Happy Holidays with Healthy Gut Flora
HAPPY HOLIDAYS WITH HEALTHY GUT FLORA
During and prior to going on holiday, we tend to experience particularly stressful times, what with juggling our preparations for work while we’re gone, travel plans and social gatherings. Not to mention treating ourselves with delicious foods and drinks that we tend to avoid in our usual everyday life.
Unfortunately for some, particularly those with sensitive tummy’s, being on holiday can affect our bowel function. It can be distressing, especially when you’re out socialising with family and friends or long-distance travelling.
OUR BRAIN TALKS TO OUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
So how can the brain affect our gut function? Our brain communicates with our digestive system with what we call the parasympathetic, sympathetic and enteric nervous systems.
The extensive enteric nervous system within our gut is also known as ‘the second brain’, which plays a primary role in the function of our digestive system. This complex combination of nervous system communication means that when we are exposed to high levels of stress, it can affect the function of our digestive system – leading to bloating, digestive discomfort or frequent loose bowels.
HEALTHY GUT FLORA
If we look a little closer, scientific studies have shown that healthy gut flora can support healthy brain function and vice versa. But the interesting thing here is that healthy gut flora can also support healthy digestive function. This is commonly described as the Gut-Brain Axis.
Healthy stress levels ↔ healthy gut flora ↔ healthy gut function
Poor stress management can be one cause of unhealthy gut flora, but an unhealthy diet and food intolerances can lead to reduced good gut flora as well. And it’s the healthy bacteria that we need to keep everything in balance.
Gut flora is also described as bacteria, and there are some ‘strains’ of bacteria that are particularly important for supporting digestive comfort, especially for those with sensitive digestive systems experiencing frequent loose bowels. There is a special bacteria strain called Bacillus coagulans that has been shown to support the normalising of healthy gut flora within the digestive tract.
As well as taking Phloe Biotics, here are a few tips to help enjoy holidays with ease:
- Drink relaxing and gut supportive herbal teas such as Chamomile and Lemon Balm
- Find ways to relax prior to holidaying, by practicing meditation, reading, walking or anything else that helps give you a feeling of ease
- Reduce foods known to cause digestive discomfort
- Increase fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and legumes
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily
- Minimise fatty foods and sugary foods as much as possible
- Take time to chew food to help the gut absorb nutrients
The importance of hydration on bowel motility
It is common knowledge that water is essential for life, but it may not be the first thing you would associate with good functioning digestion and bowel movements. However, dehydration is often a reason for sluggish digestion and dry, hard, difficult to pass stools.