5 ways to look after your gut and your butt this Christmas
5 ways to look after your gut and your butt this Christmas
Did you know that gastrointestinal issues are the most viewed help pages on the NHS website over the festive season, with diarrhoea and vomiting receiving 11,600 visits on Christmas Day?
Imagine, 11,600 people taking a moment away from the family, sweaty browed, one Christmas cracker pull away from cracking themselves at the table. That’s one way to knock the Christmas spirit right out of you (not to mention out of grandma too)!
With that in mind, we’re here to gift you 5 ways to keep your gut and (more importantly) your butt as jolly as possible. Because as we know, our backsides aren’t just for Christmas, they’re for life.
1. Feed yourself and your microbes!
Christmas is never about restricting the foods that you’re putting in your body, and it never should be! So instead of thinking ‘should I eat this?’ why not think about what you can ADD to your plate that will nurture your bowel and its microbiome?
A great place to start is loading up that plate with high-fibre foods. Think carrots, parsnips, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes to get the goods your gut’s little helpers need. You can find a longer list here!
(top tip: cooking and cooling potatoes increases something called resistant starch, a type of fibre that boosts beneficial bacteria)!
2. Stay hydrated and watch the alcohol
This holiday season, don’t even think about touching alcohol. Oh, who are we kidding? If ever there was a time for a bit of the bubbly, it's as you sit through Cousin Joe's 100th magic trick. Yes, we've seen you pull a coin from behind our ears, Joe, now can you make yourself disappear?
It’s natural that the December escapades will hand us countless opportunities to enjoy a wine here and a beer there, but it’s good to watch how much your consuming, for the sake of your poop. When we drink alcohol, it dehydrates us, which is a problem when it comes to pushing the yule log out of our chimneys. But remember, water is your friend, especially when you're hitting the sauce.
Water softens our stool, which makes everything run smoothly when we take to Santa’s brown grotto. To combat dehydration and constipation, be sure you’re topping up that water glass just as much you are the wine glass. Merry you, merry bum!
Long Christmas Carol short, when it comes to alcohol, moderation is key!
3. Move your body!
Exercise isn’t just about keeping your body physically and mentally healthy (although they’re bloody important!) It’s also great for supplying blood flow to the gut and gut mobility, that’s how the muscles stretch & contract. This keeps things down there regular, reducing the risk of constipation and bloating.
Studies have shown that exercise also contributes to enriching anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Look, we’re not saying you need to go all Usain Bolt right after Christmas dinner, but what about a nice long walk? A brisk walk is like a gentle nudge to your insides, reminding them to get on with their job. Plus, it's a chance to escape Aunt Mabel's detailed account of her bunions.
4. Take a chill pill
The disruption Christmas causes can lead to us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. What, not to mention the financial and time strains that come with it. It’s been proven that when we’re anxious or stressed, we’re more likely to experience gut-related symptoms like stomach pain, diarrhoea, bloating, and constipation.
Feeling like things are getting a bit much this December? Take yourself to the toilet and try out this breathing exercise to relax the mind!
As you ease down onto the bowl, try taking a few breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make sure that you're taking long, deep breaths into your belly. As you breathe in, imagine you’re filling your body with warmth, peace, and calm. When you breathe out, imagine you’re exhaling your body’s stress and tension. Sounds weird, we know, but try it!
5. Be prepared for a brown Boxing Day
Rich foods, alcohol, unusual sleeping pattern, maybe not moving as much as we’re used to, all these things affect the way that our bowels work. Sometimes we’ll be visited by Mother Nature, and the rivers will run slightly too thin when we ‘go’. Other times we can run into Jack Frost, who’s frozen all movement in our bowels.
Finding the yule log is more like chocolate fudge sauce? Had too many spicy margs and ended with the infamous ring of fire? Toilet paper alone just not enough to do the job? Sounds like you need something to upgrade that clean up routine!
Wype uses natural and organic ingredients to get you 100% clean gently yet effectively, moisturising and soothing the sensitive skin as it goes. Simply apply it to your toilet paper to upgrade its cleansing power after you’ve taken that coal out of your stocking. Try a greener clean that will leave your bottom happier and won’t clog pipes like wet wipes do.
Wrapping (presents) up
Well, there you have it – five golden tips to keep your gut and your derrière happier than an overworked elf on annual leave! From feeding your insides with all the fibrous trimmings, to hydrating like you're preparing for a Sahara Desert expedition, we've covered it all. Remember, Christmas isn't just the season of giving, it's also the season of forgiving... your bowels, that is.
Who knows, by following these festive gut tips and tricks, there might be one less person on the NHS Diarrhoea & Vomiting advice page this Christmas.
Whether you're dodging Cousin Joe's magic tricks with a glass of bubbly, waddling around the block to escape Aunt Mabel's bunion tales, or finding Zen on the porcelain throne, it's all about balance – like a perfectly decorated Christmas tree. So, go forth and enjoy the merriment, just don't forget to give a little love to your tummy and your tush. After all, they're the unsung heroes of the holiday season. Here's to a holly, jolly, and most importantly, a comfortable Christmas! 🎄🚽✨