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I don’t know about you but January often leaves me feeling a little warn out. With all the business of Christmas and New Year, the eating and drinking and extra shopping trips, I always feel a little off. Now I’ve never been a diet fan but I do like to idea of helping boost your system and detox yourself through natural, balanced means – primarily through food and drink. But what are the top candidates for this and what helps you recover from December?
Understand your body
Our bodies have a pretty good series of systems in place to help get rid of all the bad stuff and keep what we need to be healthy. That said, it also doesn’t hurt to boost your system and give it more good stuff, maybe a little less bad stuff after a hard period like December. To know what you need, you need to understand your body a bit and listen to what it is telling you.
Everybody’s body is different so signs for me that I need to add a little of this or lose a bit of that might be different for you. However, there are a few classic signs that apply to almost everyone and indicate that some detox might be needed.
- Low energy – if you feel tired after a good night’s sleep or are drinking too much coffee just to keep going, even hitting those energy drinks, this is a good sign that you need to boost your system or give it a break from something
- Constipation – I know medication can cause this (painkillers for me) but I notice that if I don’t drink enough, then this can be the end result so if you are noticing a change in this area, maybe you have a bit of an imbalance
- Brain drain – standing there, unable to remember what you were doing or forget what you went upstairs for? It happens to everyone but can be a sign that you need to balance your body
- Sleeping problems – if you normally sleep well, there are often periods when you have a bit of insomnia but it can be a sign that your body may be a bit stuffed with toxins and this is affecting your sleep cycle
Simple measures to boost your system
One of the easiest ways to boost your system and to have a detox is through what you drink. Top of the list has to be water – hydration is key for a whole number of reasons and while you can drink too much water, it is a really high number. By drinking plenty of water, you effectively flush your system and take away toxins and other nasty stuff with it. Infused water is an easy way to get more benefits per drink by adding fruit to the water.
The other great detox drink is tea – maybe why January is Hot Tea Month! While teas do contain caffeine, it is a less harsh version that in coffee so the drink is easier on the system. Teas such as green tea are filled with other good stuff including antioxidants. It helps to boost the system in a range of ways including helping the metabolism work to peak efficiency, clearing toxins from the system.
Herbal teas are another option and bring with them an easier to enjoy taste than green tea. Herbal teas aren’t strictly speaking teas but are infusions of leaves, seeds and other ingredients that are served steeped in hot water. So looking at what is in an herbal tea gives you an idea about the benefits. For example:
- Peppermint tea – gets rid of bloating and gas, eases nausea but avoid if you are suffering with heartburn
- Ginger tea – eases an upset stomach due to motion sickness as well as nausea
- Chamomile tea – helps with insomnia and digestion after a meal, also to ease the symptoms of a cold such as coughing
- Lemon balm tea – improves concentration
- Hibiscus tea – helps loose belly fat and balance electrolytes
Foods to add to your diet
There are also lots of foods that give specific benefits and can be incorporated into your diet in different ways. Sure, you don’t want to try and eat all of them but if you are feeling certain symptoms, then the corresponding food could help boost your system and get you back on track.
Asparagus is a great detox food and is also a natural anti-inflammatory that helps calm the body. It has antioxidants to fight the signs of aging and also assistants with liver drainage to clear away those toxins.
Avocadoes got a bad reputation for their fat content but as realisation that fat isn’t always a bad thing sneaks across our awareness, then they are back on the menu. They have lots of good fats in them that help restore the system.
Cabbage is good for the liver and also helps the system process waste, the best way to get rid of all those nasty things. It is also low in cholesterol.
Garlic has to be my favourite thing on the list and is so easy to get into your diet. It is also hugely helpful to your system including boosting the immune system, helping the liver and even making bland foods taste better to help make them easier to eat.
Lemongrass is used in Thailand and around the world for its cleansing properties and works on the liver, kidneys, bladder and digestive tract. You can use it in meals, soups or in a tea.
Lemons are another simple way to help boost your system, adding lemon juice to water for a double effect drink. Lemons are great for flushing toxins and a little cayenne pepper can be added to increase the taste of the infused water.
Turmeric is an herb that is popular at the moment in teas and in food (great for curry, for example) and has tons of benefits including boosting the digestive system and even help stave off cancer.
Wheatgrass has been popular in health shakes for years and the reason is that it boosts the metabolism, lowers blood sugar and beats off any bad stuff in the system.
Artichokes are great to help the liver function as they up the production of bile – this might sound bad but this is how the liver gets rid of all the bad stuff and retains the nutrients. They also contain fibre, protein, potassium and magnesium.
Broccoli is another darling of the superfood gang but that’s because it is good stuff. It works with enzymes in the liver that transforms toxins into something that can easily be flushed.
Grapefruit is ideal to boost the liver function and help it clear out toxins, replacing them with good stuff instead. It is also easy to get into your diet as either juice or in a smoothie.
Kale is another superfood and there are strong results to show adding it to your diet helps your kidneys and other organs. It has loads of nutrients and anti-oxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Detoxing your system is a personal thing – you know what doesn’t feel right and what you want to change. Always take into account any medication you are taking and if you really aren’t feeling well, please see a medical professional as sometimes these signs are your body’s way of saying something more serious might be wrong. Otherwise, happy detoxing!