Supplements Strategies for the Holiday Season
Here come the holidays! Put good health at the top of your list with a simple seasonal supplement strategy.
There’s no doubt about it, the holidays are the most wonderful – and busiest time – of the year. As your to-do list grows in preparation for the holidays, it’s not uncommon for your health and wellbeing to fall to the bottom of the list.
Don’t miss out on the holiday fun! Make your health a priority with a three-pronged supplement approach for festive energy, wellness and a happy start to the New Year!
Holiday Supplement Strategy One: DIGEST
The holidays are often full of rich food, salty snacks and sugary treats. Add in some stress, alcohol and rushing around, and it’s easy for the digestive system to get overwhelmed, upsetting its balance of intestinal bacteria.
A growing body of research is exploring the critical role that probiotics our good gut bacteria, play in our overall health – but foremost, how they support the health of our digestive tract. A gut imbalance can mean more than just embarrassing gas, it can also affect our immunity, at a time of year where catching the flu or not can make or break holiday plans.
Adding a high-quality probiotic supplement to your regimen can help fortify your digestive system to avoid bloating, absorb nutrients more efficiently, relieve constipation and/or diarrhea (from stress and rich food, perhaps?), and may even help with relieving symptoms of stress.
You can also prepare your digestive system ahead of time by taking a few digestive enzymes. Enzymes are present in our own digestive systems but decline as we age and are depleted from cooked and processed foods – sound like any holiday delicacies you know? Derived from pineapple, papaya or animal pancreas, enzymes assist your body in breaking down macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Check out our complete Holiday Strategy for Healthy Digestion.
Holiday Supplement Strategy Two: DE-STRESS
Keeping up with the stress and strain of gift getting, hosting, scheduling and travel can leave anyone feeling mentally exhausted. In fact, the holidays bring with them higher rates of anxiety and depression.
There is a range of natural approaches to help relieve stress. Adaptogens, like ashwagandha, fortify the body against the effects of mental and physical stress. Studies have found a beneficial effect of ashwagandha supplementation on cortisol levels.
Aromatherapy can also help relieve tension, and some essential oils, like lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, and rose oil are particularly effective. Calming oils or blends can be applied topically in carrier oils, inhaled in diffusers or added to your bath. Be sure to check for irritation or contraindications and use safely around children and pets.
How else can you relax? Breathe deeply throughout the day, take your vacation days and aim to get seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Quality sleep is critical to rest and rejuvenation.
Holiday Supplement Strategy Three – DECLUTTER
A body detox may be on your New Year resolution list, but when it comes to clearing the body of harmful residue, there’s no time like the present.
You can help your body’s natural detox channels deal with the excess of the holidays, whether it’s from a few too many nightcaps, recovering from poor sleep or overindulgence on the buffet table.
Milk-thistle extracts are safe and effective and have long been used medicinally to support liver function. Available in capsules, tinctures and teas, milk- thistle’s action comes from the active compound, “silymarin,” that has liver-protective qualities. It may help the liver repair itself by promoting the growth of new liver cells, and is especially effective for damage caused by excessive alcohol intake.
Hydration is also vital for health but it’s easy to forget to drink enough when things get busy. So instead of reaching for alcohol – which is dehydrating – keep the systems running smoothly with plenty of water, coconut water, maple water or a hydrating natural electrolyte mix.
Also, regular exercise gets you and your organs of elimination activated. Quickened breath, movement, stretching and sweating helps clear out residue – plus it feels so good!
All can be calm and bright during the holidays with natural digestive, stress and detox support that will help you feel your healthiest and merriest! Before starting any new health regimen speak with your health care practitioner about which products are right for you, and visit your local CHFA Member health food store for the best selection of high quality and effective supplements.
Have a happy and naturally healthy holidays!
- Barati, Farzaneh, et al. (2016). The Effect of Aromatherapy on Anxiety in Patients. Nephrourol Mon. 2016 Sep; 8(5): e38347. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5111093/
- Chandrasekhar, K. (2012). A Prospective, Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 255–262. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/
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- Ianiro,Gianluca, et al. (2016). Digestive Enzyme Supplementation in Gastrointestinal Diseases. Curr Drug Metab. 2016 Feb; 17(2): 187–193. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4923703/
- Kerr, Michael. (2016). Holiday Depression. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PMHNP-BC. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/holidays#1
- Misra S. (2019). Psychobiotics: A new approach for treating mental illness? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(8):1230-1236. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29190117