The festive period is fast approaching, and after the chaotic year we have all had, it will be a time to relax, celebrate and indulge in some of our favourite foods.

When planning your festive menu, it’s a good idea to try and incorporate some foods or supplements that can aid digestion and promote overall gut-health, particularly if you like us, are fond of a little over-indulgence over the holidays.

Certain rich or high fat foods along with alcohol can trigger indigestion symptoms, to help keep indigestion at bay we have a handy guide here.

Why does gut health matter?

Our bowel contains trillions of microbes that play an important part of maintaining our overall health.  These microbes produce necessary hormones and minerals, vital for good health.  A healthy intestinal lining helps your body digest all the important nutrients from food and can also prevent constipation, diarrhoea or stomach cramps.*

An easy way to help look after your gut health is to introduce a probiotic supplement into your diet.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are supplementary “friendly bacteria” and are thought to help restore the balance of the bacteria (microbiome) found in your gut.  Probiotic supplements are generally classed as a food rather than medicine, as there are many different types of probiotics you might find that one probiotic will work for you for a certain issue, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will help with other problems. ** We have a helpful article about probiotics here.

Why not try…

VSL#3 is a highly concentrated poly-biotic, meaning it contains 450 billion bacteria across 8 different strains.  It has the highest volume of bacteria per dose amongst the leading brands.

Each strain of bacteria has been freeze-dried so they will survive the harsh conditions in the stomach.  This helps them to reach and colonise the gut where they help to support your healthy gut microbiome.

How do I take VSL#3?

VSL#3 is a versatile poly-biotic, it can be sprinkled, shaken, slurped or sipped.  It comes in easy to use pre-proportioned sachets.  You could start your day by mixing it into a smoothie or protein shake or add it to yoghurt or cereal.  It can also be sprinkled into a cold non-fizzy drink.  With the festive period approaching it is a good time to be inventive with different ways of adding VSL#3 to your diet.

How long should I take it for?

The NHS advises that you should take probiotics every day for at least 4 weeks to see the beneficial effects. ***

Where can I buy VSL#3?

VSL#3 can be bought in our of our LloydsPharmacy stores or online.  If you decide to order online, you will be directed to the brand website.  Your order will be delivered direct to your door in a chilled box.

How do I store VSL#3 ?

Because the freeze-dried bacteria are live it is recommended that you store them in a fridge to preserve them.

I’m planning on doing Veganuary, can I take VSL#3?

VSL#3 contains no animal products so is suitable for both vegans and vegetarians. The product is certified as Kosher and Halal.

VSL#3 does not contain: gluten, crustacean shellfish, molluscs, eggs, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, milk and lactose, celery, mustard, sesame, lupin and sulphur dioxide at levels above 10mg/kg, or 10mg/litre, expressed as SO2.

If you are concerned about allergens or are pregnant, ensure you consult your doctor before taking this or any other food supplement.

 

* https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/how-can-i-improve-my-gut-health

** https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/probiotics/

*** https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/good-foods-to-help-your-digestion/

 

Find your nearest store

For more help on maintaining your gut health speak to one of our in-store teams.  You can find your nearest store here.