The festive season can be a time for overindulgence. The least we can do is make sure that we cleanse our body from the toxins come January, Deeba Hasan finds out how
Christmas has drawn to a close for another year and a new beginning is the perfect time to flush our systems clean. A good old detox provides our bodies with the nutrients it needs following all those mince pies and chocolate.
Amanda Hamilton, known as the Queen of Detox, explains that when bodies are overloaded with toxins, the liver is unable to function properly. “An overloaded liver is linked to cellulite, weight gain around the abdomen and bloating – a sluggish liver can actually increase weight gain.” So the way to kick-start the New Year is to rid your body of all that rubbish.
A common misconception about detox foods is that they are boring, when actually they can be a lot of fun to indulge in and taste great as well. They also don’t have to be eaten in isolation – you can mix them up with other healthy foods to help make your detox diet more appealing. Here are some natural foods that can help you detox effectively when worked into your regular diet. Combined with plenty of exercise, a detox diet is the most positive way to start the New Year.
Parsley: This healthy green does a lot more good than you probably realise. It contains plenty of beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and K, which help protect the kidneys and the bladder. Classified as a diuretic herb, parsley prevents kidney stones and bladder infections by helping our bodies produce more urine.
Apples: Apples are full of essential nutrients and contain a soluble fibre called pectin. This helps remove food additives and metals from the body’s system. Apples in a fruit salad can make a tasty detox snack.
Cinnamon: Packed with both health benefits and taste, cinnamon can improve your metabolism and makes everything taste so good. It’s full of iron, calcium and manganese, which help the body process fatty acids and keep blood sugar levels stable. Try introducing cinnamon to your regular diet by adding it to a cup of tea.
Coriander: Coriander contains numerous antioxidants that help us detoxify. It also contains an antibacterial compound called dodecenal, which lab tests show is effective in killing salmonella. Coriander also mobilises mercury and other metals out of the tissue, enabling them to be excreted from the body. Try adding coriander to sandwiches and chutneys for a healthy and tasty snack.
Green tea: Green tea has several uses, but is most commonly used in detox diets because of its high antioxidant content. It is one of the least processed teas available and is known to lower blood pressure levels significantly.
Pineapples: This spikey fruit helps cleanse the colon and improve digestion due the presence of an enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme is also known to reduce inflammation and coagulation of the blood. Sweet and delicious, fresh pineapple can also be a mood booster.
Dr. Zainab Jassim, General Practitioner at the Burjeel Medical Centre Oman shares her tips for a successful January detox.
§ Morning lemon juice: This kick-starts digestion and cleanses the system. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. Drink before breakfast.
§ Exercise: Aim to exercise for one hour daily, exercise increases lymph flow and circulation to help sweat out toxins.
§ Raw foods: Aim to cut out the cooking process and eat mainly raw foods.
§ Detox the mind: Aim for 15 minutes of meditation per day.
§ Drink: Try and drink three litres of fluid daily.
§ Body brushing: Doing this daily will support circulation and increase skin detoxification.
§ Chew: Aim to chew each mouthful of food 10 to 12 times before swallowing.
Things to avoid
§ Alcohol and cigarettes
§ Milk products
§ Grains, wheat, rye, barley, oats and rice
§ Dried fruit
§ Sugar and artificial sweeteners