Your Christmas Colon - Supplements To Help Support Your Digestion Over The Holidays

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Sometimes it's easier to add than to take away! What I mean by this is many of my patients openly say that they are not holding back this holiday. They will enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Lots of processed foods, speciality coffee's, alcohol and little to no vegetables. If this is the case, instead of trying to take some of these foods out maybe we can add something in to decrease the negative impact on your health.  

Here are 3 supplements you can take over the holidays to help support a healthy Christmas Colon!  

1 - Pro and Pre biotics
Overeating, processed foods, sugar and alcohol all negatively impact our gut flora (healthy bacteria in our digestive tract). When our gut flora balance is off, we no longer digest our food properly and can often experience indigestion, bloating and diarrhea. Supplementing with Probiotics will help re-seed these good bacteria in our stomach. Adding in a Pre-biotic will also help. Pre-biotics act as a good base for the probiotics (good bacteria) to grow. It’s something like a healthy fertilizer for the bacteria to grow.  

2 - Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes can be taken at mealtime to support your body’s ability to properly break down food. It can be beneficial for people who lack the appropriate levels of these enzymes or for those who have food sensitivities. There are a variety of different types of digestive enzymes available. Each enzyme will support the digestion of different types of foods such as fats, protein and carbohydrates.  

3 - N-Acetyl Cysteine - NAC
This is a wonderful supplement to help support the liver and detoxification pathways. It is a key element in the creation of the strongest antioxidant in our body - Glutathione. The typical holiday party diet contains many elements which damage our cells, liver and trigger inflammatory reactions. None of these things supports optimal health. One way our body will protect itself is through the use of antioxidants. Glutathione is one of the major players in this antioxidant arena to protect our cells. NAC is also a wonderful support for the liver to help detox the body.  

#4 - BONUS
Water, the simple and often overlooked part of our diet plays a significant role in keeping us healthy. Our blood is approximately 90% water and the rest of our body is 60%. This essential fluid does dozens of wonderful things to support our health. Adequate water intake allows the digestive tract to move and eliminate food waste properly. It detoxes the body by flushing out other waste through urine. Water creates saliva to aid in digestion, can support weight loss and also decreases the chance of waking with a hangover.

These are just 3 (plus 1) suggestions to keep a healthy Christmas Colon using supplements over the holidays. You can have a better chance of maintaining your health by limiting specific food groups but following these suggestions will also give you a boost! Starting in January let go of these bad habits, jump back on your usual healthy routines and make 2020 your best year ever!

Happy Holidays!
Dr. Ryan Funk
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Fellow of the ABORM
supplements for digestion and constipation, prebiotics and probiotics in digestive health