The festive season is in full swing and we're not mad about it. But whilst we love celebrating December in all its sequin-emblazoned, festive glory, we can't deny that overindulging on mulled wine and Buck's fizz can leave us paying for it the next day.
While we don't advise being over the limit, it happens to the best of us and the best way to beat a hangover is being equipped with the nutritional knowledge to tackle it.
The way to get rid of that awful headache and churning tummy? It's not to neck a hair of the dog or grab a greasy fry-up, but turning to foods like these instead (best eaten while watching a feel-good movie).
Here, we round up the
Vegemite on toast
Believe it or not, the Australian's favourite snack, Vegemite on toast, has taken the number one spot as the best food for beating a hangover. "Vegemite is full of salt and B vitamins - things that need replenishing as they are used up quickly when the body processes alcohol," nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer told MailOnline. Noted!
According to researchers employed by CISRO, the Australian government’s scientific research organisation, pears are the cure for a hangover. That's right, the severity of a morning hangover is reduced by between 16 and 21% if pear juice was drank before the night out, according to the guys 'n' gals in white coats.
Alcohol dehydrates the body, so this one is a simple essential. Drinking plenty of water should quell that pounding headache in no time.
Just like lemons, limes are pretty good at giving hangovers the heave-ho. Try adding two teaspoons of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of honey to a pint of water when you wake up and see if it makes a difference.
The key ingredient in Bloody Marys that helps to squash a nasty hangover is not the hair of the dog it contains, but actually the tomato juice. Not only are tomatoes particularly high in vitamin C, but they contain glutathione as well – the substance the body produces to help counter-act hangover-inducing toxins. Don't know about you, but we feel better already!
Another food good for giving the liver a helping, detoxifying hand is spinach. Each leaf is chocca-block with folic acid, vitamin C and sulphur – all nutrients heralded for warding off those evil hangover symptoms.
Too much booze leaves the body depleted of vitamins, minerals and salt. Gherkins are rich in nutrients including vitamin A, iron, potassium, vitamin K, calcium and manganese, so, though it might sound strange, eating a few gherkins might actually help you get over the worst of it.
After drinking excessively, your blood sugar levels will probably be taking a nose dive, dragging a whole bunch of hangover symptoms with them on their way down. Try slurping some fruit juice. Not only will it provide you with natural sugars, but it will replace some of the electrolytes you’ve lost and give you a hefty dose of vitamins in the process. Apple or cranberry is better than orange, though, as it’s slightly less acidic and kinder on that delicate tum.
Poorly tummy? As well as being a powerful antioxidant, ginger can help to ease nausea by acting as an anti-inflammatory in the digestive system and blocking serotonin receptors in the stomach. Reach for a can of still ginger ale, chop some into a stir fry or slurp back a ginger tea to feel the difference.
The more you drink alcohol, the more dehydrated you get. And the more dehydrated you get, the more potassium you lose. Lack of potassium can make you feel tired, and you may suffer from cramps, nausea and vomiting. Chowing down on a banana – which is high in potassium – could prevent these tell-tale symptoms from lasting longer than they need to.
We don’t know about you, but carbs like bread are top of our list when it comes to hangover cravings. And there may be good reason for it, too. Wholegrain breads in particular are a great source of detoxifying B vitamins, as well as essential fatty acids needed to help the liver heal your body.
Beans on toast! Yes! We love this hangover cure. Beans are a great source of fibre and folic acid, as well as protein to aid the body’s recovery. Just go for a reduced salt and sugar variety to maximise on healthiness.
Our personal fave hangover cure – together with beans on toast, of course – is peppermint tea. Peppermint is a digestive aid that helps to relieve tension, bloating and other unpleasantries in the stomach. It also speeds up the detoxification process.
…And olive oil slow the absorption of alcohol, while consuming foods rich in vitamins B and C may limit nutrient loss later on, too. They will also keep you feeling fuller, and less likely to drink so much.
Nibbling on a pack of nuts during drinking can help to curb potential hangovers, too. They are packed full of protein, vitamin E and other nutrients, while salted ones might actually help to even out those soaring blood sugar levels.
Want to soothe a throbbing belly and calm down bloating and nausea? Reach for a box of chamomile tea. Sweeten with honey to add natural sugars to the list of benefits it has on a hungover body.
Models and celebs swear by it to reduce bloating and flatten their bellies before a red carpet event. And we swear by it as a hangover helping hand. Stop your drink-induced coma in its tracks with a few amino acid and antioxidant-packed spears.
Don’t be fooled by food that could potentially cause your mouth some spicy discomfort - hot cayenne pepper is actually a natural pain reliever, so could prove a pretty useful ally when tackling a tricky-to-shift hangover headache. Hot foods boost the metabolism, too, so could help to speed up the body’s natural detoxification process.
Got a sweet tooth? This may just be the perfect hangover remedy for you. Honey is bursting with curing potassium and toxin-battling antioxidants, as well as fructose to replace the sugars lost from your depleted brain after all that alcohol consumption. For the ultimate cure, spread some on a slice of wholemeal toast.
Often found on top of chicken and other roasted meat, thyme is another great hangover healer, as it is naturally anti-inflammatory and encourages good digestion. Sprinkle a few sprigs on top of your hangover breakfast of eggs, tomatoes and beans or enjoy in tea form with a spoon of honey.
Wasabi is pretty bracing stuff at the best of times, so it’s not surprising that eating a little after a night of drinking can snap you out of a hangover daze pretty sharpish. The Japanese paste stimulates blood circulation and promotes the oxygenation of cells, which in turn speeds up the removal of harmful, headache-inducing toxins from the body.
Eating an apple on an empty stomach is another great quick hangover fix. The antioxidants, fruit sugars and minerals like magnesium it contains all help to speed up your body’s natural detoxification process.
Even the humble carrot can become a saviour in your hour of hangover need. Each brightly coloured root is bursting with detoxifying vitamins and minerals, as well as naturally occurring sugars.
Did you know that fennel is a restorative herb? You do now! It’s great for improving liver function, too. Brew up a teaspoon of seeds with hot water to make a tea. Add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy.
Another staple fry up food in prime hangover-curing action! Mushrooms are a great source of selenium, which is particularly great due to its antioxidant powers. They are also packed with B vitamins, which support the liver by aiding the detoxification processes.
Legend has it that the combination of lactic acid, vitamins and minerals in raw cabbage makes a pretty mean headache cure. So think about that before you ditch the coleslaw side.
Did you know that, when you drink too much, your body produces a toxic substance called acetaldehyde, which gives you hangover symptoms? Your body reacts by producing a counter-active chemical called glutathione. But that supply is quickly depleted. Eggs, however, are packed with cysteine (contained in glutathione), which can help to clean up leftover toxins in the process. Might explain why a fried brekkie is one of the first things we naturally reach for after a heavy night out…
…As is quinoa, a much-lauded super-grain stuffed with amino acids and other essential nutrients that’ll give your recovering body a big ‘ol vitamin hug.
Other great carbs to get stuck into include brown rice, known for being rich in B-vitamins and protein…
But curing hangovers isn’t all about what to take after the fact. You can prevent one from happening too by adequately lining the stomach beforehand. Healthy foods like milk…
Weird, we know, but mineral-rich foods like tinned tuna are great for replenishing depleted nutritional supplies in the body that cause hangover symptoms. If you can stomach it.
[Via GLAMOUR UK]