Must-Have Gut Health Supplements for the Holidays
By Dr Sara Celik, ND
This time of year, tempting foods are everywhere. Most will agree that it’s far too easy to overindulge in sugary treats and comfort foods. While your taste buds may be saying ‘yes’, your gut is likely saying ‘no’.
Overeating too many of the wrong foods can lead to health concerns such as:
- Weight Gain
It’s easy to tell you to have one Christmas cookie, rather than five. But with most people forgetting about healthy nutrition over the holidays, I’ve decided to hold off on giving you nutrition tips. Instead, I’m sharing my favourite supplements for a happy, healthy gut.
To avoid festive discomfort in your belly, why not give your gut a helping hand with these supplements?
3 Gut Health Supplements for the Holidays
- Digestive Enzymes
Although your body naturally makes enzymes, many healthcare professionals recommend taking digestive enzymes in supplement form. Enzymes are needed for the optimal break down of foods and the proper digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Since the typical holiday diet lacks enzyme-rich fruits and vegetables, digestive enzyme supplements can be very helpful.
Taking digestive enzymes before big holiday meals help break down foods. And, the better your body breaks down foods, the less likely you’ll experience indigestion and uncomfortable bloating.
- Multi-Strain Probiotics
Your digestive system is home to trillions of microorganisms, including ‘friendly’ bacteria which support good health in many ways. Since 70% of the immune system is in the gut, it’s especially important to maintain healthy gut flora this time of year.
Gut flora can be affected by:
- Dietary Changes – Sugar and processed foods are some of the biggest gut disruptors.
- Stress – The holidays often trigger financial stress, physical stress, and emotional stress.
- Antibiotic Use – According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, approximately 23 million antibiotic prescriptions are dispensed by Canadian pharmacies per year.
Since gut microbes are easily disturbed, many people take probiotic supplements.
Here’s what to consider when shopping for probiotic supplements:
- Potency (e.g. 50 billion)
- Multiple Strains (e.g. 10 different bacterial strains)
- Delivery System (e.g. acid-resistant capsules)
While many people don’t think about getting adequate fibre over the holidays, I call fibre our ‘holiday gut buddy’. Dietary fibre helps reduce food cravings, extends the feeling of fullness, and promotes bowel regularity. Unfortunately, most Canadians are not getting adequate fibre in their diet, especially during the busy, sometimes stressful holiday season.
A flax-based powder supplement can easily be added to applesauce and topped with cinnamon. This is a delicious and simple way to boost your daily fibre intake and reap the multiple benefits that fibre delivers.
Alcohol and tasty holiday foods are everywhere this time of year. Although overindulging can put tremendous strain on your gut, the right supplements can offer a helping hand. This holiday season, visit your local GNC store and ask about these gut health supplements – your gut will thank you!
Renew Life’s DigestMORE plant-based digestive enzyme formula helps reduce mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms which may occur with specific types of foods or when overeating.
Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion is a daily multi-strain probiotic supplement in a convenient ‘once a day’ serving offering 10 different bacterial strains and a delivery system.
Renew Life’s FibreSMART is a unique dietary fibre supplement that offers 5 grams of fibre per serving. This powdered flax-based fibre supplement can easily be mixed into water, juice, or applesauce.