Condition - Get the New Year off to a great start!
Feeling sluggish after the excesses of the festive season? Bad breath, constipation, poor skin, bags or dark circles under the eyes, lethargy, irritability and fatigue are just some indications that you may benefit from an early spring clean! The new year is a great time to revitalise the body. Detoxifying after all that rich food and drink can lighten not only your body but also your mood and boost energy levels.
Clean up your diet
Firstly, address your diet and ditch the sugary foods, including cakes, sweets, biscuits and chocolate. Replace sugar in drinks and cooking with xylitol, a natural alternative to sugar found in plants that is tooth-friendly, inhibits yeasts and has 40% less calories than sugar. Processed foods, saturated fats, caffeine and alcohol can all increase the burden on the liver, impeding its ability to detoxify efficiently. Replace caffeinated tea and coffee with herbal teas, such as green tea, which is high in antioxidants, or a warming cat’s claw tea. Increase antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, particularly the colourful ones, such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, apples and berries. If necessary, top up with an antioxidant supplement to ensure you are getting enough antioxidants.
At least five daily portions of fruit and vegetables are recommended, so adding a fruit and vegetable smoothie daily will help boost your intake. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, not only support detoxification by the liver, but also help maintain the correct acid-alkaline balance in the body. Taking alkalising mineral salts further supports a balanced pH level.
Look after your liver
The amino acids methionine, taurine and cysteine all play a role in the liver’s detoxification processes, along with cofactors such as the B vitamins and vitamin C. Taurine is an important component of bile acids, while methionine and cysteine influence the concentration of glutathione in the cells. Glutathione is an important antioxidant that supports the efficient elimination of toxins. Milk thistle increases bile production to help break down fat in food, helps combat free-radical damage and supports a healthy gallbladder. Other plants that may promote cleansing include dandelion, parsley and burdock.
Get your bowels moving
While assisting the body’s cleansing mechanisms, it is very important to ensure regular bowel movements. Include plenty of fibre in the diet, from wholegrains such as oats and brown rice, as well as beans and lentils. Try taking a combination of flax seeds, probiotic bacteria and Aloe vera. And don’t forget the fluids! Drink at least two litres of filtered water/herbal teas a day.
Finally, get yourself moving! Lymph, the fluid that removes toxins and poisons from the tissue spaces around our cells, is reliant on exercise to move. Regular, mild to moderate exercise not only boosts a sluggish lymphatic system, but also increases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals, which enhance your mood and motivation.
Happy new year!