What to Read Next

4 foods to eat if you overeat

Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.
October 4, 2012

My motto—especially when it comes to nutrition—is moderation. There aren’t any “bad” foods in my opinion because, in moderation, there’s room for anything. I carry my motto to the Thanksgiving table, too—a little bit of this, a small bite of that. The problem is, there are so many choices and, inevitably, I end up overeating.

Related: Your day-after Thanksgiving detox plan (Psst! You get to have pumpkin pie.)
28-Day Meal Plan for a Slimmer You

We’re all guilty of overindulging sometimes, but loading up on calories forces our bodies into overdrive as they try 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.

Talk about putting a damper on Thanksgiving! Here’s the good news: recent research suggests that there’s a (delicious) way to rebound from the damage of a rich meal and reduce free radicals...add these 4 items to your menu!
 
1. Drink orange juice.
Flavonoids, the antioxidant-like compounds in OJ, may offset the heart-damaging effects of a calorie- and fat-laden meal, suggests a 2010 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In the study, people who drank orange juice with a high-fat, high-calorie breakfast (51 grams fat, 900 calories) had lower levels of harmful free radicals and other inflammatory markers associated with heart disease after the meal than participants who drank plain water or sugar water and ate the same breakfast.    

Related: How long does OJ keep before it loses vitamins? Plus when to ditch other common pantry items.

2. Eat fruit.
If you've indulged in a decadent meal, follow it with fruit. Eating antioxidant-rich fruits—including berries, grapes, kiwi and cherries—helps minimize the harmful free-radical damage that occurs after a meal. Eating caloric meals without antioxidant-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can have harmful effects over time.

Related: Enjoy fruit for dessert with these nearly instant, 15-minute fruit desserts.

3. Drizzle vinegar.
Having a tablespoon of vinegar with your meal, perhaps drizzled on your salad, may temper the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating a big, carbohydrate-rich meal.

For most of us, a steep rise in blood sugar triggers an equally rapid drop—which stokes appetite. This sugar surge is particularly a problem for people with diabetes, who can't clear glucose effectively (over time, excess glucose in the blood damages tissues).

4. Drink wine.
The antioxidants in red wine may reduce the negative impact of high-fat foods by lowering levels of a compound—produced in the body after eating fat—that's linked with heart disease. Cook with red wine or enjoy a glass with dinner. But remember, moderation is key!

Related: Drink too much? Find out which of these 5 tricks can cure your hangover.

How do you undo the damage of a big, rich meal?

Brierley's interest in nutrition and food come together in her position as nutrition 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.


Related Links from EatingWell:

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military - Takes 1 Min!

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

The New Fuel Behind Oil's Death Spiral

A stunning breakthrough in chemical engineering has unleashed a massive supply of fuel that could hand the United States 100% energy independence.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

What Has Been The 2016 Best Skin Tighteners ?

Women everywhere are saving thousands of dollars on plastic surgery by reducing the appearance of wrinkles from the comfort of their own home.

$200 Military Flashlight Dumped to the Public

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - limited supply!