The changing season isn’t always comfortable; our metabolisms shift, our weights fluctuate, and our energy levels are as unpredictable as the temperatures outside. Winter and fall are prime seasons for overeating, indulgence, and family time, but also for anxiety, depression, and lack of sleep. To take some of the stress off your body, you might consider investing in your gut health.
Healing the imbalances in your gut flora has been linked to lower stress levels, easier digestion, and even painless hangovers. According to experts from the probiotic manufacturer Renew Life, “The gut — essentially the body’s second brain — can positively impact your mood, memory, immunity, and digestion.”
Below are some benefits of taking a probiotic or investing otherwise in your gut health specific to the colder seasons.
- A healthy gut can improve your memory. If you’re in school, you’ll need the extra brain power when studying for upcoming tests. Regardless of whether you’re in school or not, fall often brings a newly packed schedule and a crammed to-do list. A healthy gut is proven to help improve memory and cognitive function — essential for this hectic time.
- Your immune system needs the support. While sickness spreads year-round, viruses are most common during the fall and winter. At least 70 percent of your immune system is located in the gut. A healthy gut has the power to boost your immune system, further protecting you from this season’s woes.
- Stress levels will go down with easier digestion. The fall can be stressful with school and new work commitments. A healthy gut can help lower stress and help you take on new routines with ease.
Winter is the season during which we typically indulge in family and holiday celebrations — which usually means rich foods and alcohol. All of this overindulgence takes a toll on the gut. Imagine trying to handle a Thanksgiving dinner while your gut is already a little unstable. Doesn’t sound too easy! In the winter, you want to have a healthy gut.
- You’ll experience less digestive discomfort. Those luscious holiday meals can take a toll on our stomachs. A healthy gut can help protect against stomach discomfort after eating a huge, rich meal, or after drinking too much.
- You’ll keep the holiday stress at a minimum. No matter how much we plan, the holidays are somehow still hectic. A healthy gut can help lower stress to help you handle the craziness.
- Fight seasonal depression. Winter is long and cold. For many, this takes a toll on overall mood, happiness, and other aspects of our mental health. People don’t realize that a healthy gut actually does have the power to improve your mood. The depression-fighting hormone serotonin is produced in the gut; so healing an imbalance can help regulate your mood over time. For some depression-fighting foods to add to your diet, click here.