The weather is finally starting to warm up, which can only mean one thing: BBQ season is officially here! And what better way to celebrate than by indulging in your favourite grilled foods and delicious cocktails?
Of course, overeating or drinking can be bad for your health and can have some unpleasant side effects, so it’s important to indulge in moderation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some summer BBQ, pool/garden parties from time to time.
Just be sure to make healthy choices, like choosing lean meats, fresh vegetables and avoiding processed foods. Try to limit your alcohol consumption to two to three drinks and alternate with water.
While BBQing is a great way to celebrate the warm weather, it can also be hard on your stomach. The high fat and sugar content can be difficult to digest and can lead to upset stomachs and indigestion. Not to mention the effects of alcohol on our liver, which the next day can leave us feeling lethargic and bloated.
This is where some herbal remedies might work in your favour.
- Milk thistle is a plant that has been used for centuries to improve digestion. The flavonoids in milk thistle have been shown to act on the liver to enhance protein synthesis, stabilize cell membranes and also show antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic actions.
- Dandelion is a plant that has been used for centuries to improve digestion and blood sugar control. The polyphenols and caffeic acid esters in dandelion help to stimulate the flow of bile, which helps to break down dietary fats.
- Boldo has a variety of constituents including alkaloids, volatile oils and polyphenols that are responsible for its digestion-supporting actions.
- Artichoke has a range of effects and is one of the more well-studied digestive herbs. It’s been shown to combat high cholesterol, encourage bile flow, reduce dyspepsia and improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
If you are planning to attend or host a party this weekend, you can find all of these herbs in one product known as Digestive Aid Complex. Just two with a meal can help reduce the risk of post-meal bloat and help you wake up without a hangover, whether that be from the food or all the poolside cocktails.
Now supporting digestion only becomes necessary when the food is palatable! One common, though unhealthy way to make food more edible in North America is seemingly adding enough salt for a week to every meal.
These sodium crystals are something that Hypertension Canada recommends we limit to reduce our risk of long-term cardiovascular concerns. This is where options like Herbamare Original and Spicy become important.
These herbed salt varieties are made in a two-to-one ratio of sea salt to a blend of 12 organic non-GMO herbs and veggies no older than eight hours post-harvest. The salt crystals and plant mixture sit in vats for a period of 4-12 months to allow the salt to absorb the volatile oils, enzymes, and flavours of the herbs.
What’s more, our founder Alfred Vogel specifically selected herbs and vegetables based on their ability to help with digestion. Herbamare allows you to trim the salt and turn up the flavour of any dish, with added health benefits. And don’t let the Spicy version intimidate you. It only adds a slight kick of flavour, not fire.
Another way to enjoy the BBQ without putting your health at risk is to focus on the sides. Make sure to include plenty of fresh vegetables and choose healthy options like whole-grain buns and salads. And of course, don’t forget the fruit! A refreshing fruit salad is a perfect way to finish off a perfect summer BBQ meal.
So go ahead and enjoy the warm weather — just be sure to do it in moderation! And remember, when it comes to BBQing, the sides are just as important as the main course.
By Owen Wiseman
Medical Advisor / Conseiller Médical
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