November 29 2016
The holidays are just around the corner which means decorating your home, preparing a lovely dinner, practicing different family traditions, seeing all different kinds of family and friends, and of course (typically) copious amounts of alcohol (sometimes to help cope with said family and friends coming to visit). While alcohol may be for some an integral aspect for adding a little extra holiday cheer around this time of year, no one is safe from the head splitting, nauseating and overall unpleasant consequences that will follow the next day when you wake up. While reducing the overall intake of alcohol over the holidays is a considerably good idea to prevent said hangover (as blasphemous as that may seem to some others), it is also a good idea to take some other preventative health measures to not only prevent the negative effects the morning after, but to actually protect your liver, stomach and brain from becoming too damaged.
When we drink excessive amounts of alcohol, it acts as a diuretic which is why we urinate so frequently when we drink. Our livers need water in order to function properly which is why the age old rule of for every alcoholic drink you have, you should have two glasses of water afterwards actually makes sense. Drinking water when you drink alcohol not only helps to replace some of the fluids needed to help your liver function but it also helps to flush out any excess alcohol and prevents headaches caused by dehydration as well. Sometimes, however, it is also important to take some extra measures to prevent the dreaded holiday hangover.
Milk thistle is a plant that helps the liver to regenerate issues that have been damaged by alcohol intake and disease. Milk thistle contains the antioxidant silibinin which is a component of the antioxidant silymarin which help to protect the liver from different toxins in the body, including the ones found in alcohol as well as helping to product an important antioxidant in the body called glutathione which is important in helping the liver detoxify. Taking milk thistle on a regular basis not only ensures that your liver is safer from alcohol poisoning (although that is not an excuse to continue to drink excessively while taking this supplement) but it can help to prevent some of the damages that a couple too many nights of drinking can cause such as a bloated liver, issues with digestion, toxic build up and everything that comes with it.
Another supplement in our kit for preventing the negative effects of alcohol is a good chlorophyll supplement. Many of us were taught in our high school science classes that chlorophyll is what makes plants green and is essential for photosynthesis which allows plants to absorb energy from light. The health benefits of chlorophyll include but are not limited to controlling hunger and cravings, eliminating body odour from toxic build up, it has antioxidant properties and in the case of drinking too much, it has liver cleansing properties. Chlorophyll helps to alkalize the digestive system which is essential after alcohol consumption which can cause excessive acidity in the body and helps to eliminate excessive toxic build up through waste while helping to settle the stomach from indigestion from large meals that tend to come with the holidays.
While we generally know that excessive drinking is usually not the best idea, the holidays generally seem to be an exception for many people. While this can lead to a fun time, it is important to remember that it does not mean that our bodies are suddenly impervious to the damage that alcohol can cause just because it is the holidays. It is important to take care of ourselves to prevent the long term damage that can come from these occasional (and understandable) slips in judgment. It is important to remember these three main things, hydrate, protect and detoxify.