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The Best Foods to Help Cure a Hangover

a young Asian woman curled up in bed

The holidays are a time to eat, drink and be merry but between rich, creamy eggnogs and bubbly flutes of champagne you may find yourself feeling a little worse for the wear after a night of celebration. If you find yourself suffering a hangover, or are proactively looking into remedies before your next night out, we’ve got the cures to what ails you.

Hangovers often involve a mix of headache, nausea and fatigue, and can plague your morning after a night out. For some, a single alcoholic beverage can bring on the beast, while others find they feel the effects only after drinking heavily or mixing spirits. As a general rule of thumb, the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to have a hangover, with dehydration being the main cause of those brutal next day symptoms. Forget the hokey preventatives, because choosing “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear” will not save you, according to this study, but drinking liquids to rehydrate and chowing down on one of these 10 food remedies just might.

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Food to help cure a hangover: coffee

If you’re reaching for a strong cup of coffee in the hopes of bringing yourself back to life, first consider your symptoms as it may do more harm than good. Caffeine is a diuretic and will, according to this study, further dehydrate your body, which could ultimately prolong your symptoms. However, if you find yourself more drained than queasy, it could offer that pick-me-up that you need to get through the day. Upon shuffling into your kitchen, begin with a glass or two of something hydrating (your best bet? water) and see how you feel before getting your caffeine fix.

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Food to help cure a hangover: bananas

If you’re not quite ready for solid food just yet, smoothies are a great option. They’re hydrating, light and easy to make. Throw in a banana, which will help replenish your body’s potassium levels, and add some mixed berries for an antioxidant boost. Include healthy fats in the form of flax seeds or avocado to restore levels of fatty acids that are often depleted from alcohol consumption, too.

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Food to help cure a hangover: eggs

If a big breakfast is more your speed, reach for liver-supporting foods, like eggs. The liver is responsible for processing and breaking down about 95 per cent of the alcohol we consume, so to help it do its job it’s best to eat foods that promote liver function before and after drinking. These include protein-rich foods which break down into amino acids used by the liver for detoxification. Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and help your body process the last of the holiday cocktails in your system. While a thick slab of bacon or a spicy sausage might be sounding really good, resist the urge and skip the added grease.

Related: Foods to eat (and avoid) to help fall asleep faster.


Food to help cure a hangover: pho

If you’re gravitating towards salty, high fat comfort foods try to find a happy medium, like pho. A Vietnamese specialty, pho is a beef noodle soup made with a light, but incredibly flavourful broth, thinly sliced beef and rice noodles. It’s hearty enough to satisfy your hangover hunger without destroying your fragile stomach. The same way soup helps you when you’re sick, pho is heaven-sent when you are hungover.

See also: The 20 best foods to eat to keep you thriving while indoors.


Salmon on toast

Food to help cure a hangover: salmon

Salmon is another lean and flavourful protein option, and can be added to your meal any time of the day. If you’ve indulged in some heavy drinking, you’re likely dehydrated and puffy, meaning your body is inflamed. According to research, salmon is high in antioxidants, which combat inflammation, and a good source of Omega 3. Just be sure to keep the skin on as it contains the highest concentration of fatty acids and minerals.

Related: 8 types of junk food that are actually good for you.

Bowls of pasta

Food to help cure a hangover: carbs

Pairing your proteins with carb-heavy foods like bread and pasta, which have a naturally high sodium content, will provide your body with the electrolytes it needs. Again, steer clear of overly greasy add-ons. For some people, whole wheat or sprouted grains are easier to digest, and are an easy swap in a sandwich or pasta meal.

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Watermelon with a heart-shaped cut out

Food to help cure a hangover: watermelon

In between meals, stick to water-rich snacks to keep you body hydrated throughout the day. According to this study, fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and cucumbers have a high water content and natural sugars to replenish essential nutrients that the alcohol has absorbed from your body. They may even help settle your stomach and ease your pounding headache.

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Jar of honey

Food to help cure a hangover: honey

If you’re craving something a little sweeter, natural honey is delicious and is an anti-inflammatory. According to this study, fructose digests at the same rate as alcohol, so consuming a healthy dose of honey when you’re hungover forces your body to rid itself of the alcohol in your system faster. Add a tablespoon of honey to a soothing cup of green tea or atop a probiotic yogurt. Probiotic yogurt can help to settle hangover heartburn and queasiness by replacing good gut bacteria to support digestive health and help with upset stomachs.

See also: Everything you need to know about your gut health.


Jar of pickles

Food to help cure a hangover: pickle juice

If you’re still struggling after a day’s worth of remedies, it might be time to think outside the box — and your comfort zone. Unless pickle-back shots were to blame for your nasty hangover in the first place, pickle juice could be the odd cure worth trying. If you’re able to stomach the sour liquid, a shot of pickle juice provides a dose of vinegar, salt and water to help replenish your body’s electrolyte and sodium levels. Considering the taste is not for everyone, try adding the juice to a vitamin-rich glass of tomato juice or eat the pickles by themselves for similar results.

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