious smoothie in the blender with your choice of yoghurt, fruit and a little juice. The natural enzymes in yoghurt will promote healthy digestion and help to relieve any feelings of bloating.

For more information on Imodium and how it can help with problems such as diarrhoea, cramps and bloating, visit www.imodium.co.uk. Looking to have a healthier Christmas? Why not check out our recipes for Vietnamese turkey soup and cocktails with no added sugar – you’ll be sure to get a good gut feeling.

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