Oh, 'tis the season to be merry and stuffed. 15th December 2017
Oh, 'tis the season to be merry and stuffed.
December brings a seemingly endless barrage of office parties, gatherings, and get-togethers. Fortunately, with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can have your cake and eat it during the festivities and frivolity.
The Christmas period can be a menace to digestive health. The alcohol, the chocolate, the rich food; it can all get a bit much for your poor digestive system.
One of the best ways to look after your digestion during periods of heavy consumption is probiotic supplements. These contain the good bacteria that lives in our digestive tract and is involved in regulating the system's functions. They are great allies when tackling issues like bloating and constipation, especially from over indulgence.
I'd advise a good high strength acidophilus complex, taken once to twice a day. These can be especially important if your eating habits suddenly change. Over Christmas, it's not unheard of to go from eating three regular meals a day to three meals plus four mince pies plus half a box of chocolates. As with sleep and jet lag, the change in your body's rhythm caused by an increase in snacking can result in within the digestive system. Taking the probiotics can help keep digestive symptoms to a minimum.
Don't run on empty
This is old hat, but so often ignored. If you are going to be heading out on the sauce during the Yuletide season (or any time, for that matter), don't do so on an empty stomach. Not only is it a sure-fire way of getting hammered, it can also do genuine damage to your health. Drinking on an empty stomach can overload the liver and cause inflammation within the digestive tract.
Most alcohol absorption takes place in the stomach and very high up in the digestive tract. Having a little bite to eat before hand notably slows the absorption, which means your bloodstream won't get flooded with alcohol.
Try to eat something with a decent fat content before going out, like avocado, salmon, and cheese. Fats increase satiety and also slow down gastric emptying, so they keep you ticking along nicely.
It is also worthwhile having something to snack on during the evening. Handfuls of nuts or olives will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and also help to bring in additional nutrients that can easily be lost during the revelry.
Top up and water down
Another way to take some of the strain off of your digestive system whilst out partying is to try and sip water alongside or between alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol consumption and dehydration go hand-in-hand, so drinking water is vital to top-up your body's levels. It will also give your kidneys a bit of much needed support, as they are tasked with constantly flushing the increase in processed waste material that enters your body on a night out. Drinking extra water facilitates a more rapid removal of this waste.
Keep the B vitamins coming in
If the alcohol is going to be flowing for the duration of the Christmas period, then it is very likely that you will be depleting your B vitamin levels very rapidly. This can leave you feeling washed out, tired and sluggish in no time.
Foods like brown rice, oats, and green vegetables are all rich sources. You can, of course, opt to take a supplement, in which case I'd advise something like a B100.
The supplements should be taken the morning after, and the food sources should definitely be consumed regularly throughout the festive period.