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Don't Be Another Thanksgiving Day Statistic!

No Seas Una Estadística Más De Thanksgiving

How to avoid food binges that take you straight to the emergency room

This week, our homes begin to fill with holiday and party vibes. Even if it's not with all the family and friends we're accustomed to, Thanksgiving is still one of the most anticipated days of the year. If this 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to express more gratitude for being healthy and alive!

Aside from marking the start of the holiday season, Thanksgiving also sets off the beginning of the most dangerous time of year... the last month and a half where we indulge in excess food and drink at all the festivities and celebrations. No matter which religion or lack thereof that we affiliate with, there is always good reason and plenty of excuses to join in all the feasts! From here on out, we have: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia... all to close out the New Year. But the most common thing among these parties is how far we go with eating and drinking, unwittingly putting our health at risk.

Statistics show that Thanksgiving and Christmas are among the days with the most emergency room visits of the year - especially for heart-related problems. The death rate increases with each passing year.


Delicious dishes abound this time of year, but they are mostly chock full of saturated fat, sugar and excess sodium. Increasing the burden on our body, there is also plenty of alcohol to be found – all factors that can lead to:

    • Unregulated sugar in people with diabetes,

    • Increased risk of gallbladder issues,

    • Triggering a heart attack, among other problems.

  • Many refer to post-Thanksgiving as ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ due to the common indulgence in overeating.

  • According to the American Heart Association, ‘an unusually heavy meal may increase the risk of heart attack by about four times within two hours after consumption.’

  • Alcohol can provoke atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure.

  • To be clear, binging like we tend to do on Thanksgiving can have the same effect on the heart as if you were forcefully shoving snow – another activity that causes many to end up at the hospital.

How can we help ourselves control the urge to overeat?

It’s okay to be a little indulgent. However, there are also tips to help us trick our stomach and brain into feeling satiated faster and that prep our intestines for bowel movement after we eat. Here are a few:

  • Upon awakening in the morning, drink plenty of water in order to be well hydrated and prepare the digestive system. A good option is to add a spoonful of chia seeds to a large glass of water. This will help keep you full and well-nourished for hours thanks to the gelatinous fiber that contains proteins, antioxidants, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Since you will most likely want to try a little bit of everything, prepare your stomach early on by eating papaya or pineapple for breakfast. They contain digestive enzymes, such as papain and bromelain, that help break down food and metabolize it better, making heavy foods like meat easier to digest. If you will be joining family and you’ve been tasked with bringing dessert, try preparing a fruit salad with either or both these fruits to help everyone digest their dinner better.

  • You can also choose a glass of yogurt or kefir for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack to get in probiotics. This will help you avoid an upset stomach later, and combats symptoms such as heaviness, gas and indigestion.

  • Once you sit down for dinner, try a little bit of everything in small portions. If you want a second helping of your favorite dish, wait about twenty minutes before getting more. Once the time has passed, and if you still feel like you want more, serve yourself an even smaller portion than before.

  • If drinking alcohol, wait until you finish off a glass before filling the next. Drink plenty of water in between.

  • After eating, try drinking an infusion of cloves, excellent for relieving stomach inflammation and pain, gas, heartburn, nausea and promoting bowel movements.

  • Another alternative after dinner is eating cardamom seeds. Just chew one or two pods until the seeds that are inside pop out. Remove the pods and swallow the seeds. Cardamom is exceptional for improving digestion, relieving pain, and lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. It even helps alleviate bad breath.

We have the best advice for Thanksgiving and all the upcoming holidays.

  • The best Santo Remedio, not only for this day but for the entire holiday season, is PRICKLY PEAR. Taking this cactus 30 minutes before eating will promote a more balanced diet because the fiber helps you:

    • Have better digestion.

    • Regulate sugar.

    • Reduce the effects of a hangover if you end up drinking a little more than you should.

  • Another natural remedy worth having on hand is Red Yeast Rice, which can help eliminate excess fat from most foods. The holidays mark the high season for LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, peaking in December. That means you are just in time to take care of yourself using the treatments we’ve shared.

It is of the upmost importance that you make good choices when it comes to eating and drinking, especially if you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and/or excess weight. If you have heart palpitations, experience pain, chest pressure or heaviness, shortness of breath or fainting, there is no time to lose. Someone at home should call 911 immediately.

Thanksgiving is not just about food, even if we tend to forget it. Create some new traditions that allow you to spend the day sharing thoughts with your loved ones, written down or verbally. We all have so much to share and be grateful for this year! By proposing a new activity, you can help your family and friends make better use of the holiday without necessarily spending the entire night with a fork in hand.

Let's be healthier, together!

Your friends at Santo Remedio

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