It’s now officially the silly season – a time for overindulgence, parties and celebrations. During this period we all tend to let loose and give in to those extra servings and treats, but often we indulge, er, a little too much.
All of this celebrating can take its toll and leave our liver and gut worse for wear come January, leaving many of us desperate and resorting to restrictive diets or extreme ‘cleanses’ in order to detox our bodies and feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
However there’s no need to fret; there are a few simple steps that can help you enjoy the festivities whilst also avoiding unwanted effects of the silly season. Here are some helpful tips from Stephanie Berglin, Nutritionist and Herbalist, to help provide your liver and gut with an extra helping hand during periods of indulgence, to help you feel ready to spring in to 2016, instead of roll in!
1. Balance with probiotics
Over-indulgence can be harmful to your gastrointestinal system and cause imbalances in your gastrointestinal tract. Sugar and alcohol can affect the bacteria in your gut (gut flora) and probiotics can help to counter these effects. An imbalance of gut flora can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, thanks to a prevalence of bad bacteria versus good. Probiotics are the good bacteria that promote healthy digestion and maintain a constant balance between your immune system and your gut. Taking probiotics regularly to promote a healthy gastrointestinal tract might just become your Christmas wonder!
2. Replenish B vitamins
Drinking alcohol decreases some nutrients within your body that are required for liver function and other processes in your body. B vitamins are essential in the alcohol detoxification pathway. The enzymes that detoxify alcohol require the B vitamins to function and taking a daily multivitamin that includes B vitamins is a great way to restock your vitamin B stores. When consuming alcohol, take a second multivitamin with lunch to give your body and extra boost over the holidays.
3. Try milk thistle
Taking milk thistle promotes liver health, regenerates your liver and reduces inflammation of the liver. Many of us are likely to enjoy a few drinks over the silly season, so taking milk thistle can create a buffer against liver damage caused by alcohol. Milk thistle supports your body’s ability to detox and it is recommended that you take milk thistle before those few extra drinks this silly season, as well as after.
4. Go CoQ10
Christmas/New Year socialising can leave you feeling drained. If you find yourself feeling worn-out, taking a CoQ10 supplement may be of benefit to you for that extra energy boost. CoQ10 is a naturally produced antioxidant found in your body. As you get older, your natural reserves of CoQ10 decline. Keep an eye out for Ubiquinol, which is the active form of CoQ10 to benefit your body and give it a kick-start.
5. Fight dehydration with electrolytes
Drinking more over the festive period could leave you feeling dehydrated. To keep hydrated, try electrolyte replacements containing magnesium and other minerals after drinking alcohol to leave you feeling a little more refreshed.
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