Holiday festivities can interrupt healthy eating plans — but some foods can actually help support your body by balancing occasional overindulgences and reinforcing your immune system, helping you to keep going strong right through to the new year. Nourish Your Body!
We checked in with our nutrition expert, Ashley Koff, RD, for 3 key nutrients that can help your body recover from celebration overloads.
Magnesium and potassium
Magnesium and potassium are Mother Nature’s relaxation & hydration power duo. Magnesium helps your muscles and your mind de-stress from the challenges of travel and holiday activities. Potassium works to keep your cells nourished and hydrated, helping you feel your best despite the onslaught of rich foods and tempting drinks.
- Leafy greens like spinach deliver magnesium and potassium (and lots of other good nutrients, besides), especially when cooked. Try a simple sauté of baby spinach, corn and mushrooms for a delicious, nutrient-rich side dish.
- Blend avocado and spinach into a flavorful salad dressing for crunchy romaine or hearty baby Kale, Power or Zen greens. In addition to being creamy and delicious, the avocado delivers heart-healthy fats that aid absorption of other nutrients eaten with it, including vitamins A and K in the spinach.
Antioxidants offer powerful detoxification benefits — they act as part of your body’s “clean team” to help get rid of the “dirt”: the damage and inflammation that result from stress, diet and environmental pollutants.
Fruits & veggies pack plenty of delicious antioxidant nutrients. Eat more colorful produce and you’re getting more antioxidants (along with other important nutrients and fiber, to boot).
- Reach for fresh organic veggies like broccoli and carrots to munch or pair with party dips.
- Choose fresh, whole organic fruits like berries and mangos as (or in) treats and desserts.
Alkaline formers are some of your digestive system’s best friends. They help create a healthy alkaline environment in your lower digestive tract, which can defend against damaging acids in alcohol, coffee and foods high in sugar, fat and animal proteins. Since most of your immune system is located in your gut, these “balancing” foods help keep your immune system healthy, too.
- Counter rich holiday foods with plant-based proteins and leafy produce like kale and chard (try the tender baby leaves of our Organic Kale and Organic Power).
- Drink sparkling mineral water with slices of organic lemon or lime before or at a party, or alternating with alcoholic drinks, to stay hydrated and limit calories.
- Lemons and limes work with fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, pickles and yogurt to help create a healthy home for good bacteria in your digestive tract, lessening any opportunity for bad bacteria to cause problems.
Any time of year — but especially during the holidays — choosing wisely when you eat and drink (or after you’ve indulged) can help keep you healthy, happy and having fun!