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The warmer weather is here and there’s a party vibe in the air. With plenty of Christmas parties and work 'do’s' to go to, we can often get a little carried-away with the festivities and needing a hangover cure from our over indulgence in unhealthy foods and alcohol.
To make sure you stay in good health during the silly season, so you can enjoy your summer to the fullest, there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of drinking too much alcohol. Ideally of course you should always drink sensibly and keep an eye on how much you are drinking.
TIP ONE: Keep well hydrated when out drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a major cause of dehydration. We lose fluids and important electrolytes every time we have a drink. Electrolytes are minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium that are vital for keeping fluids balanced in our bodies and are needed for good health. Those common symptoms you wake up with after a night out drinking – the headache, nausea, dry mouth and thirst - are all symptoms of dehydration. The best way to combat this is to get into the habit of having a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks when you are out.
‘The morning after’, why don’t you try a smoothie to help you re-hydrate and treat your hangover symptoms. Into a blender pour the water from one fresh young coconut, one frozen or ripe banana, a handful of frozen mixed berries and a heap tablespoon of chia seeds. Coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes, bananas help replenish low potassium, berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and chia seeds contain fibre to help the body eliminate toxins from the body.
TIP TWO: Make sure you eat something nutritious before you go out drinking and try to snack on healthy foods when you’re out. This will slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream. Healthy snacks to nibble on while having a drink include hummus, avocado and other dips with breads and crackers, nuts and pretzels, grilled fish and seafood, and olives and mezza plates are also a healthier choice compared to wedges and crisps or deep fried foods.
TIP THREE: Play it safe and stick to one drink an hour. This will give your liver time to detox the alcohol properly, and prevent a build-up of alcohol in your blood.
TIP FOUR: Increase your B vitamins. The body uses up a considerable amount of nutrients when processing alcohol, such as niacin (vitamin B3). If you are low in vitamin B3 levels are low, this elimination process will be impaired and will prolong alcohol levels in the system. By increasing vitamin B-rich foods and taking a complex B supplement daily you will be ensuring that your vitamin B levels are adequate to deal with any increase in alcohol intake. Good food sources include wholegrains, legumes, avocado, nuts, seeds, and red meat.
TIP FIVE: Rich fatty foods and excessive alcohol consumption places a heavy burden on our already overworked livers. Give your liver a helping hand by consuming certain foods and herbs that help support healthy liver function. Have a good serving of sulfur-containing vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and onion and garlic with your festive meal. When cabbage is fermented to make sauerkraut, these protective sulfur compounds increase, making it a great addition to meals. Take the herb Milk Thistle daily to protect your liver cells from alcohol-induced damage, and to enhance liver detoxification. Swapping your morning coffee with a detoxing herbal tea containing liver tonic herbs such as dandelion root, schisandra berries, and turmeric, to help the liver remove alcohol and other toxins from the body safely. These herbs are found in Bodhi Organics PuriTEA and ZesTEA.
TIP SIX: Increase antioxidants in your daily diet. Antioxidants are important to help fight the cellular damage alcohol consumption can cause, as well as giving immune function and boost. Best sources of antioxidants include green tea (Bodhi Organic ViridiTEA), citrus fruits rich in vitamin C, berries, green leafs, kiwi fruit, rose hip tea (Bodhi Organic LongeviTEA)and turmeric. Vitamin C is destroyed by alcohol, so supplementing with vitamin C daily is also recommended.