9 Ways to Support Gut Health During the Holiday Season

by Melissa Chichester

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration…It’s a time when we gather with loved ones, savor delicious feasts, and create lasting memories. 

And for many people, it’s a time of indulgence!  While our diets at times can become less than ideal, it’s important to practice healthy lifestyle habits for digestive wellness support. 

A healthy gut is essential for overall well-being, and we’re here to help you make the most of this festive season while taking care of your digestive health.

The role of gut health

Before we dive into the tips for supporting your gut health during the holidays, let’s take a moment to understand why it’s so important. Your gastrointestinal tract is a complex system responsible for digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. It’s home to trillions of microorganisms that play a crucial role in maintaining our health.

Here are some key functions of a healthy gut:

  • Nutrient absorption: A healthy gut is vital for absorbing essential nutrients from the food we consume.
  • Immune support: The gut is a significant part of the body’s immune system. 
  • Digestion: A well-balanced gut ensures efficient digestion and elimination.
  • Body composition: Regular digestion and gut health plays a role in maintaining a healthy weight.

Tips for supporting gut health during the holidays

#1 Prioritize fiber-rich foods

The holiday season often features a plethora of indulgent dishes. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy these treats in moderation, be sure to balance your diet with fiber-rich foods. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your holiday meals.

Fiber’s primary responsibility is adding bulk to the digestive system to keep waste moving regularly.* Diets rich in fiber support a healthy heart and help maintain blood sugar levels already within a normal range.*

>>Four Questions and Answers About Fiber

#2 Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is key to maintaining multiple aspects of health. Water helps move food through your digestive system. During the holidays, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. Make a conscious effort to stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day, and consider infusing water with fresh fruits or herbs for added flavor.

>>3 Ways to Increase Your Water Intake

#3 Practice portion control

Holiday feasts can lead to overeating, which can put unnecessary stress on your digestive system. To support your gut health, practice portion control by using smaller plates and taking smaller servings. This approach allows you to enjoy delicious holiday dishes without overwhelming your stomach. You can always go back for seconds if you’re still hungry. Listen to your body when it tells you you’re full.

#4 Limit sugar

Sugary treats are abundant during the holiday season. From cookies and cakes to candies and eggnog. While it’s okay to indulge occasionally, excessive sugar consumption can impact your wellness. Opt for healthier alternatives when possible, but don’t feel like you need to skip out on everything. 

#5 Support gut health with probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria for your digestive system.* During the holidays, consider adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Additionally, you can take a high-quality Probiotic supplement from Puritan’s Pride to ensure you’re providing your gut with added support.* 

>>Shop probiotics

#6 Manage stress

Stress can have a significant impact on your gut health. The holiday season, while joyful, can also be stressful due to the hustle and bustle of preparations and family gatherings. Find ways to manage stress, such as working out, taking time for yourself when you can, not over-committing to events, deep breathing, or yoga. 

#7 Choose whole foods

This holiday season, make an effort to choose whole foods that offer several benefits for gut health. They provide a wide range of nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential for maintaining a healthy gut. 

#8 Don’t skip meals

With holiday festivities, it’s easy to skip meals, thinking you’ll “save room” for a big dinner or dessert. However, this may lead to overeating when you do sit down for a meal. Instead, maintain a regular eating schedule and include balanced meals throughout the day. 

#9 Get active

Physical activity is not only good for your overall health but also for your digestive system. A short walk after a meal can help promote healthy digestion. Engage in light exercise or take the opportunity to play outdoor games with family and friends during the holiday season. 

A happy gut leads to better digestion. By following these tips, you can enjoy the festivities while also taking care of your digestive system. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.