by Judith Coulson
MAKE sure to have these healthy foods handy in your kitchen during the holidays to calm your stomach, boost your immune system and balance the sins.
Plain Greek Yogurt (preferably Bio)
The probiotic power of yogurt can help tame tummy troubles brought on by too much food. “Good” bacteria called lactobacillus can balance out bad bacteria and go after gas and diarrhea. One pot of live yogurt can also help your body fighting off infections as well as absorbing essential immunity boosting nutrients effectively. Look out for natural yogurt that should not have more than two ingredients listed on the label: Milk and yogurt cultures.
Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins, and potassium that can help elevate heavy and salty meals. Vitamin B5 aids the formation of the immune system’s killer
cells. Vitamin B6 improves the body’s ability to clear away waste matter. They also are high in immunity-enhancing vitamin C as well as dense in fibre which regulates body fluids and nerve functions.
A bowl of oatmeal muesli for breakfast will start your day on the right foot after a long food rich night. Plenty of soluble fibre will help lower cholesterol by kicking
it out of your system before it can set up shop. Oats are also rich in silica, an antiinflammatory mineral which soothes the digestive tract. The high mineral content of oats will also help your gut to reduce the acid build up from to fatty and to sweet foods. Add a portion of fresh fruit to it like an apple can also help you detoxifying, add some berries to it will give you a much needed antioxidant and vitamin C boost.
Green tea is a great drink after an alcohol rich evening. Its high content of polyphenols neutralise damaging free radicals, boost the immune system, help to prevent disease and can counteract cancer causing agents. Green tea can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and stop the hardening of the arteries. Green tea is great hydrating solution to balance out a salt, sugar and fat rich meal.
Nuts are packed with minerals, healthy fatty acids, immunity boosting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. A handful of nuts for breakfast after a party are the ideal vitamin boost your body needs to deal with the waste of the night. A handful of nuts before a party can slow down the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream.
Beans, Lentils & Pulses
Garbanzo, lentil, chickpeas, when it comes to beans, the options are almost endless. Mix them or pick your favourite for a gut healthy fibre boost. Rich in minerals and vitamins as well as ant carcinogenic phytochemicals, beans can improve your heart health as well as your digestive system.
Eggs (free range organic)
They pack a hearty nutritional punch. Eggs are full of protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate and make a great light snack that is easy on a stressed stomach. Whip up an omelette with veggies to sneak in extra fibre. Don’t worry about the cholesterol in the yolk. Blood cholesterol and food cholesterol are not the same, unfortunately most doctors got that wrong for too many years.
Your body has a lot to work through after a binge. Spinach is full of vitamin B2, which helps metabolise fat. B vitamins also help fight disease and infection to help keep you healthy longer. It’s best to eat your leafy greens raw or lightly steamed, boiling them can take out essential vitamins and nutrients.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A drizzle of this on your salad can help level blood sugar after the highs and lows of bingeing. Vinegar can lower your glycemic index after a carb fest. But don’t overdo it, too much vinegar may bother your stomach.
Gas got you feeling bloated? Ginger helps relax the muscles in your digestive tract to get the gas out. Brew some ginger tea, spice up a salad with pickled ginger, or blend some into a smoothie to get your fix.
They’re tart, tasty, and packed with vitamin C, which boosts your metabolism and helps digest fats. What’s more, there’s a chance that boosting your vitamin C can give you more energy and lift your spirits. Go for the whole fruit instead of juice to avoid extra sugar and to up your fibre.
It’s is an easy addition to foods you already eat, like oatmeal or smoothies. It doesn’t change food’s flavour, but can add fibre and ALA, a fatty acid that may improve your heart health. Opt for ground flax over flaxseed oil for full fibre benefits.
Fish like salmon delivers brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, but it also gives you a protein pick-me-up. Protein helps keep your blood sugar steady and may even help prevent sugar spikes after a carbheavy meal.
A good way to get your body past a binge is to flush your system with water. It not only helps you digest food, it softens your stool so you can move things along. And if indigestion has your stomach in knots, try bringing in a few bubbles. Seltzer water may help ease your quease.
I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season and a great start into a successful New Year.