A common downside to festive season celebrations is the dreaded hangover! Time is precious over the holidays and no body wants to wake up feeling under the weather and being forced to hibernate all day. While avoidance is the best cure, if you do happen to celebrate a little hard and wind up with a hangover there are some things you can put in place to help ease symptoms quicker. Specifically, there are no established ‘cures’ for hangovers, the aim is to help support the activity of alcohol-metabolising enzymes, rehydrate the body, replenish lost vitamins and minerals and stabilise blood sugar levels.
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Nutritionist, Zoe Bingley-Pullin share some ways to achieve this:
Start your day right
Start your recovery day with a fresh vegetable juice and make sure it contains tomato or pear. Fresh fruit and veg contain compounds, which help metabolise alcohol and are also rich in compounds, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may assist hangover symptoms.
If you aren’t a juicer, a smoothie can also do the trick. Make sure to include banana, avocado and spinach in the smoothie to help replenish electrolytes. Electrolytes including magnesium and potassium are involved during alcohol metabolism and are important for maintain hydration.
In terms of actual food, a good breakfast or brunch are eggs on wholegrain toast. Eggs and wholegrains contain B-vitamins, which can help metabolise alcohol and acetaldehyde and eggs also contain the amino acid cysteine, which like B-vitamins can help breakdown acetaldehyde. Consuming alcohol also depletes B vitamins so it’s important to replenish supplies post drinking.
Throughout the day
During the day drink adequate water to hydrate and to help reduce nausea, try sipping on ginger tea or adding fresh ginger to your morning juice/smoothie as ginger has been traditionally used to increase gastric tone, motility and emptying.
To help stabilise blood sugar, aim to eat small meals frequently during the day and aim for the meals to contain a source of complex carbohydrates, protein and vegetables. Some examples are:
– Salmon and brown rice salad
– Chickpea and sweet potato salad
– Quinoa, beetroot and chicken salad
– Cottage cheese and tomato on wholegrain crackers
– Hummus, tomato and avocado on sourdough
Avoid being tempted by greasy take-away food as this will likely make you feel worse, won’t supply the necessary nutrients required to help metabolise alcohol and will like increase lethargy.
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