Eating Well *And* Staying Well During the Holidays

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Pecan pie

It’s that time of year, everyone’s about to be feeling the holiday cheer.

…except maybe your stomach.

Many of the cheery things we associate with this time that make us happy–delicious food, festive drinks, late nights, travel to see loved ones–can spell bad news for your gut. Which is a shame, because your gut is supremely important to your immune function. (And nothing ruins the delightfully cold and crisp holiday season like, well, a cold.) Not to mention, getting an upset stomach is not on anyone’s “nice” list.

And when we look at the rituals this time of year, which usually include rich ingredients, big portions, alcohol, added sugar, excess fat, it’s no surprise that the most wonderful time of the year isn’t so wonderful for your stomach.

Read on to see how you can have your cake, eat it too, and stay your best self this holiday season.

Table setting for Thanksgiving dinner

5 common holiday stomach problems and how to avoid them

Upset stomach after the holidays? Here are some of the season’s biggest stomach offenders and what you can do to combat them.

1. Indigestion

We’ve all dealt with indigestion a time or two and it’s never fun. But fighting indigestion doesn’t have to be an-all-or-nothing approach. Eating your favorite buttery, sugary, fatty foods and boozy drinks in moderation while also getting plenty of simple plant foods like salads and cooked vegetables can help you enjoy the holidays without tipping over into making yourself feel sick.

Another way to combat indigestion is to get a head start on satiety before the less-than-healthy foods make their debut. Your stomach needs about 20 minutes to signal to your brain that it’s full, so consider eating a handful of almonds or a fiber-rich snack before mealtimes to help yourself avoid overeating some of the more fatty and sugary foods on the table.

2. Constipation

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again and again: fiber and water. Fiber and water. Fiber and water. These two are your body’s best friends for fighting constipation and keeping your digestion regular. This is especially important during the holiday months, as most festive favorites are severely lacking in fiber, which can lead to constipation and discomfort. Make the extra effort to ensure you’re getting fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (and staying properly hydrated) - your body will thank you for it!

3. Bloating

Bloating often happens from overconsumption–whether just food in general or an excess of carbonated beverages. And when that painful, rumbly feeling hits, it’s time to get moving, not to stretch out on the couch. Exercise can help your body digest food better and help you get back to feeling like yourself. So, after the big family meal, consider putting on your warm boots and getting in a brisk walk post-pumpkin pie.

4. Food intolerances

When we pick and nibble at shared trays and the extra-special desserts and so-and-so’s famous stuffing that only comes out on special holiday events, it’s easy to expose yourself to a huge swath of foods you may not typically eat, potentially triggering food intolerances you aren’t even aware you had. The usual suspects include foods you find filling most tables and buffets during this time–dairy and gluten. Be mindful of your eating and how you feel, and proactively try to dial back on any foods that aren’t agreeing with you.

5. Stress

Take shopping, travel, cooking, cleaning, family dynamics, pour on some alcohol and add a dollop of extra rich foods on top and you’ve got quite a recipe for stress on pretty much every level. While not a food, per se, stress can absolutely have an impact on your stomach and can even cause heartburn (some holiday staples that can trigger heartburn include chocolate, coffee, alcohol, mints, and acidic foods). So, if you’re feeling frazzled from the festivities, your gut’s probably feeling it, too. Which is a sign to tone it down a bit and find ways to destress.


How to avoid an upset stomach after the holidays

So, in short: stock up on ginger tea, keep almonds handy, don’t forget to get moving, enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, skip the stuff that doesn’t agree with your stomach, and, whenever possible, try to keep your stress in check.

But there’s another factor that’s worth talking about, because it pertains to everything above (and more!)–your gut health. In fact, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself this season (and help mitigate some of the more negative effects of holiday cheer eating and drinking) is to take care of your gut. Simply put, a happy, healthy gut is your key to a happy holiday stomach.

Why? Well, in addition to keeping your body’s digestive function optimal, your gut is responsible for the majority of your immune function, the creation of important neurotransmitters, brain health, mental clarity, and even your mood. Truly, investing in your gut health is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

But this is sometimes easier said than done because everyone’s gut is totally unique. Like a fingerprint, your one-of-a-kind gut microbiome is filled with different microbes that help you thrive. Prescribing a one-size-fits-all approach to gut health–like flooding your system with billions of foreign “good” bacteria –may not have the outcomes you’re looking for.

ION* Gut Support next to pumpkins

How ION* can help your gut this holiday season

So, if your gut is massively important and also totally unique to you, how in the world can you figure out the best ways to take care of it?

The answer is simpler than you may think.

To take care of your gut, the best thing you can do is support it naturally, without adding anything new to your system. That’s where ION* Gut Support can make all the difference. Because ION* is different from any other supplement or probiotic on the market.

ION* Gut Support works by bolstering your own body from within. Inspired by nature and proven by science, ION* goes to the very foundational level of your intestinal walls to tighten the critical cellular junctions there to keep your gut healthy and in tip-top shape to function its best.

When you support your gut this way, you support all the things it’s responsible for–including helping you stay well… even during the sugary, fatty, boozy, stressful holidays.

Try ION* Gut Support for yourself today and see the difference it can make for you this season, into the new year, and beyond.

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