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6 Tips to Help Recover Gut Health After the Festive Season

Hayley Dawes
19 January 2022

6 Tips To Help Recover Gut Health After The Festive Period

With all the festivities and merriness of the holiday season, comes a care-free attitude to our diets, it’s open season on alcohol, cheese and chocolate. Our usual, balanced and considered approach to our diet, takes a break. In the moment, it can feel absolutely glorious - give me all the cheese and chocolate - and feels like the right way to celebrate the season, but overconsumption can cause havoc on your gut health.

The gut is the epicentre of all activity, it contains trillions of microbes which produce thousands of molecules that affect different organs in the body, from the brain to the skin. And so, an imbalanced gut, not only means gut issues but it can manifest itself in so many ways including your mood, physical health and mental wellbeing. 

Considering the impact of your gut microbiome on your health, it’s crucial to be taking care of it and especially more so after the festive period. Fortunately the damage is reversible, and it’s never too late to incorporate healthier choices for your gut health. Here are some top tips to restore your gut health after the holiday season.

1. Add More Plant Based Food To Your Diet 

The festive season is all about indulgences, from sweet treats to cheese boards, your gut is recovering from an onslaught of party foods. Dieticians and nutritionists recommend easing off the dairy and sugar high foods and opting for lots of plant-based foods, including more wholegrain, nuts, legumes, seeds, fruit and vegetables into your diet. The type of foods you consume has a direct impact on the type of bacteria in your gut. Adding more plant based foods to your diet, provides dietary fibre, which feeds your gut microbiota and keeps them diverse and healthy, for example by incorporating lots of colourful plants, which contain polyphenols nourish the good gut microbes. The key to keeping your microbes nourished is getting enough fibre from your diet. In the UK, the national recommended amount of fibre for an adult is 30 grams each day.

2. Supplement With Probiotics

Probiotics work to rebalance and support your gut, they’re a sort of restart button, helping to offset the large consumption of processed foods and alcohol, which can cause inflammation and disrupt the microbes. Probiotics are a combination of live bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. These are the good bacteria that help to keep your body healthy and functioning. One of the ways supplementing with probiotics after the festive season works in your favour, is that the good bacteria found in probiotics ‘’fight off’’ the bad bacteria when you have too much of it and in turn you feel better.

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3. Go Easy On The Alcohol

Alcohol is very much part of the festive culture, however, alcohol causes inflammation in the gut, particularly in the gut barrier, which results in changes to the skin and more. Ideally, it’s better to cut alcohol consumption all together and opt for water but if you’re going to be drinking alcohol, red wine might be a better option. Red wine is rich in polyphenol, which increases your gut’s bacteria population. Research has shown that moderate consumption of red wine, and its non-alcoholic alternative, can increase the growth of health-promoting bacteria, production of beneficial compounds, and prevent the growth of opportunistic pathogens.

4. Time To De-Stress

As joyous as the festive season is, it comes with a lot of stress. Stress is one of the biggest factors in maintaining gut health. The vagus nerve directly connects the brainstem to the gut, thus your gut health impacts how you feel. But also, stress can cause chaos on the balance of your microbiome, by reducing good health-promoting bacteria, like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus and may exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms. It’s important to check in with yourself and take moments to de-stress, not only for your mental health but your gut health. When your gut microbiome is balanced, these bacteria can even help to build your resilience towards stressful situations. Check out our favourite ways to de-stress.

5. Move More

After the overconsumption that comes with the festive season, it can feel as if you’re constantly bloated. Movement helps with bloating as it helps to physically move the digestive tract. That’s why gentle movement is often recommended as part of treatment for constipation and IBS. If you’re feeling bloated, try light aerobic exercise, like walking, to relieve the symptoms of bloating. 

6. Good Night Sleep is Vital

A good night’s sleep is key for gut health. When sleep is affected and disrupted, digestion is affected and thus the gut microbiome suffers. Also, bad nights of sleep can increase susceptibility to stress and anxiety, which has further negative effects on gut health. It can become a negative cycle. At Dreem Distillery, we recognise the importance of sleep, it’s our mission to bring good sleep to every bedroom. For a good night sleep, try our Dreem Night Drops, formulated with potent broad-spectrum CBD to help you doze off for a night of good sleep.