Five simple strategies to help mitigate the potential adverse affects associated with alcohol and its metabolism.

1. Never drink on an empty stomach. Lunch at 12h00 would have emptied at around 16h00. The combination of food and wine alters alcohol’s potential adverse effects. Something with zinc (e.g. oysters), something with vitamin C (e.g. cocktail tomatoes) and something with soluble fibre (e.g. hummus or oat biscuits) have been shown to protect the delicate cells of your stomach and intestines when they are exposed to alcohol. Honour them – when they go, your health goes too…

2. Dilute your alcohol to reduce the rate of absorption – for every glass of wine, have a glass of water.

3. Avoid foods rich in saturated fat (fatty meat, butter, cream and palm oil) when drinking alcoholic beverages. Fat metabolism changes while the liver is metabolising alcohol. Swap the fatty meat for lean, add olive oil instead of butter and rather eat dry roasted nuts or olives instead of oil roasted nuts and chips. Most chips and salted nuts are roasted or deep-fried using palm olein or palm fruit oil – which are high in saturated fats.
The exception is ripened and aged cheese (without preservatives), which is also considered a high saturated fat food but excused from inclusion since it is an essential source of probiotics. A diverse micro biome is of vital importance for healthy digestive system functioning and even alcohol metabolism. In this case – the benefit outweighs the detriment.

4. Opt for red wine most of the time.

5. Whisk up interesting wine or alcoholic beverage alternatives using de-alcoholised wine, pressed pomegranate or berry juice, soda water, buchu and rooibos tea and bitters for daytime gatherings or long lazy lounging occasions.

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