Thanksgiving is only a few days away, marking the start of the holiday season. While this time of year may mean cheer for many, it can also be one of the most stressful times. Even more concerning are findings reported in the scientific journal Clinical & Experimental Immunology that show almost 70 percent of the immune system lies in the digestive system. An increase in stress can not only lead to stomach problems, but it may also hamper the immune system.
Dr. Vincent Pedre, author of Happy Gut, offers these essential tips to help lessen digestive upsets and keep your gut healthy.
- Pack healthy on-the-go eats. To avoid grabbing unhealthy foods for convenience during holiday travels, pack nutritious foods like baby carrots, apples, almonds and frozen yogurt. Eating foods like yogurt, which are packed with probiotics, not only address digestive issues, but are said to help stave off colds. One study found that those who took a probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a type of healthy probiotic bacteria, recovered earlier and reported less severe symptoms.
- Eat mindfully. When people’s schedules are hectic they tend to eat in a hurry, which is a major no-no for good gut health. People who eat quickly are more likely to overeat since it takes the brain about 20 minutes to recognize that a person is full. Eating quickly can also cause gas, acid indigestion and bloating.
- Find an outlet to relieve stress. In the whirlwind of people’s busy schedules, it can seem like there is not enough hours in the day to relax and unwind, but when stress is at its peak, it’s vital to take some “me time.” Maintaining an exercise routine and practicing deep breathing relaxation techniques can do wonders for one’s mental and digestive health.
- Maintain a regular sleep routine. Getting adequate rest of at least eight hours per night can have a positive effect on your emotional wellbeing, immune system and gut health. Often when people stay up late, they’re more likely to go to the fridge and eat that piece of chocolate cake that’ll lead to an upset stomach.
- Try a homeopathic medicine. If you have a little too much of mom’s famous apple pie or eggnog, homeopathic Nux vomica can offer relief. The pleasant-tasting, melt-away pellets relieve nausea, heartburn, acid indigestion and fullness associated with overindulgence of food or drink.* Nux vomica is quickly absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) into the bloodstream instead of the stomach, which may not be functioning at its peak.
To learn more about homeopathic medicines that can help relieve a variety of stomach upsets during the season, explore our free Boiron Medicine Finder app.
*These “Uses” have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.