Top 5 Tidbits During Happy Hour!
Drinking is unavoidable and it is especially common for some work events or leisure gatherings. It is this familiar scenario when you and your friends are having a few rounds of shots at the bar, and now you are craving chips, bacon or cheesy fries. But, before you raise your hands to order your favorite greasy dish, consider your happy hour diet with a little healthier options.
Studies have shown that alcohol causes our blood sugar to drop, which is why we will crave carbohydrates during or after the drinking session. Besides, having some food in the stomach helps to delay alcohol to enter our bloodstream, which will bring an impact on our liver, digestive system, kidney, and cardiovascular system. The best choice of food is something with natural fat with longer digestion and absorption rate. The longer the food stays in your stomach, the slower the alcohol gets absorbed into our bloodstream.
This doesn’t mean pork belly or lard burgers, I am talking about foods with a healthy fat like salmon and avocados. But, it will sound weird if you order salmon in the middle of the drinking session related to work right?
Here are some suggestions on tidbits you can munch on:
If available, olives are a great and healthy option. Flavorful and rich in heart-healthy good fats, olives will make a good snack while drinking!
Prepare yourself whole-grain crackers before going to your drinking session. This cracker is high in fiber that will help in slowing down digestion and keep you from getting too drunk.
Chia seeds are also a great source of fiber and protein, as well as some important micro-nutrients like calcium and magnesium. This can also help to slow the absorption of alcohol into our bloodstream. Moreover, chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and omega 3, which acts as anti-inflammatory properties, to prevent cell damage and protect our liver. We can take chia seeds by taking chia pudding or mix into a glass of water.
Quinoa is whole grain high in protein and fiber. Similar function as whole-grain crackers, this helps in slowing down the absorption of alcohol. It is also high in magnesium and potassium, two minerals that can help minimize electrolyte imbalances caused by alcohol.
Trail mixes with nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseeds are high in healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Not only it helps in lowering the absorption of alcohol, but it can also help in rebalancing electrolytes, anti-inflammation and protect liver damage from alcohol. It is important to opt for varieties without added sugars, salt or artificial ingredients.
Even though these snacks are healthier options, but it is also important to know how to control alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol will cause damage to our body, especially the liver.
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]