Neglecting food at Christmas, even if only for a few days, can have a significant effect on our health, especially in regards to cardiovascular health.
Not controlling the food at this time leads to common problems such as increased cholesterol, hypertension increases and gain of some weight.
One of the fundamental causes of this is that meals are usually more elaborate and include ingredients rich in fats. More snacks, including fried foods or unhealthy cocktails are also taken. In general, we tend to relax and neglect food on these dates.
In addition, these overly heavy meals cause an overexertion of our digestive system, which can cause symptoms such as heartburn, acidity, swelling, heaviness, flatulence, slow digestion… In some cases, they can even reach indigestion, causing diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. In these dates it is very frequent that medical centers become saturated due to cases of indigestion.
Next, we give you some tips to enjoy Christmas meals without neglecting our diet:
- Perform 5 meals a day, although lighter, also at Christmas. In this way we will avoid anxiety and pecking between meals
- Compensate for Christmas excesses with a healthy diet. The usual in Christmas meals and dinners is that fried foods, sweets and fats abound, so it is convenient to compensate by taking a healthy and balanced diet in the other meals: grilled, oven or steam, fish, vegetables and fruits, etc… The day of the celebration is convenient to cook only the amount that will be eaten that day, avoiding more during the following days or weeks, and eating a more balanced diet for the rest of the days.
- The most advisable during Christmas meals is to eat a little of everything, but not to fill the plate more than usual, avoiding eating a larger amount of food than we usually take daily.
- Prepare lighter starters before the main dishes, such as salad, asparagus, boiled seafood, some ham, etc…
- Taking foods rich in fiber, such as wholemeal bread, vegetables, legumes and fruits can help us to have a better digestion, as well as raw vegetables. Probiotic yogurts also help reduce swelling and digestive discomfort.
- In case we have a heavy digestion, taking some fruits such as pineapple or papaya, which have a diuretic effect and are low in sugar, can help us.
- Reduce the amount of salt, since it increases the risk of hypertension and fluid retention.
- Avoid excessive sweets and sugar. Although they are very tempting, it is better to take them in a moderate way. It is better to enjoy them by sharing them with someone, for example, our family or friends, thus reducing the amount we take. It is also possible to substitute sugar for sweeteners.
- Avoid excess alcohol. In addition to being harmful if we abuse these drinks, they provide many empty calories. During meals we should limit their intake, drinking very moderately and interspersing with water, and reserve us for the cup to toast
- Hydrate well, taking at least two liters of water throughout the day. This also helps to facilitate intestinal transit.
- Eat slowly and calmly, chewing food well.
- Walk for at least 30 minutes a day. Going for a walk with friends or family after lunch is a good option to enjoy Christmas while taking care of our health.
Finally, in case of medical emergency due to indigestion, if you are in the surroundings of Benalmádena remember that at Vithas Xanit International Hospital we also have an emergency service available 24 hours a day.