Beat The Bloat And Love Your Liver Through The Holidays!
Why Holidays Can Be “Not So Happy”
Officially encompassing the days spanning between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the holiday season is typically a highly anticipated time. While celebrations, decorations, feasts, gift giving and get-togethers are usually full of joy, they can also present an abundance of challenges when managing weight, digestion and chronic liver bloat.
Three of the more common holiday challenges, include:
1. Stress – Wading through mobs of fellow shoppers, squeezing thoughtful gifts out of an already tight budget, pleasing parents, siblings and children and keeping your cool with combative relatives are nothing short of stressful. Unfortunately, high stress levels lead to greater amounts of liver inflammation and congestion – both of which can be particularly harmful to those with chronic liver issues.
2. Fatty Food – Egg nog, cheesecake, creamy mashed potatoes, latkes, pecan pie, brisket, pork belly, buttery rolls and candied yams are just a sampling of typical holiday foods that are loaded with fat and cholesterol. Although such fare can be very enticing, large fatty meals are destined to aggravate liver inflammation – the precursor to liver damage.
3. Alcohol – Unless attending a holiday celebration that is a designated no alcohol zone, chances are that the adult socializing will revolve around alcoholic beverages. Even though it is likely part of your holiday traditions, drinking alcohol is the single most liver-hazardous activity you can engage in. Alcohol kills liver cells, and those with chronic liver disease are more likely to sustain permanent damage from that loss.
Six Tips to Have a Happy Liver and Holiday
By consciously taking good care of your liver (which keeps inflammation, congestion and damage down), your odds of having a good day increase dramatically. Therefore, it is easier to enjoy the holidays when your liver is happy. Below are six tips to prevent your liver from turning you into a scrooge:
1. Relaxation – For every holiday commitment you schedule, make sure to allocate time for stress relief. This could mean making homemade gifts and then splurging on a massage or escaping from the chaotic mall to go for a serene hike. Although this should be a standard part of everyone’s holiday preparation, too many people skimp on having time for themselves. Your liver, in particular, will thank you for your stress relief efforts.
2. Get Plenty of Sleep – Whether related to anxiety, or a variety of other issues, those with stomach bloat (liver) are prone to insomnia. As we all know, being short on sleep is guaranteed to cause fatigue – a bummer when trying to celebrate. By making sure to get a lot of sleep this holiday season, you will be better able to enjoy the festivities.
3. Eat Smart – Avoid the fatty, sinful offerings at each holiday celebration. Eating regular, healthful meals and snacks makes it easier to resist overdoing it at festive events. Make sure not to skip snacks or meals, even if you’re busy shopping, wrapping or cooking. If you ignore your regular eating schedule before a gathering, you might be ravenous and overeat or indulge in unhealthy holiday treats.
4. Some of the time choose a non-alcoholic beverage – Just because it’s a holiday with wine and spirits lurking around every corner, there is no good reason to consume alcohol at every event. It may help you feel relaxed or silly in the moment, but any alcohol will seriously infuriate a liver already dealing with a bloat and liver issues. Instead, choose beverages that will make your liver happy – like lemon water, herbal tea or an orange juice and seltzer spritzer – so that you can rightfully claim that you’ve had a happy holiday.
5. Fortify Your Liver – During the holidays, consider a good milk thistle supplement to help strengthen the liver’s cell walls. This will help protect the liver from holiday missteps, so that a little slice of pumpkin pie or a tense family confrontation won’t create any major liver woes.
6. Organize Support – Because you can’t foresee all of the obstacles that might present itself this season, organize your own personal support system. Have two or three people whom you trust to be available to lend support, should you need it. Talking with a relative or friend to help navigate through some of the holidays’ challenges can turn out to be one of your liver’s best allies.
Utilizing some of these tips to keep your liver free from excessive stress, fatty foods and alcohol can help you truly enjoy the holidays.