Eating Healthy for the Holidays

The holidays are here, which tends to give people an easy excuse for over indulgence. While it’s fine to enjoy a treat every once in awhile, going overboard will simply make you feel bloated and tired. Instead, try and be kind to your body and therefore kind to yourself by balancing festive treats with healthy eating.

Give Your Good Bacteria a Chance at Winning the Bacteriological Battle!

Bacteria has had a bad rap ever since they were discovered and in truth, it’s not a reputation that’s completely fair. Like many aspects of health, bacteria can be split into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories, and the human body could not actually function at all if it were stripped of bacteria completely. Good health is actually a question of balance, so when it comes to bacteria, you need to make sure that your good bacteria is winning the gastroenterology war. If you adopt unhealthy eating habits then all you are doing is arming your bad bacteria, and your health will obviously suffer as a result.

There are plenty of ways you can help out your good bacteria buddies. Choose bananas, garlic, greens, leeks, onions, legumes, almonds and whole grain cereals, for example. These are prebiotic foods that your good bacteria will ferment in your gut to keep both themselves and your body healthy.

You can also get probiotics that have already been fermented so that by consuming them you are topping up your body’s count of good bacteria. You can get fortified probiotics such as yogurt and kefir, and ‘natural’ probiotics like fermented vegetables, beans and grains and apple cider vinegar.

As well as keeping your good bacteria in tip-top condition, you should also eat as healthy as possible to prevent conditions such as colon cancer. In the United States it’s estimated that 50,000 people die each year due to colon cancer, and many of these deaths come down to poor dietary choices.

Poor Dietary Choices Equal Nothing But Poor Dietary Health

You can help limit your chances of developing colon cancer by eating foods that are rich in vitamin D and calcium. This list includes fortified cereals, green and leafy vegetables, legumes such as garbanzo and adzuki beans, almonds and salmon. The holidays are not an excuse to completely forget your healthy eating regime.

Good dietary choices will also help prevent the onset of ailments such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and Celiac Disease. All of these ailments will cause stressful conditions in your digestive system, including diarrhea, gas, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating.

As long as you maintain a diet that is rich in fiber, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding the development of issues with your digestive system. If you do start to feel ill during the festive season, you may want to decrease your intake of certain foods and beverages, including chocolate and foods high in fat, and items that contain high amounts of caffeine or alcohol.

By all means give yourself the treat during the holidays, but remember to be kind to your gut too. A week or more of poor dietary choices is only asking for trouble! Should you have continued problems and are interested in seeing a specialist, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team at Great Lakes Gastroenterology today by phone at 440-205-1225.

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