Kick-Start Your Year & Your Gut!
By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Health Editor, Melissa Fine.
Has the silly season left you feeling bloated and ‘blah?’ Here are our top five tips for getting your gut, and your energy back on track.
1) Sip on Peppermint Tea
Good old peppermint tea can help settle an upset stomach, especially after one too many drinks or desserts. The perfect post-Christmas digestive, peppermint works to alleviate intestinal spasm, alongside with the stomach ache, bloating and gas that can come with it.
Also an excellent palate cleanser, a cup of peppermint tea may be just what you need to kick that hankering for something sweet post-dinner – a habit which many of us develop over the holiday season.
Not a fan of hot tea in the summer heat? Serve your peppermint tea cold over ice with a sprig of mint – We’ve been doing this with Onno Behrends Peppermint Tea at GoodnessMe Box HQ…this stuff is legit.
2) Get Some Probiotics into You
The good bacteria for your gut, probiotics can be helpful if your stomach is feeling off.
Not just in a capsule, you can get probiotics from a range of nutritious, functional foods:
- Yoghurt – go for good quality varieties that are unsweetened, thick-strained or pot set. The shorter the ingredients list the better; real yoghurt won’t contain milk solids, thickeners (AKA ‘inulin’) or artificial sweeteners.
- Kefir - a traditional, fermented milk drink. Find it at the health food store.
- Kimchi or Sauerkraut
- Wholegrains (like Whole Wheat, Barley and Rye), Onions and Garlic –Not exactly probiotics, these foods contain non-digestible carbohydrate, which actually work as prebiotics, i.e., foods that undergo fermentation in the gut, creating a feeding ground for probiotics, encouraging them to thrive.
3) Cut Back on the Cocktails
Alcohol is a gastric irritant and also a depressant, which can explain the upset stomach and below average mood the day after a big night. Now that the silly season is over, make a point of thinking twice to saying yes to that glass (or second glass) of bubbly.
Here’s a tip : Refill your glass of wine with sparkling water so you still feel like you’re having ‘something’; in a dim setting, no one will know the difference. Or, have a soda water with lime – looks no different to a vodka soda and will help you rehydrate.
4) Get Back into Exercise
It’s easy to get lazy over the holidays. Remember that exercise is all about habit…the less you do it, the less you want to do it. Book yourself into a class where you won’t get your money back if you bail, or schedule a power walk, hike or run with a friend.
And remember, whether a run, boxing class or hot yoga is your thing, sweating helps to eliminate toxins and get things moving along the gastrointestinal tract – great if you’re feeling clogged up from all the holiday food you’re not used to eating.
5) Practise Mindfulness
Inhaling your food and forgetting to chew can lead to bloating, indigestion and reduced nutrient absorption. You’re also more likely to go back for seconds, as you’re not giving your brain time to realise that you’ve had enough and are actually full.
Break the habit of overindulging by reminding yourself to chew slowly next time you catch yourself wolfing down your meal. Think about the flavours, textures and aromas of what you’re eating, as well as what it’s doing for your body.
Whether it’s a wholesome veggie packed meal or something sweet, it will taste that much better, with one serving leaving you feeling satisfied, not stuffed.