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he Link between caffeine and health has both negative and positive aspects. First monopolised in Arabia as a drink for energy and vitality, the richly flavoured brew from the coffee bean soon became a worldwide phenomenon. It’s enjoyed by almost anyone and the coffee bean has even given rise to a huge coffee culture and a multi-billion dollar industry. Its caffeine’s powerful mood-altering properties that make it so popular. What’s more, it’s addictive. The jury is not completely out as to whether or not we should consume caffeine but a moderate intake is set at about 300mg per day, which equates to about one or two cups of coffee.

Because caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, it can lead to behavioral disturbances, like nervousness, anxiety and even paranoia, although the effects are mild.

There are also studies to support that regular caffeine consumption may raise blood cholesterol levels. More recently, it was found that coffee raises homocysteine levels, which further contributes to heart disease.


In women, coffee consumption is linked to decreased bone mineral density, decreased fertility and a worsening of PMS symptoms, particularly painful breasts.

It’s not all bad news though and the coffee bean is not without its merits. You’re probably aware that tea is rich in free radical scavenging antioxidants, but recent studies have also pointed towards coffee as an excellent source of these healthy nutrients. The major coffee antioxidant has been identified as chlorogenic acid (a combination of caffeic acids and quinic acid) and it may be a major contributing source of antioxidants in the diet.

Asthma sufferers may also benefit from moderate consumption, and coffee may be used to lesson the severity of asthma attacks. As another bonus, if taken before exercise, caffeine can help with fat burning and also enhances athletic performance and endurance. It also helps increase mental alertness and may improve memory and concentration.

Regular versus decaf

There is a perception that decaffeinated coffee is better for you. Its true- the caffeine content is lower, but studies have shown that decaffeinated coffee may raise LDL cholesterol (the bad type) to an even greater degree than regular coffee can.

Caffeine and Health: Coffee consumption rules

· If you drink coffee, keep total caffeine intake at no more than 300mg per day

· If pregnant, avoid caffeine or limit to no more than 1 cup per day

· Do not drink excess coffee if you suffer from or are at risk for osteoporosis

· Do not drink excess coffee

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if you are at risk for heart disease

 

· Do not drink decaffeinated coffee in excess if you suffer from high cholesterol levels

· Do not drink excess coffee if you suffer from PMS symptoms

· Diabetics should be cautious about their caffeine intake, as the effects on diabetics is not yet fully established

· Avoid drinking coffee after lunch time, so as to avoid insomnia

· Beware of adulterated coffee. Cappuccinos and lattes contain lots of dairy. Watch the amount of sugar or sweetener you use.

· Caffeine is a diuretic, so make sure you drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee consumed

· Avoid substituting coffee drinking for eating food. It creates a false sense of alertness and may mask low blood sugar levels

· Practice some coffee free days from time to time, to make sure that you aren’t becoming addicted

 

 

 

 

The winter months have descended upon us again. For a lot of us, this means succumbing to gloominess, depression and over-eating on comforting foods. Intake of fresh fruits and vegetables tends to decline and starchy and fatty meals take precedence. The result are not always favourable though, and include weight gain and increased risk of winter illnesses, like colds and flu as well as an increased risk for chronic disease. One great way to keep vegetable intake high is by indulging in some warm and hearty vegetable-rich soups. There are many soups on the market that come in packets and tins, but sometimes these are not the best choice, as they could be unduly high in fats and preservatives. Its best therefore to go the home-made route whenever possible.

What you put into your soup is what you get out of it; so add the freshest and healthiest veggies to your pot for best results. Here are some of my favourite winter soup vegetables:

 

Beetroot

 

Beets are a good source of B vitamins, especially folate and are also rich in the electrolyte minerals magnesium and potassium. They are also rich in iron and copper. Beets also contain a good dose of vitamin C.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, E and K, as well as vitamins C, folate and B6. It also contains high doses of the minerals iron, calcium potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. Broccoli also contains additional antioxidant compounds, known as indoles and sulphoraphane and is a good source of lutein. Green plants also contain chlorophyll, which is similar to haemoglobin in humans.

Butternut

Butternut a very good source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. They are also a source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. Sweet potato and pumpkin can also be used in the same way as butternut and has similar health benefits.

Cabbage

Cabbage contains the B vitamins thiamine and riboflavin. It also contains the minerals magnesium, calcium and potassium and some vitamin A and vitamin C. Cabbage, like broccoli, contains indoles and sulphoraphane.

Celery

Celery contains vitamin C, and is a good source of folate, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B6 as well as copper and magnesium.

Green Peas and Split peas

Green peas are an exceptional source of vitamin C and vitamin K, with 1 cup supplying nearly half of the Daily Value for vitamin C and over half for Vitamin K. They also contain a reasonable amount of carbohydrate energy, in the low glycemic index form. Green peas also contain vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, folate and iron as well as a reasonable concentration of B vitamins.

Onions

Onions are a good source of vitamin C. They also contain magnesium, chromium, vitamin B6, folate, and potassium. Onions contain allicin, allyl propyl and other sulphur-containing antioxidants.

Potatoes

Potatoes contain complex carbohydrates, making them a good source of energy. Potatoes are surprisingly a very good source of vitamin C, with one medium potato containing up to 25% of the Daily Value. They are also a good source of vitamin B6 (one potato gives you 20% of the daily value), copper, potassium and manganese.

Spinach

 

Spinach is particularly rich in vitamin K (nearly 200% of the daily value per cup). It also contains vitamin A and is a good source of magnesium, folate and iron. Spinach is also a good source of alpha-lipoic acid, lutein, zeaxanthin, polyphenols and betaine.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C with one cup supplying over 50% of the Daily Value. They are also a source of vitamin A, vitamin K and the mineral potassium. Tomatoes contain a special antioxidant carotenoid called lycopene, which is responsible for most of its health benefits.

Legumes

Legumes contain up to 50g of protein per cup. They are also a good source of folate, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper and potassium. Examples of legumes are lentils (black, green and red), chickpeas, red kidney beans, sugar beans and black beans.

 

Choosing a Soup Stock

 

Most commercial soup stocks contain some potentially unhealthy ingredients. For one thing, they are very high in sodium, which could contribute to high blood pressure in excess. Most stocks also contain a hefty dose of the flavour enhancer MSG (monosodium glutamate), which has been linked to sensitivities in some people. Stock also contains a small amount of fat, typically in the form on hydrogenated oil, also known as trans fat, which has been linked to increased heart disease and cancer risk. However, the small amount of trans fat found in stock is unlikely to have any major health effects. There are “healthier” stocks on the market, but these can be quite hard to come by and you would probably need to visit your local health food shop to find these. To reduce the risks associated with stocks, use less then you would normally use, and flavour soups with lots of herbs instead. It is also possible to make a delicious soup with no stock at all, as the soup will absorb the flavour of the vegetables.

 

Other Additions

 

A healthy winter soup should be vegetable based, but it is also customary to sometimes add meat to a soup. For example beef, lamb, chicken or fish can be added to a soup to add variety and also some protein, making it a complete meal. Remember that legumes also provide sufficient protein. Creamy soups are high in saturated fat but for most recipes you can use fat free plain yogurt instead of cream for flavour.

Winter Soup Recipes

Chunky Lentil Winter Soup Recipe (Serves 4)

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

¼-cup olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 can crushed tomatoes

2 cups dry lentils

8 cups water

½-cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Green Soup (Serves 4)

Ingredients

1-cup broccoli florets

1 cup baby marrow, sliced

3 cups spinach

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 cup green peas

2.5-cups vegetable broth

1/2-cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried sage

Directions

Place broccoli, baby marrow, spinach, bell pepper and green peas in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Pour puree into a large pot. Stir in broth and olive oil. Heat soup over medium-high heat. Stir in pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and sage. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve the soup with a dollop of fat free plain yogurt over each bowl.

 

Few of us actually look at our diet and lifestyle before resorting to expensive skin treatments, like Botox, chemical peels and even plastic surgery. A healthy diet should really form the basis of your skin health regime because when it comes to visible ageing, the real damage starts within and works its way out to the surface. Outlined here is a nutritional guide to skin health that will help you glow from the inside, out.

 

Skin Ageing explained

 

There are three major reasons why our skin’s age and all three have dietary implications:

 

Free radical damage. These villains are produced in our body from stress, excessive sun, smoking, pollution and bad diet. Free radicals attack our collagen and elastin, which give skin its structure and keep it firm and plump. A diet rich in plant foods helps supply necessary antioxidants, which are the body’s artillery against free radicals.

Inflammation. Ageing and bad diet can lead the way for inflammation to form. It has now been proven that low levels inflammation in the body can accelerate the ageing process and therefore damage the skin. On the diet side, its bad fats, fried foods, sugars and simple carbohydrates that trigger these inflammatory responses. Omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids (or the essential fatty acids from fish and seed oils) on the other hand, tend to inhibit this inflammatory response.

Blood sugar alterations. Glycation, or glycosylation, is a fancy word for the damage caused by excess sugar. A diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, results in higher blood glucose levels. Glucose, in turn, can directly damage collagen and elastin rendering them stiffer and less resilient.

 

 

Each or a combination of these factors affects skin health and underpins all major theories into why we age, and thankfully they are things we can actually control. The obvious things like genetics, stress and sun aside, what we eat can increase our susceptibility to these forces, or protect against them.

 

 

Skin Savers

 

Salmon. Oily fish, like salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that help keep skin moist and prevent inflammation. Instead of or in addition to salmon try other oily fish like mackerel, trout or tuna. Salmon is best though, as it contains high amounts of a powerful antioxidant known as DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) known for its affects in keeping skin firm. Fish is also a good source of protein, which helps repair and reconstruct skin cells. Lean protein sources like skinless chicken, eggs and whey protein powders are also acceptable. Look out for omega-3 fatty acid enriched eggs on the shelves.

 

Raw vegetables oils. Flaxseed oil is a great source of anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids and is the richest vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other raw oils, like those found in olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, nuts and seeds are rich in Vitamin E, a natural skin antioxidant. Having enough fat in the diet also ensures that the skin is lubricated and smooth.

 

Berries. Strawberries, raspberries, cherries and in particular, blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants, and are particularly useful for preventing skin ageing due to pollution and free radical damage.

 

Low Glycemic Index (GI) foods. Fruit is a preferred source of carbohydrate for healthy skin. Apples, pears, peaches, citrus fruits and kiwi fruit are all low GI, which means they release sugar slowly into the blood. Berries also fall into the low GI category. Low GI carbohydrates include rolled oats, low GI mueslis and cereals that are labelled as such, low GI breads, sourdough rye breads, quinoa, brown, basmati and wild rice, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, legumes and wholewheat pasta.

 

Yellow and orange vegetables. These are great sources of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps reverse damage to the skin caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. Good sources include paw-paw, mangoes, carrots, butternut, sweet potato and pumpkin.

 

Green vegetables. Green veggies like broccoli and spinach are a rich source of antioxidants and other anti-ageing phytochemicals.

 

Water. Eight to ten glasses of good quality water each day helps prevent dehydration, which can make the skin look dry, dull and lined.

 

Exercise. Regular exercise has an anti-inflammatory effect on the cells. Aim for at least 20 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week.

 

Skin Killers

 

Coffee. A high intake of caffeine can raise levels of the hormones cortisol and insulin, which in turn accelerates ageing. Use non-caffeinated herbal teas instead.

 

Alcohol. Alcohol can lead to free radical damage, a sluggish liver and dehydration and should be avoided.

 

Salt. Salt and sodium rich foods tend to dehydrate the skin, making it look dull and dry. Rather use fresh herbs, lemon juice or grated ginger for flavour in foods.

 

Sugar and refined carbohydrates. White sugar and refined carbohydrates, like bread, pasta and white rice should be avoided as these cause an unfavourable rise in blood sugar.

 

Fried foods. Foods that have been fried in oil generate a huge amount of free radicals and destroy valuable vitamin E.

 

Smoking. Cigarette smoke comes into direct contact with the skin, causing blockage of the pores and exposing it to free radicals.

 

Stress. Chronic stress not only generates free radicals, but also increases levels of cortisol- the stress hormone that has been linked to accelerated ageing.

 

Sun exposure. UVA and UVB rays have long been

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notorious for their damaging effects on the skin. To minimize the damage, apply a sun block with a high SPF every day, even when it’s overcast.

 

 

General Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Skin

 

  • Eat fatty fish at least 3 times per week.
  • Lean red meats, skinless chicken breasts or eggs are acceptable sources of protein
  • Eat yellow/orange and green vegetables daily
  • Use nuts and seeds and seed oils daily
  • Drink 8-10 glasses spring or distilled water throughout the day. Caffeine free herbal teas are also a good choice.
  • Include low GI fruits daily.
  • Avoid salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates and fried foods

 

Example of a Typical Day

 

Cooked oatmeal (made from rolled oats) + Tbs. crushed flaxseeds

Snack: Yogurt and mixed fresh berries

Lunch: Sashimi salad (salmon sashimi on a bed of romaine lettuce with sliced red, green and yellow peppers, carrots, onions, corn and cucumber with a flaxseed oil, low sodium soya sauce and fresh lemon juice dressing)

Snack: Stewed apple with cinnamon

Dinner: Grilled chicken breast served with steamed bok choy or spinach and brown rice

 

 

Technology is moving fast and the field of biotechnology has skyrocketed into the 21st century to the point that man is now able to modify DNA- the molecule that contains the genetic information present in every living cell and predicts the inborn characteristics of each organism. Genetic modification and Genetically Modified Foods brings with it a range of issues from political and ethical, to health and environmental, which make for a controversial and sensitive topic.

 

Since its inception in United States in the mid-1980s the concept of genetically modifying foodstuffs has grown into a reality. In 1992, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved GM crops as safe and by the year 2000 GM foods were being grown in almost 100 countries, including South Africa.

 

While some people may be completely in the dark as to what this means, others are aware of some of the health issues and concerns that have caused Greenpeace activists and the like to label GM foods “frankenfoods”.

 

Is it morally right to “play God” and alter a plant’s DNA- the molecule that dictates the in-born characteristics of living organisms and thereby rendering them “unnatural”? Is man’s ability to control nature through biotechnology going too far? Or is bio-technology Africa’s new hops and saviour? This controversial topic raises countless issues ranging from scientific and technological to health and ethical. While the supporters argue that GM foods are safe, many experts are concerned about the long-term health implications of modifying DNA.

 

What is genetic modification?

 

Contained in the tiny nucleus in the centre of all cells is the genetic material, or genes, that predicts the size, shape and function of all living creatures. Genetic modification is possible only because the genes of all organisms are made of the same stuff-DNA. Through DNA technology, genetic material from one organism can be “cut and pasted” to another organism. Genes can be transferred from one plant to another, foreign genes (called trans genes) can be introduced into an organism or a specific gene can be switched off or under expressed, so as to create the desired effect. The resulting transformed, or transgenic, plant is referred to as a genetically modified plant.

 

 

Why genetically modify foods?

 

There are many reasons for genetic modification of foods. Crops can be modified to be resistant to certain pests and diseases or to extremes of temperature. In South Africa, the principle reason for GM crops is to help eliminate poverty and hunger. By increasing crop yields and preventing the encroachment of natural resources, genetic engineering may help take some of the stress off an otherwise stressed and barren environment. It is believed that by increasing the nutritive value of certain crops, genetic engineering of foods can also help combat many nutritional deficiencies of the third world.

 

The South African situation

 

South Africa has given the political go ahead for GM crops and the Department of Agriculture (DOA) has given permits to companies to grow a variety of GM crops on a trial basis. At pre sent, our staple food, maize, is being genetically modified. GM crops that have been commercially released in South Africa are weed killer resistant maize, soybeans and cotton and maize and cotton with a built-in pesticide. Trials on potato’s and sweet potatoes are currently underway.

 

The GM debate

 

The pro-GM view. Advocators of GM foods in sub-Saharan Africa claim that GM crops can substantially help alleviate the escalating hunger problem by increasing food production. They claim that since the population is growing, GM crops may be the only way to combat hunger in the future. Jennifer Thomson, a professor at UCT’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology claims that “evidence world wide has shown that GM seeds improve crop and that farmers are enjoying an increase an acorage like never seen before in history”. Professor Thomson holds that “GM crops are one big piece of the puzzle in helping to eliminate hunger in South Africa”. She also goes on to say that “there is no evidence that GM foods pose any risk to human health.”

 

The anti-GM view. Anti-GM activists hold a more cautious view concerning the introduction of GM crops into developing countries. They believe that corporate greed and not human hunger to be the major reason as to why GM foods are being pushed into developing countries. According to Biowatch director, Leslie Liddell, “South Africa does not have a food shortage; it does not need food aid and generally is not a net importer of food. Nevertheless, we have many poor people, many people who don’t have the means to get enough nutritious food to eat. It’s a problem of access to the abundant food which already exists.” She also claims that “It’s the GM seed companies that are reaping all the benefits”. Interestingly many other sub-Saharan African countries have rejected GM crops, in fear that the long term health and environmental consequences may be detrimental rather than helpful. Very recently, former UN secretary General Kofi Annan ruled out the use of GM foods in the battle against food insecurity in Africa. He stated that, “Insufficient infrastructure such as roads, poor storage facilities and weak market structures were to blame for Africa's continued dependence on food aid.” He is currently chair leading the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), who are focussing on infrastructure development in African countries as a primary means to combating poverty.

 

Commenting on the health risks associated with GM foods, Liddell believes that “We should be concerned, because so far the potential risks of GM crops outweigh their potential benefits.” A further concern of the anti-GM front is the lack of any clear labelling laws for GM foods in South Africa. According to Liddell, “South Africa does not have regulations which make it compulsory to label GM crops and food or to separate GM crops from non-GM ones at central distribution centres, such as silos.” She further explains that, “The absence of labelling and traceability also prejudices organic farmers or farmers who want to export to countries with high consumer aversion to GM food and drink.”

 

Ashleigh caradas

A copy of this article also appeared in Business day Health News

 

Drinking can be great fun- until you end up with a pounding headache, a spinning room and the dash to the toilet. These are the classic symptoms of alcohol over-indulgence. In short, you have pushed the limit and when this happens you are going
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to need some hangover cures as well as some hangover prevention tips for next time!
What is it about the way alcohol works in the body that sends us over the edge? Alcohol is quickly absorbed through the mouth, stomach and intestines, making its effects almost instant. Once in the bloodstream it acts as a depressant toxin and irritant. Depressed brain function means relaxation and less inhibitions and at higher doses loss of coordination, slurring of speech, memory lapses and even blackouts. The next morning is when the hangover arrives.
A hangover can seriously put you out of action for a couple of days and even ruin a holiday, but the other dangers of drinking are far more serious. Car accidents, gout, arthritis, osteoporosis, liver damage and weight gain are just some of the consequences of the so-called good life. The trick is, if you are going to drink, do so sensibly, moderately and for good reason. Using alcohol as a social lubricant or for relaxation is one thing, but drinking just to get drunk and binging in the process is nothing less than abusive. Outlines here are some hangover prevention tips and hangover cures.
What causes a Hangover?
Dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, and causes dehydration in large amounts, which in turn causes symptoms like headache, fatigue and listlessness.
Hypoglycaemia. Alcohol directly lowers blood sugar, which explains why we often get really hungry after drinking. Low blood sugar also makes us feel tired, irritable and shaky.
Irritated mucosal lining. Alcohol irritates the lining of our digestive system, leading to the nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that sometimes appear the morning after.
Nutrient depletion. There is a pronounced loss of B complex vitamins (especially thiamine and vitamin B6), vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, with heavy drinking, which also contribute to hangover symptoms.
A sluggish liver. Alcohol is metabolised in the liver. Drink too much and the liver simply cannot cope, contributing to that overall queasy feeling.
Congeners. Congeners are natural by-products of alcohol fermentation. The higher the congener content, the greater the hangover. Gin and vodka have the fewest congeners, while bourbon and red wine claim the most.

 

Acetaldehyde poisoning. Once inside the body, ethanol (a component of alcohol) is converted into acetaldehyde and then to acetic acid. Some people lack the ability to effectively convert acetaldehyde, which is thought to be a major contributing factor to hangovers. So, in short, some people are just more prone to them than others.
In order to stay in top shape and avoid hangovers and other consequences, certain measures can be taken before, during and after a drinking spree. Lets have a look at some precautions, potions, antidotes and antics commonly used to curb the consequences of a big night out.

 

On the big night: Hangover Prevention
· Prepare yourself beforehand by eating a balanced meal. Alcohol is absorbed directly through the stomach and eating a big meal will protect your stomach and also prevent the alcohol being absorbed too fast.
· Hydrate yourself adequately before, during and after drinking. As a general rule, drink 1 glass of water for every alcoholic drink. Try alternating alcoholic drinks with water or non-fizzy cold drinks at the bar or club. Avoid fizzy drinks, as they tend to increase the amount of alcohol getting into the bloodstream
· Try mixers with water, soda water or fruit juice instead of straight-up shots, as they take longer to drink and keep you well hydrated.
· Drink in moderation, that means no more than 2 units of alcohol per day for women and no more than 3 for men (1 unit is equivalent to 340ml beer, 43ml spirits or 140ml wine). If you are going to drink more, pace yourself, sip slowly and know your limits.
· Don’t mix your drinks. Its better to stick to one type of alcoholic drink for the night.
· Favour white wine and white spirits, like vodka over red wine and darker spirits. Substances called congeners found in red wine and coloured spirits may magnify hangover effects, and irritate the stomach lining if consumed in excess.
· Avoid fatty snacks like chips and peanuts at bars as these place extra stress on your liver.
· Do not drink if you have been taking anti-biotic, anti-anxiety, barbiturate and sedative medications or if you have been using recreational drugs.
· Don’t ever drive drunk. Rather leave your keys with a sober friend or catch a taxi home.
Before Bed : Hangover Prevention
OK, so you’d forgotten the pre-mentioned tips and have arrived home somewhat inebriated and sick. Try the following before bed to help make the next morning a little more bearable:
· Drink 2-3 glasses of water before retiring.
· Take some vitamin C (at least 1000mg) and a B-complex, as these are most depleted by alcohol
· Eat a banana to replace lost potassium
· If you have been running to the toilet, take an oral rehydration solution to help replace lost fluid and electrolytes.
· Don’t ever take Tylenol or ibuprofen while drinking or before passing out as these drug are metabolised in the liver (along with alcohol), and can place extra stress on the already stressed organ. Also, never take aspirin with alcohol, as it can damage the stomach lining and even cause bleeding.

 

The morning after: Hangover Cures
If you have woken up feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus, you probably have a hangover. Here are some solutions to help ease the pain:
· A hearty breakfast of eggs, toast and tomato juice is a great hangover cure. Eggs are rich in cysteine, which helps the liver metabolise alcohol while tomato juice contains many of the minerals and vitamins that alcohol depletes. Bland complex carbohydrates, like toast, brown rice or crackers are easy on the stomach and help raise blood glucose levels.
· Make sure you get enough vitamin C (from citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries and green vegetables) and B vitamins (from beans, wholegrains and fish) during the day or take supplements.
· A drink made from carrot, beet, celery and parsley juice contains many of the nutrients needed to get rid of toxins
· Get plenty of fresh air
· Take a sauna or steam bath or do some vigorous exercise to help induce sweating. This helps eliminate toxins from the body.

 

Herbal helpers: Hangover Cures
Many herbal remedies can be used to control symptoms or support the body’s detoxification processes. Some of the more popular ones include:
· Ginger tea, which can be used to reduce nausea
· Yarrow, elder flowers and peppermint root teas, which help initiate sweating

 

· The herb Milk Thistle, which helps the liver to detoxify alcohol. Milk Thistle can be taken as a liver tonic throughout the holiday season to help the liver cope with excess intakes of both food and alcohol.
· Nux vomica, a popular homeopathic remedy for alcohol over-indulgence. Take a 30CH dose before drinking. After a binge take another dose and continue throughout the day until symptoms subside.

 

Author: Ashleigh Caradas
A copy of this article also appeared in Business Day Health news
 
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