With two out of every five adults experiencing symptoms of digestive discomfort at least once a week according to a poll of some 1,000 people conducted by Danone Activia Ireland, a significant proportion of Irish adults could be facing into a festive season of digestive discomfort. In order to help prepare your tummy for the Christmas excess, Danone nutritionist Kellie O’Connor has developed a number of top tips for the festive season.
Try to maintain your normal eating routine as much as possible during the Christmas season. Skipping meals may lead to you overeating at your main meal which could leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Eating small, regular, meals will help to prevent this.
If you are going out to an event, have something small to eat before you go, such as some fruit or a pot of Activia Fibres yogurt. It will help to boost your fibre intake, which could be neglected over Christmas, and might also help to prevent you from overindulging when you are out.
Avoid foods that aggravate your tummy. Everyone is different but some of the rich foods that we enjoy at Christmas could trigger digestive health problems.
Many people tend to consume more alcohol around Christmas, so it is important to also increase your water intake to help you stay hydrated. Fruit and herbal teas can also contribute to your fluid intake, and peppermint tea in particular can make a refreshing end to a big meal.
Keep an eye on your fruit and vegetable intakes as these are important sources of fibre. Make up a big bowl of fruit salad to nibble on with breakfast or during the day for a refreshing snack with some probiotic yogurt. At the dinner table, pile your plate high with seasonal vegetables to help fill you up.
Try to get some exercise on most days over the holidays. A brisk walk will not only stop you from falling asleep in the afternoon, it will also help you to burn some of those excess Christmas calories.
Relax and enjoy yourself! Stress is another factor that can upset the balance of microflora in the gut, so if things are not going your way, take a few deep breaths and don’t panic.
Eating probiotic foods such as Activia every day can help reduce digestive discomfort. It is important to eat these foods consistently and not just during specific periods like Christmas. So start now and make probiotics part of your daily routine.