The most social and busiest season for many of us – the holidays – often brings overindulgence that wreaks havoc on our normal routine. Nothing is worse than not feeling your best during this festive time of year. The added stress of finishing work deadlines all while going to parties can make it harder to maintain your health goals. Try to shift your focus this holiday season towards a focus on ensuring you are obtaining plenty of micronutrients from your foods. Micronutrients are vital to the functioning of a healthy system and are often overlooked by a larger focus on macronutrients. Nutrilyze can help you start to gain perspective on gaps in micronutrients in your diet and help you have your healthiest holiday season yet. Below are some micronutrients that are especially important during this time of year.
Before the party…
The worst thing you can do before drinking alcohol is avoiding food. It is very important to have a healthy mix of nutrient-dense sources of macronutrients to ensure that the alcohol isn’t absorbed into your bloodstream too quickly. Below are two micronutrients you’ll want in those meals.
Zinc can be an often-overlooked micronutrient in the importance of overall health. Zinc functions in hundreds of enzymes in the body and deficiency can lead to brain and immune dysfunction. Zinc in the body even helps with immunity and alcohol detoxification in the liver which can be crucial during this time of the year. Zinc has even been shown in studies to help alleviate cold symptoms. Try to increase consumption of zinc by eating these common foods rich in zinc such as: beans, seafood, eggs, and poultry.
During the winter months, vitamin D levels in the body tend to be lower due to the shorter days and lack of UVB rays from indirect sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is accelerated by excessive drinking and can lead to imbalances neurologically as well as myopathy or muscle weakening. Vitamin D isn’t widely available in foods like other micronutrients, but there are still some ways to increase vitamin D during the winter months. The main sources of vitamin D in food are: milk, yogurt, fish, beef, and egg yolks. Another option for ensuring adequate vitamin D in the body is always working with a health professional to gain a perspective on your baseline vitamin D level and see if supplementation is needed.
After the party…
Hydration is so important year around, but often times in the colder months it’s overlooked. Sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate all comprise the electrolytes we receive in food and drinks. Hydration is important for a healthy immune system especially after a night of drinking. Adding fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and dark leafy greens are simple ways to increase electrolytes. I recommend a hydrating smoothie of coconut water, protein powder, berries, bananas, with some spinach as a good option that won’t be too heavy on your stomach, but keep you full and hydrated with plenty of electrolytes
Bonus: Add Kombucha for a healthy source of electrolytes. On top of being great tasting, Kombucha can also make an amazing alcohol mixer!
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that deals with numerous different functions in the body. During the holidays, your schedule may be more packed full of activities than normal and leaving you more fatigued than normal. Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that deals with energy production in the body, and those deficient often find themselves suffering from fatigue as a side effects. Ensuring that you are consuming enough B12 can help keep you moving and energized throughout the busy holiday season. Plus, alcohol depletes your vitamin B 12 so it’s an important micronutrient to focus on during this season. Another side effects of B12 is often reported as “feeling down,” this is thought to be since B12 play a role with the hormones that deal with mood.
Keeping the mind sharp and the body energized will help the holidays be enjoyed the fullest. The most common places vitamin B12 is found in foods are in eggs, fish, dairy products, nutritional yeast, meat products, and poultry. Vegans and vegetarians tend to have a hard time consuming enough of B12 due to B12 being found mainly in animal products. Vegans and vegetarians should consider talking about a health professional about supplementation.
At the core of every healthy body is one thing – balance. Taking a break during the holidays can be exactly what you need to kick off the new year with the feet running. While living your healthy lifestyle and being the best you that you can be, don’t forget to take some time to breathe. Take an extra cheat day for yourself. Get ready to make next year the best year of your life. Let us know if Nutrilyze can help.
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