A TV doctor has warned of the red flag signs you could have ‘winter gut lag’.
Dr Zoe Williams explained why it occurs, what symptoms it leads to and how to overcome it.
Heading towards winter, people’s circadian rhythm could be disrupted, which could affect how your gut functions.
As the gut microbiome sync with an altered body clock, sudden shifts can occur in the microbiome landscape.
Dr Zoe said: “These changes in turn can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, an upset stomach and more.”
To help treat winter gut lag, Dr Zoe has four key tips involving diet, activity levels, sleep, and hydration.
Dr Zoe elaborated on diet: “Our guts thrive off a diverse diet including a wide assortment of fibre-rich foods that help positively impact your gut microbiome, which is an important component of digestion and food absorption.
“A varied diet with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains, as well as fermented foods can help ensure your gut microbiome gets the nutrients it needs.”
Dr Zoe is an advocate for yoghurt, which is considered to be a fermented food that can help to support gut health.
“Studies show that regular exercise can positively impact the gut,” added Dr Zoe.
“So try fitting in more walking, running, cycling or any activity of choice.”
Even simple stretches done indoors can benefit you in terms of energy levels and mood.
“Studies indicate that a lack of sleep can directly impacts our hunger hormones and, therefore our food choices, digestive system and gut health,” said Dr Zoe.
A lack of good sleep puts you in the position to reach for unhealthy foods, which isn’t great for the gut.
Having a regular sleep pattern can encourage healthy eating, which is likely to have a positive impact on the diversity of the gut microbiome.
Another key way to overcome winter gut lag is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Dr Zoe Williams is working with Activia, the gut health yoghurt brand, to coach consumers about the role of the gut as part of our overall wellbeing – as the gut is where it all begins after all.