It's that time of year again. The traditions. The family drives in. The endless amounts of delicious food. The crazy shopping. Many may be confused which holiday we are supposed to be celebrating due to the Christmas music on the radio and decorations already up, but it's Thanksgiving! A time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. I want you all to have a great holiday, so here are a few general health tips to help you do exactly that.
We know the joy of the holidays can, ironically, be stressful. Families gather. Memories pop up. Too many chefs are in the kitchen. Try taking deep, slow breaths as you stir the potatoes or carve the turkey. It can really help calm you, plus it also helps your digestive system.
Laughter is good for the vascular system, the heart, and the healthy function of blood vessels. It's also contagious, so when things get a little tense, laugh and see how many others join you.
Enjoy the cranberries. They can help keep away urinary tract infections. Enjoy the potatoes. They can lower blood pressure, are high in fiber, and also have vitamins for cells, the nervous system and our heart. Enjoy some pumpkin pie, seeds or soup. Pumpkins offer fiber, vitamins, can help lower bad cholesterol and can put you in a better mood. Let's not forget the turkey. Turkey is full of protein, vitamins and tryptophan, great for serotonin production and immune system strengthening.
Exercise is great for the heart too, as well as digestion. Go for a walk after dinner. Breathe in the fresh air. Settle the food.
Don't worry - too much!
One day of indulging yourself won't ruin your health. To help you from overeating, be sure to drink plenty of water before you eat, take smaller portions of food and eat slow. Most importantly, enjoy all the new memories being made. We have lots to be thankful for!
Dr. Andy Johnson