I love food and from time to time, like on Thanksgiving, I've been known to eat too much. Since I only eat Green Bean Casserole and Pumpkin Pie once a year, I often allow myself to (over) indulge.
I can immediately recognize the effects of this overeating when my pants get too tight, but I never thought about the damage I'm doing to my body until I read this article. I found out that as I’m loading up on calories (yum!) my body is being forced into overdrive as it tries to undo the damage done by the harmful free radicals produced as I digest food. (Free-radicals attack cells and can promote the development of chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.) And, of course, the more I eat the more free radicals I produce. Bummer huh?
But there's something I can do to rebound—research suggests that these 3 foods will help undo the damage caused by a rich meal:
1. Eat fruit.
If you've indulged in a decadent meal, follow it with fruit. Eating antioxidant-rich fruits—including berries, grapes, kiwi and cherries—helps minimize the harmful free-radical damage that occurs after a meal. Eating caloric meals without antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, can have harmful effects over time. Enjoy fruit for dessert with nearly-instant, and very yummy, Cherries with Ricotta and Toasted Almonds.
2. Drizzle vinegar.
Having a tablespoon of vinegar with your meal, perhaps drizzled on your salad, may temper the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating a big, carbohydrate-rich meal. Get more than 20 delicious recipes for salads & dressings here.
For most of us, a steep rise in blood sugar triggers an equally rapid drop—which stokes appetite. This sugar surge is particularly a problem for people with diabetes, who can't clear glucose effectively (over time, excess glucose in the blood damages tissues).
3. Drink wine.
The antioxidants in red wine may reduce the negative impact of high-fat foods by lowering levels of a compound—produced in the body after eating fat—that's linked with heart disease. Cook with red wine or enjoy a glass with dinner. But remember, moderation is key! (Drink too much? Check out the truth about these 5 Hangover Cures.)