8 Remedies to Combat Overindulgence
When heartburn, indigestion, bloating and inflammation come knocking, try some of these eight remedies.
Some of us will spend a few minutes reflecting on everything we should be thankful for, but that amount of time and intensity surely pales by comparison to the energy we muster for turkey, mash potatoes, sauces and pie.
To those who have pummeled yourself with food and drink on Thanksgiving, or any other time, there’s hope for a speedy recovery, courtesy of Leo Galland, MD, whose suggestions on how to recover from epicurean excess I hereby summarize, eight in total.
The first five remedies are good for Alcohol Debauchery, and the next three for Food Stuffing.
Take This to Combat Alcohol Debauchery
- Milk Thistle is an herb has been used for centuries to cleanse and strengthen the liver. A journal article from Italy called milk thistle “the most well-researched plant in the treatment of liver disease.”, which is good news for those tending toward Alcohol Debauchery, cause nothing quite messes with the liver as well as alcohol. Buy it anywhere in capsule form.
- Magnesium is an important mineral that gets depleted by alcohol, as well as foods high in sodium and sugar. It has a laxative effect, and relaxes you, as well as your bowls, which is why many people take Calm (a powdered magnesium in bulk form) before bed.
- Green Tea is my perennial favorite because it yields so many benefits (search for “tea” on this blog), such as improving metabolism and helping detoxification. Plus it tastes great.
- Protein is the key macro-nutrient (the others being carbs and fat) for rebuilding whatever in the body we tear down. Alcohol can deplete your liver of glutathione (<–click and scroll down), the liver’s most important natural detoxifier. Eating protein helps to build the glutathione back up. Eat moderate amounts of protein, one serving at each meal. “Moderate” because, unlike with fat, the body can’t easily store protein and then use it when needed. If you’re not a body builder, you don’t need to eat your weight in grams (ie: 200 lbs = 200 grams protein). I make it easy on myself by using a whey-based protein supplement (ImmunePlex) so that I get some at every meal, even if too lazy to open a can of tuna, or cook some salmon.
- Fruits and Veggies have anti-inflammatory properties due to the flavonoids and carotenoids contained in the food pigments. Alcohol is inflammatory, so it’s a nice marriage between it, fruits and vegetables (polygamous?), but one that isn’t on a path to success unless you consume about nine servings a day of some combo of the flavonoid/carotenoid stuff.
Take This to Combat Food Stuffing
- Calcium relieves heartburn by tightening the valve that keeps stomach acid in its place, like anywhere other than your esophagus and throat. Try calcium citrate powder, 250 mg, dissolved in water, after every meal and at bedtime (for a total daily dose of 1,000 mg). Swallowing calcium pills does not prevent reflux because the calcium is not instantly dissolved.
- 2. Digestive Enzymes help break down protein, fiber, fat and carbs to help decrease distension of the stomach, reducing that bloated, stuffed feeling and easing digestion. The enzymes should be acid-resistant, so they work in the stomach itself, not in the small intestine. A powdered enzyme preparation (1/2 teaspoon) can be mixed together with the calcium powder above and taken after each meal. Digestive enzymes are available in health food stores and drug stores, or you can take Vital Enzymes, which are the ones I use.
- Exercise might be the last thing you can make yourself do if you’re hurting from creative overindulgence. But exercise boosts energy, helps you de-stress, improves the immune system and facilitates sleep. Lace some comfortable shoes and tell yourself you’re just going to stroll to the mailbox. Perhaps the fresh air and expanding lungs will take you further.
If you have any ideas to add, or wish to express how anything on this list aided you, please use the Comments section below.