Holiday parties and shopping can make this a fun and exciting time of the year. But entertaining, eating out, and stress can bring on unwanted health issues, from hangovers and heartburn to sore throat and sleeplessness. Don’t suffer through the holidays, follow these tips to feel your best.
Problem: Upset stomach, gas, bloating, and acid reflux. Over the counter acid reducing drugs provide temporary relief but their use may lead to more problems down the road. Studies show these drugs can reduce the absorption of several vital nutrients including vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Chronic use of these drugs may lead to an increased risk of fractures and cognitive problems. In many cases the problem is not enough acid rather than too much acid.
Solution: Eat smaller meals; avoid smoking; minimize caffeine/alcohol and eat more fermented foods (such as kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh) and probiotic foods such as kefir and yogurt. Try a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with meals. Consider a digestive aid such as A. Vogel’s Digestive Aid Complex, which contains dandelion, milk thistle, artichoke and boldo leaf. This formula has been shown to improve digestion and relieve the symptoms of heartburn and digestive distress.
Problem: Too many alcoholic beverages can lead to alcohol intoxication and the dreaded hangover. This problem can be worsened by dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Solution: Alternate water/sparkling water with your alcoholic beverages. Have a banana and a glass of coconut water before bed to replenish vial electrolytes such as potassium. If you have the munchies skip the greasy burger and snack on a handful of walnuts. Walnuts are rich in the amino acid arginine, which can aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia (a by-product of alcohol). Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support liver health. Supplements of the B-vitamins and C can also help the body process alcohol. Forget the home remedies such as hair of the dog. There is no evidence that this helps and it can make you sicker. If you have a headache, have a glass of water and put a few drops of lavender on your temples. Avoid taking products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) because this drug combined with alcohol can cause liver damage.
Problem: Talking, singing and shouting to be heard at parties can leave your throat feeling irritated and sore. A sore throat can also be the first sign of a viral infection.
Solution: Gargle with salt water; coat your throat with a teaspoon of honey; and try a Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray. This natural, which contains organic Echinacea, peppermint and sage. Run a humidifier in your bedroom for sleeping. Dry indoor air can worsen a sore/dry throat.
Stress & Sleeplessness
Problem: Busy schedules, crowded malls, and late nights can lead to stress overload, anxiety and problems sleeping.
Solution: Survive holiday stress by carving out some time for yourself. Even if it is 10 minutes to meditate or just sit and read a book. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. Go out for a brisk walk to clear you mind, stretch or do some yoga. Natural remedies that can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality include supplements of magnesium, L-theanine and lavender.