How You Can Make Gut Health a Priority this Winter

The beginning of the winter season is often characterized by festive engagements and holiday parties. It’s an exciting time – one that we at Premier Medical Group hope you will thoroughly enjoy without having to worry about digestive problems.

Our team at Premier Medical Group knows your gut health matters and that you can maintain confidence and enthusiasm about your health and fitness if your gut gets the attention and care it needs in the colder months ahead. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you maintain good gut health during the holiday season and for the rest of the winter. 

Maintain a Balanced Diet with Nutrient-Rich Foods

Within your body live trillions of microorganisms, many of which help your organs maintain proper function. This is especially important in your gut where bacteria, yeast and viruses live within the small and large intestines. Gut health occurs when we maintain a good balance between the “good” and “bad” microorganisms.  

A well balanced diet can help you maintain good gut health. Foods such as fruits and vegetables are especially important since they are rich in fibers. Such foods help promote the growth of “good” gut bacteria like Bifidobacteria, for instance. These beneficial gut bacteria can work to break down fibers and help your body access the nutrients and vitamins present in the foods you eat.

Hence, by eating nutrient-rich foods, you can improve gut health and prevent the development of digestive ailments. The results in a healthier and happier you throughout the winter and beyond.  

Plan for Parties by Eating Ahead

Do you have allergies or adverse reactions to dairy or other foods? If that’s the case, you may want to bring your own food when next you attend a potluck or eat a meal ahead of the party. 

If you are on a restrictive diet due to diabetes, hypertension or other chronic diseases, it’s important that you watch what you eat throughout the winter. These winter months, especially during the holidays, can be a time for merriment but your gut shouldn’t need to suffer. 

Also consider eating before you go to a dinner party if you are concerned about maintaining a diet or if you need to restrict consumption of certain kinds of foods.

Make Time for Meal Planning

A busy schedule with a hectic work week is one of the main reasons individuals choose to eat out. Eating out, however, often results in the consumption of high calorie foods that are high in sodium and trans fat and low in fiber and much-needed nutrients. 

To limit fast food intake, consider carving out time to cook as often as possible. This gives you more control over your diet and more opportunities to eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods. You can also cook larger portions to ensure you have access to healthy foods throughout the week without having to cook on a daily basis. 

Prioritize Food Safety Especially When Preparing Meats

Reduce your risk of digestive distress and food-borne illnesses by ensuring the foods you prepare are cooked at the correct temperatures. If you need guidance on best food safety practices, follow the instructions in the recipes carefully when preparing your meals. These recipes typically include instructions as to what the internal temperature needs to reach before they are considered done or safe for consumption.

Whether you eat out or at home, also look out for signs of food poisoning and alert your doctor if needed. Food poisoning occurs when individuals consume food that is contaminated with bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) or salmonella, or a virus such as norovirus. Signs of food poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and abdominal pain, diarrhea, a lack of energy and weakness and loss of appetite.

When to Reach Out to Your Primary Care Doctor?

Severe symptoms of food poisoning or other digestive ailments may result in your inability to keep down any food because you are vomiting repeatedly. If you are concerned about any digestive issues you are facing, it is always best to exercise an abundance of caution and reach out. Schedule a check-up and take charge of your gut health now.