Festive foods to avoid (if you want a good night’s rest)

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Summer. End of year events. Christmas. New Years Eve. We are preparing for a season of celebration, but how does one have a great time AND feel great at the end of it all? No one enjoys hosting Indigestion or Hangover as house guests. These are two characters that you do not want coming along with you on holiday. Lying in bed unable to sleep because your stomach is turning or your head is spinning is just not fun. So how do you do it? Here is the list of baddies to steer clear of over the next few weeks....



Fatty foods laden with salt and low in fibre- Eating out at restaurants or staying in to enjoy take-aways results in a lot of fatty foods being eaten. Be wise and think carefully before you polish off yet another cheese burger or deep fried chicken nugget. Go for the grilled option. Swap out the slap chips for baked potato, rice or salad. Search the restaurant menu for the Heart Foundation stamp of approval and order accordingly. For a list of great products and restaurant meals click here. You will feel a whole lot better that night and in the days that follow. And your brain, heart and stomach will thank you for your wise decision.


Spicy foods - Add a little too much spice and you will land up hosting Heartburn (a painful holiday companion indeed). The culprits are usually restaurant meals where you have little control over just how hot your meal will turn out to be. Curries, peri-peri and Thai dishes should be eaten earlier in the day to allow time for them to be digested properly before you lie down for the night.


Drinks full of alcohol, caffeine, fizz and/or sugar - How do you celebrate Summer without a Cream Soda or see in the New Years without some bubbly? Quite honestly, it is a difficult one. The key here is trying to pick one drink that you enjoy but that has as few of these four ingredients in it. Obvious drinks to avoid include Coca-Cola, rounds of shots and energy drinks like Red Bull. Some better choices include Coke Lite, fruit juices, sparkling water, Appletiser and lite beers. You can halve the problem by alternating fresh water for every other drink you have.

Still need convincing? Alcohol consumption has been shown to increase awake time during the night, decrease sleep duration and increase the incidence of snoring. Caffeine is a well-respected stimulant that delays sleep onset and activates the nervous system. And the fizz in our favourite sodas? It causes increased acid production in the stomach leading to painful acid reflux. The worst part? Females are often worse hit then males due to their smaller livers and slower metabolisms. This festive season - do not try keep up with the boys ladies!




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