Hey guys – what follows is a sponsored post I’ve created with a brand that I believe in and we already use in our day to day lives. I feel good about supporting it and hope you do to. Here’s to a happy, memorable holiday season that doesn’t include that “uggggh” feeling from all the stress of “adulting” at the holidays.

Is your gut ready for the holiday season?

Gift-shopping, cookie-making, coordinating travel to every branch of your family… This time of year, might be magical, but it can also be stressful! I distinctly remember the first year as a parent with a kid old enough to be excited by the magic of the season, only to be absolutely floored by how much work went into making that “magic” happen as an adult. As a kid, it was simply about wrapping presents, baking cookies, and hoping for snowfall. But as an adult it’s also about planning, strategizing, and organizing (aka “adulting”). I mean, someone has to buy all the gifts for every extended family member (and figure out what to get Aunt Sally that already has everything) and sure, decorating sugar cookies is a tradition not to be skipped, but again, someone has to clean up the mess left in that sugar-frenzied mess. And somehow, though the weeks have the same amount of days as always, there just never seems to be enough time to squeeze in all of that holiday fun.

holiday fun healthy guts

While the holidays are fun, it’s easy to fall prey to the stress and exhaustion of the holiday season. Parties, kids’ concerts, cooking holiday meals… Not to mention the bloating and sluggishness from all the holiday fun and travel. It’s no wonder our immune systems can get compromised and leave us dragging and feeling “ugh”. It’s not all about time management though – did you know the balance in your gut plays a pivotal role in how you feel? To ensure you feel your best heading into the holiday season and keep that out-of-whack feeling at bay, make sure your gut is ready.

holiday season healthy guts

More than just regulating how our stomach feels after a meal, a healthy gut can help improve your overall physical and mental well-being. Research has shown that a healthy gut can help lower stress, boost energy, and improve sleep. It can even help boost immunity (at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut!) and even help with the dreaded post-holiday party hangover.

how to keep your guts healthy this holiday season

How can a healthy gut help with stress? It’s not just all in your head – there’s a physiologic reason for why you feel so crummy when you’re under a lot of stress. Our body reacts to stress (both the acute and the chronic kind) by releasing cortisol from the adrenal glands. Cortisol in turn kicks your immune system into high-drive and causes inflammation. That makes sense if you have an injury or infection you’re trying to fight, but can be pretty harmful if you’re constantly in such a state (like what happens with that chronic kind of stress). After the cortisol spike, your immune system gets suppressed to try to balance things out. Enter an open invitation for germs and that dragging, “ugh” feeling here. Those chronic levels of inflammation can also damage the lining of the gut, leaving it vulnerable to invaders and impairing digestion. Keeping your gut healthy can help prevent some of this damage and keep your immune system operating at its peak.

Even when we’re doing our best to keep our stress at bay, there’s still all the holiday meals, rich indulgences, and holiday parties to take into account.

A healthy gut can also help on those days when you get a little carried away with the magic of the season and drink one too many holiday cocktails. Probiotics (the “good” kind of bacteria) help mop up acetaldehyde, the toxic chemical that causes you to feel hungover. Plus, alcohol can destroy some of the healthy bacteria that live in your gut, so it’s important to restore those essential allies.

But how exactly do you achieve a healthy gut and power your potential to survive these common holiday season #adulting situations? Nutrition experts agree that one of the most efficient and impactful ways to bring balance to the digestive tract is with a daily probiotic like Renew Life® Ultimate Flora Probiotics, recommended for their blends of multiple strains and billions of live cultures which reflects the natural diversity in the gut.

probiotics for healthy guts

And while probiotics and a healthy gut can also help keep some of that post-holiday meal bloat and discomfort from happening in the first place, sometimes we need a little extra help. Taking an enzyme supplement like Renew Life® Digest Smart Enzymes before meals can help dispel gas and bloat. Digestive enzymes help break down food into smaller parts so that our bodies can absorb and utilize them, letting meal times remain memorable because of your favorite uncle’s milk-out-the-nose inducing jokes or passing embarrassing childhood photos around the table, not because you’re curled up in a ball of misery after indulging in your holiday favorites.

So, in the midst of all the planning, cleaning, and gift-wrapping, remember to keep a healthy gut (and immune system) a priority.

enzymes for healthy guts

[[Just a reminder, this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics.]] 

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