It's January again, which means it's time for Dry January!
For many people, the beginning of a new year is a great time to stop drinking and put their health and well-being first. And even though giving up alcohol can be hard, there are many benefits to doing so. For example, abstaining from alcohol has well-known beneficial effects on liver health and brain function, but it can also have a positive impact on the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.
But what exactly is the gut microbiome, and why is it so important?
The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem made up of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. These microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and all take part in keeping our overall health and wellness in check (i). For example, the bacteria in the gut help with digestion, metabolism, and immune function, as well as influencing mental health and even weight management (ii).
Unfortunately, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can upset this delicate balance, which can lead to a condition called dysbiosis (iii). Dysbiosis happens when the different types of microorganisms in the gut are out of balance. This often causes harmful bacteria to grow and good bacteria to decrease, which can cause a number of health problems, such as digestive problems, weakened immune systems, and a higher risk of getting some diseases (iv, vi).
So, what can you do during Dry January to keep your gut microbiome healthy?
One simple thing you can do is focus on eating more fermented foods. Fermented foods like yoghurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut are full of live cultures, which are good bacteria that help maintain the balance of bacteria in the gut (v). Authentic kombucha, specifically, like Pure Booch, is a great choice because it is made the right way, using traditional brewing methods and state of the art equipment to produce an organic Kombucha that is rich in over 108 different species of beneficial bacteria and yeast. Pure Booch is also low in sugar, which makes it a much better choice than most other high sugar soft and alcoholic drinks.
In addition to eating fermented foods, there are other ways you can help your gut microbiome stay healthy during Dry January and beyond.
- Eating a varied, nutrient-dense diet that includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated
- Getting regular exercise
- Reducing stress through activities like meditation or yoga
By participating in Dry January and making lifestyle changes that support the health of your gut microbiome, you can help to improve your overall health and well-being.
So why not give it a try? You may be surprised by the results!
And who knows, you may even decide to continue incorporating some of these healthy habits into your daily routine long after the month is over.
Cheers to a healthy and happy month without drinking!
(i) Shreiner, A. B., Kao, J. Y., & Young, V. B. (2015). The gut microbiome in health and in disease. National Library Of Medicine, Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 31(1), 69-75. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC42900...
(ii) Turnbaugh, P. J., Hamady, M., Yatsunenko, T., Cantarel, B. L., Duncan, A., Ley, R. E., ... & Gordon, J. I. (2009). A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins. Nature, 457(7228), 480-484.
(iii) Engen, P. A., Green, S. J., Voigt, R. M., Forsyth, C. B., & Keshavarzian, A. (2015). The Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Alcohol Effects on the Composition of Intestinal Microbiota. Alcohol Research, 37(2), 223-236.
(iv) Zheng, D., Liwinski, T. & Elinav, E. Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease. Cell Res30, 492–506 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-020-0332-7
(v) Sanlier, N., Gökcen, B. B., & Sezgin, A. C. (2019). Health benefits of fermented foods. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 59(3), 506-527. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28945458/
(vi) Oniszczuk, A., Oniszczuk, T., Gancarz, M., & Szymańska, J. (2021). Role of Gut Microbiota, Probiotics and Prebiotics in the Cardiovascular Diseases. Molecules, 26(4), 1172. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC79268...