Healthy foods that help squash hangovers

Big nights can lead to big problems. You know it too well: the headache, nausea, sweats, shakes, dizziness, cramps and racing heartbeat. Hangover city.

What causes this array of unpleasant side effects?

When the body breaks down alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde, which can accumulate faster than the body can work, resulting in the “I’ll never drink again!” regrets the following day. Until the body converts the acetaldehyde to acetate and removes it, the body suffers.

But there is hope. Here are some of the top foods to eat the morning after a night of indulgence in order to speed that process along and get you back on your feet.

Coconut Water

Bursting with electrolytes, this comforting drink will replenish and boost with 569 mg of potassium per serving, which will also help those dehydration cramps often experienced the next morning.

Ginger

There is a reason this wonder food is used for anything from motion-sickness to prenatal queasiness. It packs a much needed punch to nausea and helps the room to stop spinning. Try ginger beer, add fresh ginger slices to hot tea, or check out a variety of pre-made ginger teas at the health food stores.

Tomato juice

Skip the “hair of the dog” and go virgin with a tomato juice to charge liver function, boost alcohol breakdown, and replenish vitamins. For a double boost, add aforementioned grated ginger to your juice.

Asparagus

It might make your pee-pee smell funny, but asparagus can boost alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down and digests alcohol, so consider it worth the pungent aroma.

Lemon

Keep fresh lemons or lemon juice in your fridge at all times for a refreshing, detoxifying, vitamin C wake-up call in the morning. If the thought of plain water turns your stomach, try sparkling water for bubbly stomach soothing, or add a squeeze to your ginger tea.

Bananas

Anyone who has been on the BRAT diet can tell you how comforting and delicious this fruit can be during bouts of nausea. A staple for pregnant women and young kids everywhere, bananas restock depleted potassium to stop the shakes and cramps after a wild night.

Make your own detox juice

If you have a juicer, combine spinach, cucumber, beets, ginger, and orange for a hydrating, vitamin B & C, inflammation reducing, nausea quelling juice to energize you for the day ahead. If not, head to your local juicery, they all have hangover-curing juices on their menus.

Looking for a perfect hangover recipe you can make at home? Make overnight oats before you go out to be waiting for you the next morning. Oats are not only comforting but can neutralize acids in the system. Combine ½ cup of steel cut oats and cover with almond milk or coconut water in a Mason jar and seal. In the morning add banana, cinnamon (an anti-inflammatory) and honey, and enjoy with lemon sparkling water or ginger tea.

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