Our last article discussed some tips on how to make your holiday safer, but something else that we don’t often consider very seriously is the dangers and discomforts associated with overindulgence during the festive season.
Let’s face it, Christmas and New Year is a time to celebrate, relax, and have fun. And that usually means lots and lots of good food! It is estimated that nearly 80% of people will gain an average of 2 kilograms of extra body weight over the festive period.
The Christmas period can also be a menace to your digestive health. The rich food, alcohol, chocolates and desserts; it can all become a bit too much for your poor digestive system.
Fortunately we have five very useful tips on how to hack the festive season and manage overindulgence effectively.
TIP 1 – Best Bugs Ever!
If you know for a fact that your Christmas holidays are going to involve massive changes to your usual eating patterns, including rich foods that you are not normally used to, then one of the best ways to help and support your digestive system is by adding Probiotic supplements to your daily routine. Probiotics contain the good bacteria that live in our digestive tract and they are very useful at regulating that system’s functions and combatting problems.
A good, high strength Acidophilus complex, taken once or twice a day will certainly help you keep unpleasant digestive symptoms to a minimum.
TIP 2 – Running on Empty?
We all know this, but it is still one of the most ignored rules of common sense – don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach. We know how enjoyable it is to have that beer while you’re watching the meat on the braai, but it can do genuine damage to your health. Most alcohol absorption takes place in the stomach and upper intestines and so, drinking on an empty stomach is not only a sure-fire way to get completely sloshed, but it can also overload the liver and cause inflammation in your digestive tract. Having food in your stomach will slow absorption and this means that your bloodstream won’t get flooded with alcohol as fast. So makes sure you eat a decent portion of food with a good fat content and also try to keep snacking throughout the day, and you will not only feel better after, but your party time will also last longer.
TIP 3 – Fill ‘er Up!
Another good regular habit that we tend to ignore and break first of all is the healthy consumption of enough water throughout the day. And why not? After all, during the holiday season there is simply so much else to choose from apart from boring old water! But keeping to your regular water consumption routine will not only aid your digestive system, but also help flush out the toxins that build up in your body from all the overindulgence. And remember that alcohol and dehydration go hand-in-hand, so water is simply the best way to combat this and keep all systems running smoothly.
TIP 4 – Get a B-oost!
If alcohol overindulgence is a guaranteed part of the Christmas period, then you can be very sure that you will be depleting the levels of Vitamin B in your body very rapidly. This shortage could leave you feeling weak, tired and sluggish and so we would suggest a good Vitamin B supplement to help combat the effects of depletion. Such supplements should usually be taken the day after or alternatively incorporate Vitamin B-rich foods like brown rice, oats, and green vegetables as part of your daily diet.
TIP 5 – Keep Moving!
The festive season does not mean the couch-potato season. Here in South Africa we’re extremely lucky with wonderfully sunny weather over December, so there’s no excuse not to go out and enjoy it and get some exercise in the process. Think about all the fun activities that you can enjoy which will exercise your body at the same time; swimming in the pool, walking along the beach, playing sports or games with the kids in the garden or park. The possibilities are endless and all it takes is just a little effort to get yourself outside and doing things. And the best benefit of this is that the more you move around and spend time outdoors, the less impact all that overindulgence will have on your waistline!
So there you have it; our five top tips to help keep you healthy over the festive season. It is important to relax and have fun, but everything should also be done in moderation or else you’re sure to suffer the consequences. And nothing will ruin your festive period like ill-health or physical discomfort, not to mention the dangerous effects overindulgence may have on your heart, liver, kidneys, stomach, intestines, and body weight.
Take care of your body and your body will take care of you!