‘Tis the season — for overindulging.
And let’s face it, we all tend to overdo it a bit around the holidays.
Even if you don’t stuff down thousands of calories a day, I’m willing to bet that, during Christmas and New Year’s, you’re going to be eating combinations of foods that you don’t eat during the rest of the year.
This alone can wreak havoc with your digestive system, not to mention your waistline.
Wouldn’t it be nice to indulge in some of those special treats and foods of the season and still be able to fit into your pants come January?
It can be done.
Foods that help with the consequences of over-indulging
Tummy trouble. Eating too much, too fast, can leave you feeling bloated and gassy. Fortunately, there are foods you can add to your after-holiday menu to help with that:
- Yogurt. The “good” bacteria in yogurt, called lactobacillus, can balance out bad bacteria and go after gas and diarrhea. To get this effect, look for yogurt with live active cultures.
- Ginger. Few things are more soothing to the stomach after a big dinner than a steaming cup of ginger tea. Ginger helps relax the muscles of your digestive tract to let the gas out.
- Beans. The options are endless here. Your favorite combination of beans will give you a fiber boost that will get your digestion moving. Try a homemade bean soup.
Elevated blood sugar. A drizzle of vinegar on your salad can help level out the highs and lows in your blood sugar brought on by a carb-heavy holiday binge. But don’t overdo it – too much vinegar may bother your stomach.
High blood pressure. If you’ve been indulging in ultra-salty foods over the holidays, you’ll need some potassium-rich foods to level out your blood pressure. Try bananas, prune juice or an orange, or any of these other potassium-rich foods.
Heart disease and cholesterol. Binge eating raises your risk of heart disease. So does high blood pressure. How about indulging in some heart-healthy foods after (or even during) the holidays?
Add a little flaxseed to your smoothies, salads, or oatmeal. You’ll be getting some added fiber, plus ALA, a fatty acid that may improve heart health.
And speaking of oatmeal, that should be part of your post-holiday eating plan, too! It’s incredibly nutritious, and the perfect food to take care of all the post-binge health issues we’ve discussed here: blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Depression. Overeating certainly doesn’t make you feel great. But aside from that, the holiday season can bring on feelings of depression for many people, especially if they are alone.
Before you think about a prescription for anti-depressants, think about adding some magnesium-rich foods to your diet. Magnesium is like a natural anti-depressant.
And there are so many healthy foods that are high in magnesium: dark chocolate, avocados, almonds, oranges, salmon, and dark, leafy greens, just to name a few.
Have you noticed that a lot of the foods that will help you get over the effects of that holiday dinner are also just generally good for you? Makes it easier to build a menu that will help keep you healthy in every way, well into the new year.
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5 Very Real Dangers of Binge Eating — keckmedicine.org (University of Southern California)
10 Magnesium-Rich Foods That Are Super Healthy — Healthline