The winter season brings with it a slew of health concerns like digestive issues. During the winter, not only are respiratory problems, achy joints and muscles, and skin infections common, but so are stomach problems.
If you are experiencing digestive issues this winter, you are not alone. For those who are unfamiliar, gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms in the digestive tract. The state of your gut can have an impact on every other part of your body, including your skin, immune system, sleep cycle, heart, and brain. As a result, keeping these microorganisms in balance and managing gut health will help to improve overall health. As a result, taking care of your gut is critical, especially during the colder months when your digestive system suffers.
Continue reading to find out more.
Reasons for digestive issues in winter
Winter stomach pains can be a recurring issue for many people. Many people experience an increase in stomach ache issues during the cold winter months for a variety of reasons.
1. Sluggish Metabolism
Health experts assert that continuous exposure to cold temperatures signals our body to save energy and heat that eventually slows down our metabolism. This makes it difficult for most people to empty their stomachs and have regular bowel movements.
2. Consuming excess junk foods
It is common to indulge in excessive comfort foods during this season. However, junk food will not only slow down your digestion, but also cause bloating and cause immense harm to your digestive health. A lack of essential nutrients in junk food can further cause irritable bowel syndrome. Avoid processed foods in addition to junk foods.
3. Drinking inadequate water
We tend to drink less water when the temperature drops. Drinking enough water on a daily basis is critical for eliminating all toxins from the body. In the absence of adequate water, the intestines make food more difficult to pass, which can result in constipation. So, to avoid digestive issues during the winter, drink plenty of liquids.
4. Carbonated beverages
As the temperature drops, replace soda and other aerated beverages with coffee or fruit juice. The bubbles in soft drinks are notorious for irritating the stomach walls, causing even more pain. Furthermore, these drinks can be harmful to your dental health.
The cool winter air can be stressful for our bodies, especially the digestive system. It can cause cramping, bloating, inflammation, and appetite loss. So, work on de-stressing yourself through activities such as yoga, meditation, or walking. You can also relieve stress by engaging in other activities such as listening to music, cooking, photography, or even dancing.
6. Sleep deprivation causes digestive issues
A good night’s sleep acts as medicine, allowing our bodies to repair and restore themselves to their peak performance. Sleep deprivation can raise stress levels, which is bad for gut health. Better sleep means less stress, fewer unhealthy food cravings, and, ultimately, fewer digestive issues.
How digestive issues can be avoided?
During the colder months, many people experience abdominal discomfort. There are several reasons for this, and fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to alleviate your symptoms.
- Consume cooked vegetables, whole grains, pulses, lentils, fresh fruits and seeds instead. Also, avoid spicy foods, which can cause heartburn and stomach pain.
- Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help to strengthen the immune system, reduce chronic inflammation, and treat leaky gut. To keep your digestive system healthy and your stomach clean, consume fermented foods such as fermented vegetables, coconut kefir, and probiotic supplements.
- Be mindful of how much food is on your plate, as overeating is another cause of digestive problems. Eating several small meals throughout the day is easier on your digestive system than eating large meals only a few times a day.
- Stay away from spicy foods because such foods are very challenging for the digestive system and are infamous for producing heartburn and stomach ache.
- Steer away from carbonated beverages. These bubbles might irritate your stomach walls and exacerbate pain. Teas or waters with fruit flavours can be consumed in place of soda and other fizzy beverages.
- Staying warm can help reduce abdominal pain caused by indigestion and stomach cramps. Wear multiple layers of clothing and keep extra blankets on hand. Warmth helps to relieve the stomach pain brought on by indigestion and cramps.
- Exercise is essential for the proper operation of the digestive systems. Science has discovered a link between exercise and gut flora, attributing physical activity to an increase in butyrate, a bacteria known to help prevent bloating and even colon cancer.
Winters can contribute to various digestive issues. Fortunately, maintaining a healthy digestive system isn’t rocket science. You can improve your gut health with simple changes to your diet and lifestyle and say goodbye to winter indigestion. However, if you experience chronic, long term or frequent digestive problems, it is advisable to consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner.