Good health starts in the gut which is filled with trillions of good and bad bacteria. Most people aren’t aware that up to 70% of our immune cells are located in the gut, and the balance of good and bad bacteria can significantly affect your overall health and wellbeing.
With the summer fast approaching, it is more important than ever to pay attention to your gut to ensure that whether you’re heading abroad this year, or staycationing in the UK, your holiday goes off without a hitch.
To help you get your gut in perfect working order, Nutritional Therapist Natalie Lamb shares her tips to help support your health this summer:
Good Good Health – BEAT THE BLOAT
A bloated tummy is an obvious sign that the digestive system is not in harmony. It is very common to experience bloating when abroad as the new environment and foods that you’re eating can upset your digestive system and the balance of bacteria in the gut. To ease bloating and restore the balance, begin the day with hot water and lemon to help kick start the production of digestive enzymes and break down food effectively. Take time to concentrate on what you’re eating, chew food well and consider either consuming fermented foods with a meal or taking a probiotic supplement.
Good Good Health – REDUCE THE RISK OF TRAVELLERS TUMMY
Depending on your holiday destination, there is a 5-50% chance that you could experience a bout of travellers’ diarrhoea when abroad. Local strains of bacteria will be new to the body and, therefore, may cause some gut disturbance which can result in a range of tummy troubles. To reduce the risk of travellers tummy, start taking a probiotic supplement two weeks before, during and two weeks after your holiday to boost the good bacteria in your gut. A supplement like Bio- Kult is ideal as it contains 14 strains of beneficial bacteria and does not need to be refrigerated.
Good Good Health – COMBAT SUMMER SNIFFLES
Many people suffer from colds when they go on holiday. Planes and air-conditioning are a mecca for spreading germs. Taking some zinc and vitamin C ahead of and during the flight could help give the immune system a little extra support. Also try to make sure you leave for holiday in a relaxed state. Many people rush around for weeks before they leave for a holiday, causing their digestive and immune systems to suffer.
Good Good Health – PROBLEMS DOWN UNDER
If you suffer from recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), don’t worry, you are not alone. It has been reported that women visit their GP more frequently with bouts of cystitis during the summer months and a possible cause could be an increase in sexual activity, dehydration or sitting round the pool in a wet swimsuit. Going to the toilet regularly is nature’s way of helping to flush bacteria from the bladder so try and drink 2-3 litres of water a day, especially in hot climates. A supplement such as Bio-Kult Pro-Cyan could help prevent this painful problem, as it contains cranberry extract, two specifically selected probiotic strains and vitamin A.
Good Good Health – SECOND WAVE OF HAY FEVER
Many hay fever sufferers are experiencing symptoms in June, July and even as late as September. Largely linked to an oversensitive immune system, hay fever is a common allergic condition caused by pollen released from flowers, grass and trees whichcauses inflammation of the mucosal lining of the nose, throat and eyes. This inflammation can result in a range of symptoms,
including sneezing, itching, a runny or blocked nose and sore eyes, which can make the summer months and spending time outside unbearable. Traditionally it would have been recommended to consume locally made honey from bees that have pollinated local plants, supposedly building up a tolerance to local plants. Probiotics could also be considered to help rebalance the gut flora and support a healthy immune response, helping you to feel better and spend the summer smiling, not sneezing.
Good Good Health – HALT THE HANGOVER
For many enjoying a cocktail or a glass of wine on a warm balmy evening is an important part of their summer holiday, but increased alcohol consumption has various effects on your body. Alcohol causes an imbalance of our delicate gut flora and damage to the gut lining. To combat this, do your best to stay hydrated throughout the day and consume alcoholic drinks alongside a meal.