Active digestion during winter
During winter, the natural instinct is to hibernate as we transition into a more restorative mode. While some animals can survive all winter long with no food during hibernation, humans still require nourishment, which is why we need to maintain active and healthy digestion!
Ensuring adequate hydration is the number one step for healthy digestive function in winter. Drying winter winds and warm salty foods can often leave our bodies parched, although we may not always recognise signs and symptoms of dehydration. When you consume an insufficient amount of hydrating fluids, your stools may become hard and dry as a result, often leading to constipation.
Fibre is another key factor that will help to fuel a strong digestive system during winter. Fibre not only adds bulk to ensure healthy stools, it also nourishes the good bacteria in our digestive systems. This means less digestive complaints such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea. Fibre can be easily included in our winter meals through sources including wholegrains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
To keep our digestive fires burning throughout winter, bitter foods may provide support by encouraging the secretion of gastric juices. Lemon juice in warm water is a popular remedy for supporting digestion, while bitter greens may have a similar effect. Ginger is another warming food source that can aid digestive function in the cooler months.
Keep these simple tips in mind during your hibernating days this winter and your digestive system will thank you!