If the holiday season has you feeling bloated, lethargic or downright stuffed, you’re not alone. What starts out innocently enough as, “a cookie here, a cocktail there” quickly balloons into days – or weeks – of eating indulgent and rich foods your body isn’t used to. Celebratory feasting is certainly appropriate (and appreciated – it’s the season of merriment, after all), but eating too much sweet, salty and fatty food, and not enough fresh fruits, vegetables and water, is one of the fastest ways to feel your worst.
The good news is that these feelings don’t have to last, and likely won’t, when you get your diet back on track. Cutting out dessert for a few days, drinking more water and eating plenty of leafy greens is a great way to start re-aligning your body, but our number one trick to feeling our best, after feeling out worst, is to drink more kefir.
Kefir for Digestion: Believe in the Belly Bugs
Probiotics and probiotic foods, like kefir, are getting a lot of attention in the media these days. This is thanks to new research studies that are touting the many possible benefits they offer. Phrases like, “regulates digestion” (of which we’re a big fan), “promote wellness” or “increase immunity” are tossed around, but what do they really mean? How is it that probiotics and kefir may help regulate digestion?
There are a couple of different answers, but because we like to keep things simple, we’ll be as concise as we can be. Simply put, probiotics may help support and regulate your digestive system by helping to restore and/or rebalance your natural gut flora. Your gut flora is the collection of microorganisms (such as bacteria, yeast and enzymes) that are thought to help absorb nutrients and digest food
Lots of things can be harmful to your gut microbiome including diet, environment and stress. Knowing that the holiday season often a) gives us liberty to eat foods we normally wouldn’t, b) finds us traveling to visit friends and family and staying in unfamiliar locations, and c) frantically running around to shop, attend parties and social gatherings and host large groups of people in our home.
Consuming probiotic-rich foods, including kefir, on a regular basis, may help counter act the effects of these activities or actions. Other things you can do include:
- Being conscious of what treats and how much of them you eat
- Exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water
- Getting adequate rest
- Consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
In short, the season of celebration doesn’t have to be the season of digestive deterioration. By taking a proactive approach to your health and wellness, you will be able to enjoy yourself, without suffering the consequences.