When silly season hits, it’s hard not to get caught up in the festivities and lose track of healthy habits.
However, if you can adopt a few preventative measures before the tidal wave of Christmas parties and long lunches hit, you may be able to support your gut while still having a good time.
Cate Lilja, nutritional, herbal, and complementary medicine scientist and co-founder of Optima Nutricosmetics explains how we can strike this balance.
A Dose of Collagen
From the age of 30 the body naturally produces less collagen at a rate of 1.5% per year, which contributes to early signs of ageing. When collagen fibres become weak and fragmented, they become vulnerable to oxidative stress resulting in impaired wound healing and thinning of the skin. When you add inflammatory activities to the mix, such as drinking alcohol or excess UV rays from the sun, you are contributing to the ageing process.
By supplementing with a collagen powder, such as Optima Nutricosmetics Complete Skin Food Elixir, the marine peptides stimulate collagen production and help to build better quality collagen.
Pre and Probiotics
Poor food choices, alcohol and lack of sleep can all impact the gut bacteria and lead to digestive complaints. Therefore, it’s important that we feed the good bacteria in the gut with prebiotics and sustain their abundance with probiotics. Kiwifruit powder has been shown to support populations of an important butyrate producing good bacteria in the bowel – a compound which has been shown to help manage inflammatory conditions. The probiotic, Bacillus coagulans, promote digestive and immune benefits and not only supports the gut but shows more promising results for reducing skin congestion and blocked pores.
You would typically associate aloe vera as your skin saviour after a day in the sun or an unfortunate long beach nap, however consuming aloe vera can also help to heal the gut lining. Traditionally, aloe vera was used for digestive complaints due to its anti-inflammatory properties. When dehydrated from a gel, the powder form is high in stable and active mucopolysaccharides, which soothes mucous membranes in the gut. Aloe vera also contains polysaccharides which bind to the gut wall and enhance the absorption of key ingredients such as, vitamin C, E and B12.
You may notice with the increase in late nights, breaking of habits and more discretionary foods and beverages that you may begin to experience gut disturbances. Checking in with your body and taking notice of whether you feel more bloated or less regular may be a signal from your body to take it down a notch. With that in mind, make a habit of having a few days off in between festivities, which may help to correct any imbalances.