A flavorful, hearty snack paired with a glass of beer or two is not at all uncommon on Guam, as well as the Marianas Islands as a whole. Sunday barbeques almost guarantee that a case of Bud Ice or other popular beer brands will be available to wash down the delicious meats grilled over smoldering coals and firewood. A relaxing evening drinking among family may also involve finger foods such as sashimi, or chicken wings! 

The right kind of food helps prevent hangovers and keeps your stomach full, discouraging excessive drinking. George F. Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, states: “When you drink on an empty stomach, you feel tipsy very fast, whereas you might not even notice if you consumed the same amount of alcohol with a meal.”

But what are the perfect snacks to pair with beer? Guam Food Blog has provided a list of 5 of the perfect snacks!

01. FRUITS & VEGETABLES

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance is the main source of hangovers. Mineral water is the best solution to prevent hangovers, but it’s also a little boring. Fruits and vegetables packed with naturally hydrating properties are ideal to pair with adult beverages because they taste delicious, they are packed with Vitamin C and other important nutrients, and they will prevent dehydration easier than having to remember to drink water! 

“Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants and vitamins you need to stay healthy, while providing a large dose of water as well,” Nutritionist Claudia T. Felty, PhD, RDN, points out. Cucumbers, celery, dragonfruit, honeydew, grapes, pineapple, coconut (coconut water/milk & coconut meat), and watermelon are some of the most hydrating picks.

02. YELLOWFIN TUNA

Growing up in the Marianas Islands, it is not unusual to see your family get together and enjoy a few beers over a table, plates of sashimi shared among the crowd with lemon juice and soy sauce.

Well, this delectable finger food is not just a popular beer snack because it tastes great; yellowfin tuna is packed with protein. Protein slows down alcohol absorption, preventing your body from getting drunk faster. Feeding the body protein also helps to rebuild a portion of the cells and tissues that excessive drinking tends to destroy, so it is important to eat high-protein snacks before and/or after drinking! 

Sushi (including Sashimi) is said to be best paired with a light beer, like a light lager. 

When eating yellowfin tuna or any raw dish, be sanitary and only eat something you know you will enjoy; try to avoid pairing your snacks with too much salt—-  in this case, soy sauce. Yellowfin tuna sashimi soaked in organic lemon juice is preferable! If you would prefer to eat it with soy sauce, substitute it with low-sodium soy sauce! 

Consuming salty foods while drinking can accelerate dehydration, which is the main cause of hangovers. If you absolutely have to include salt in your snacks, balance it out by drinking one glass of water for every beer you’ve finished.

03. BUDDHA BOWLS

Jam-packed with proteins, nutrients and vitamins, Buddha bowls are delicious, healthy snacks in a bowl that protects your body from hangovers and excessive drunkenness. Nutritionist Claudia T. Felty, PhD, RDN, recommends Buddha bowls: “They provide a healthy dose of plant protein, healthy fats, and hydrating veggies.” 

Buddha bowls are often simple, and comprise of three or four ingredients full of healthy nutrients that keep the body hydrated, full, and quite protected from the damaging effects of alcohol while also tasting great! Sometimes a Buddha bowl simply comprises of slices of grilled chicken, quinoa, kale or spinach or avocado, sliced baby tomatoes, and homemade salad dressing! 

Try the Balsamic Chicken and Lemon Quinoa Bowl! A quick recipe that can be replicated at home.

04. HANDMADE PIZZA PIE

Ordering custom, handmade pizza pies from Pieology, The Crust or California Pizza Kitchen is your best bet if you want to enjoy a healthy snack with your beer. Perfect for IPAs—-  but, then again, when is pizza not perfect? The natural grease or oil from a hand-made pizza pie protects the lining of your stomach and intestines, slowing down the alcohol-absorption process, which can help delay the time it will take your body to feel drunk. 

A pizza pie with plenty of protein, colorful vegetables (not just greens) and cheese is a healthy and delicious choice for the beer munchies!

05. MOZZARELLA STICKS

Mozzarella sticks are, essentially, deep-fried cheese. Using Arby’s regular-size side order of mozzarella sticks as an example, the simple dish has 425 calories, 23 grams of fat, and 1,370 milligrams sodium. 

But we all have our cheat days, and mozzarella sticks are the granddaddy champion of helping to prevent alcohol from being absorbed through the stomach lining; much like pizza, the oils of this deep-fried dish coat the lining of your stomach and intestines in a protective layer. 

What does that mean? Well, it helps prevent social drinkers from getting dangerously drunk, and it is important to drink responsibly—-  might as well do it while enjoying a tasty, cheesy snack! 

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