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A recent survey by Yakult, to mark national Gut Week, has revealed that nearly two thirds of us feel guilty about what we consume after a night of celebrations.  And yet despite feeling sluggish and suffering with abdominal discomfort, we party on regardless. Yakult’s survey revealed that 73% of us do not give much thought to what we eat or drink when celebrating, despite the guilt we experience alongside our hangover.  With the European Championships underway, the nation gearing up for the Olympic Games and a whole host of festivals and events planned for the coming months, Yakult commissioned their Gut Week survey to see exactly how the nation plans to enjoy the fun and games and the resulting effect that this might have on our digestive health. Gut Week aims to raise awareness of good gut health and educate the nation on loving their gut to improve their overall well-being.

With so many reasons to celebrate this summer, Yakult believes that by being better prepared, choosing healthier options where possible and making small changes for the better, we can all enjoy summer’s celebrations and ensure good gut health. Now in its 7th year and supported by a number of celebrities such as ITV’s resident chef, Phil Vickery, Gut Week promotes good gut health to the nation.  Speaking about his involvement, Phil Vickery said “As a chef, I’ve always been passionate about a healthy balanced diet, so whether people are attending one of the celebrations or just planning a party at home, I wanted to get involved to help people enjoy the action packed summer, whilst still looking after their diet. Making some simple food swaps can make a huge difference to your diet and keep your gut happy pre and post festivities!” 

Here Phil offers some suggestions on how to enjoy the summer of celebrations more sensibly and healthily;

  • Avoid fry ups as a hangover cure as you will just be giving the body an unnecessary amount of saturated fat and salt, prolonging the ill effects.  Porridge makes a great power breakfast as it contains Vitamin B to enhance your mood and helps to cleanse the liver, absorb toxins and slowly raise blood sugar levels.  If you can’t stomach much, try a banana.  It’s gentle on the stomach, good for keeping up your blood sugar and packed with potassium, essential for good digestion.  Potassium is lost by the body when alcohol is consumed, contributing to the symptoms of dehydration as part of the hangover.  Replacing this lost mineral will speed up your recovery.
  • Barbequed food can be healthy and tasty; just try to look beyond the burger. Fish is a delicious alternative option to greasy sausages and processed meats and is filling and nutritious.  Vegetable kebabs or corn on the cob are really easy to cook and eat with your hands at barbeque gatherings.
  • Anyone with a sensitive digestive system should avoid fatty meats and fried foods always, including pizza and French fries.  Try to make party food from scratch so you know exactly what you are putting into your body.  Instead of ordering in pizza, make your own so you can add fresh vegetables and control the portion sizes.  Make your own ready meals like curries and stock up your freezer to avoid the temptation of takeaway, especially the day after a party when you won’t feel like cooking.

Each bottle of Yakult contains at least 6.5 billion live cells of the unique Lactobacillus casei Shirota strain of bacteria, which reaches the intestines alive. Available nationwide, Yakult retails from €3.59 for a pack of seven bottles, one for every day of the week.  For practical advice and information on how to maintain gut health, seek help and support, in addition to Phil’s healthy food swaps and more information on gut and digestive health, visit www.gutweek.ie



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