How To Enjoy Christmas Without The Discomfort
Christmas is quickly creeping up on us. As the festive period descends upon us, notice how you find yourself easing into a relaxed state of indulgence. Where you might ordinarily say no to the extra cookie, you are helping yourself to an extra one or two.
Don’t worry, you are not alone. It is like we are pre-celebrating our celebration. This is all good and well, a natural part of the festive spirit. What isn’t good and well is the impact all of this additional calorie consumption has on our gut.
Let’s be honest, when we treat ourselves, we are not talking about extra broccoli, although that probably happens too. We are talking about those rich food items that make you second guess your life choices for weeks after eating them; the biscuits, the pies, the alcohol, chocolates from your advent calendar, the chocolates from other people’s advent calendars. You know the drill.
You know what they say, a moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips. And, that’s just the visible ‘damage’. Unfortunately, love handles and jelly bellies are just the tip of the iceberg lettuce you will be forever eating to bring yourself back into figure glory. The real damage takes place deep inside your gut, and you won’t fully appreciate the consequences unless you take a long-hard look underneath the hood.
For most people, it may not be so noticeable, but for those that suffer from a sensitive tummy, the consequences are far easier to acknowledge. Nonetheless, everyone is affected by the sugary assault that takes place during this time of year and this blog hopes to educate and guide you, so you can either make better eating decisions or at least prepare your body so it is not so badly affected.
The importance of your gut
Your gut isn’t just a processing factory where food is digested and turned into excrement waste ready for disposal. No, your gut is a complex biological ecosystem that is responsible for so many processes that contribute to your well-being.
Your gut is arguably one of the most important parts of your body, and fortunately, it is one of the easiest for you to take care of because you control what it interacts with i.e. your food.
Did you know that your gut is responsible for all of this:
- 85% of your immune system
- 95% of your serotonin production
- Regulating bone modulation
- Sleep regulation
- Mood regulation
What does this mean for you?
It means that you have two brains to take care of and they both interact with each other. The neural network in your gut is called the enteric nervous system (ENS), and it sends signals to your brain when it is distressed or excited.
This is where that ‘gut-feeling’ comes from.
For years, scientists believed that your brain sent signals to your gut when it was distressed and the gut reacted with symptoms like constipation, cramping, or even diarrhoea. It turns out that your gut is equally capable of sending signals to your brain when it is not happy, and that too can make you feel anxious or depressed. In other words, it’s a two way conversation.
The good news is that scientists believe (with a growing body of evidence), that if you take care of your gut you can relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety, and perhaps even cure depression.
So, if you find yourself feeling the January blues, it may not be because the celebrations are over, the pies are out, your purse is empty, or your hangover. Although, it is probably those things too, it may well be because of the disruption caused to your microbiome.
Did you know that doctors make the most gut related referrals in January? It’s not a coincidence.
How to make this year better
We won’t dare tell you not to indulge and enjoy yourself. We will leave that to your mean aunties that are hell-bent on ruining Christmas for everyone (we all have at least one).
We will, however, recommend that you at least try to be sensible by balancing out the good with the bad. In other words, more brussel sprouts, less cookies, and perhaps slow down on the alcohol a little - or at least hydrate as much as you can before and after.
The strongest advice we can give you is to be kind to your gut and help it prepare and recover.
JUVIA is the easiest way to give your gut the advantage. The enzyme-rich barley extract breaks down carbohydrates before they get to your gut, which takes away your digestive struggles. More than this, it deprives the bad bacteria of their food source, causing them to die off, allowing more of the good bacteria to thrive. This creates the perfect ecosystem for you and your gut.
Luckily, JUVIA tastes nice. You can mix it with any cold food, water or yogurt. You can even sneak it into your cranberry sauce and everyone will wonder why it tastes so much better this year. Check out our cranberry sauce recipe for guidance.
Either way, the JUVIA team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!