Tips for holiday ailments

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Whether you ate too much, drank too much or are just stressed, Sprouts nutritionist Janet Little has some tips for helping your holiday ailments.

Stress

Reduce holiday stress by eating a well-balanced diet. Nutrient-dense foods are the cornerstone to good health.? A nutritious diet will give you more energy and sharpen your mind, and improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Try incorporating superfoods into your diet for a delicious boost of nutrition. Superfoods are brightly colored fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy unsaturated fats, loaded with phytonutrients and antioxidants that assist the body in damage-repair and help reduce the damages of stress.

Get the relief you need with these stress-fighting supplements:

Kava Kava, the most famous anti-anxiety herb and for good reason. It has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety and contains pain-relieving properties. It's effective as a tea, tincture or capsule.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced in the human brain. Because it regulates sleep cycles, melatonin may benefit those with disruptive sleep patterns or frequent travelers.

Magnesium is important for muscle, nerve and bone health. People who suffer from insomnia (holiday-induced stress) have had significant improvement in sleep after taking magnesium supplements.

Hangover

The "hair of the dog" could really be the best hangover cure. Taking a drink after a heavy night could provide more than just a renewed level of tipsiness to stave off the pain. Most hangovers are caused by dehydration and small amounts of leftover methanol in the liver and blood, which the body converts to formaldehyde. Ethanol, the main component of alcohol, may help avoid methanol converting into formaldehyde.

While the best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink, the following Spanish coffee recipe might help you feel better after a night of indulgence:

1 oz. cognac or brandy
1 oz. Kahlua
Fill with strong coffee
Whipped cream on top (optional)

Eggs are one of the best drinking foods around. They were common fare at most bars a hundred years ago. They were served hard-boiled with salt or picked in vinegar brine.

What makes the egg so special? An egg is packed full of protein in the whites, while the yolk contains fats (the OK ones) and other good-for-you nutrients. Eggs even contain the amino acid cysteine, which helps to battle the effects of the deadly hangover. No wonder Sunday brunch is so popular!

Ate too much

Everywhere we go -- holiday parties, grocery stores and even at work -- we're seduced by an array of holiday goodies including eggnog, cookies, brownies, chocolates, candies and spirits. These delicious temptations inevitably lead to overindulgence.?To help the digestive process along, drink tea.

Peppermint - Used for centuries to ease the digestive system. Assists with dissipation of gas and indigestion.

Chamomile - It has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. The calming effects of this tea also help relieve stress, which is often linked to digestive problems.

Lemongrass - Soothes the digestive system and calms the nerves.

Help digestion by taking enzymes. Digestive enzymes support the breakdown and assimilation of food, helping to ease feelings of bloating.