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5 Foods to Eat When You Overeat

Posted: 11/25/11 06:03 AM ET

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., Nutrition Editor, EatingWell Magazine

It's all too easy to overdo it at Thanksgiving. Even for the most health- and diet-conscious, a little bit of this and a small bite of that can add up quickly. (Find out what the best and worst Thanksgiving foods are here.)

Perhaps more depressing is that loading up on calories forces our body into overdrive as it tries to undo the damage done by the harmful free radicals produced as we digest food. (Free radicals attack cells and can promote the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.) And, of course, the more we eat the more free radicals we produce.

If you happen to overindulge, though, don't beat yourself up about it: the best way to handle a slip-up is to get back on track ASAP. (Try this 1,500-calorie post-Thanksgiving detox plan.) And even better news is that research suggests these 5 foods can help you rebound from the damage of a rich meal.

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Adding spices to your meal may help to lessen the negative effects of overeating. In a small 2011 study in The Journal of Nutrition, participants who ate a meal that included about 2 tablespoons of spices (a blend of rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika) had lower triglyceride and insulin levels and higher antioxidant levels after eating a high-fat, high-calorie meal compared to when they ate a nearly identical meal that lacked spices. Researchers think the spice blend may help slow fat absorption-and the antioxidants help mop up harmful free radicals produced when you overeat.

Related: 6 of the Healthiest Spices You Should Cook With
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How do you get back on track after eating a big meal?

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.

Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.

Brierley's interest in nutrition and food come together in her position as an associate editor at EatingWell. Brierley holds a master's degree in Nutrition Communication from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. A Registered Dietitian, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont.

 

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