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For many, January is not only the month of new beginnings, but a time for detoxification. You don’t need to look hard to find advice on how to counter an overindulgent December, but what is the best approach to take?  As luck would have it, we have a qualified nutritional therapist within our midst at ISE, so we will be sharing regular tips on how to get fighting fit and be at the top of your game in 2017. And, of course, to start with:

Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Detoxification

~The first and most important thing to understand is that detoxification is as much about giving as it is taking away. Making additions to your diet and lifestyle to support your body is as important as removing the toxins. Things as simple as not having enough sleep or not providing the nutrients your body needs to function can have a hugely negative impact on overall health.

~Prioritise your gut and liver.  Because we can’t see them, most people have no idea how powerful the gut and liver are when it comes to regulating our other body systems.

~The gut is where immunity originates, so keeping it happy is key to fighting those winter bugs. Pro and prebiotic foods support gut health, so try adding things such as unsweetened live yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, bananas, garlic, leeks, onion, Jerusalem artichoke and chicory to your diet. Taking a good probiotic supplement for a week or two will also help to ensure you are fully inoculated.

~It is no secret that the liver is the organ of detoxification, but it will do its best work when it is not kept busy processing last night’s overindulgences! Supporting the liver will help boost energy and promote clear glowing skin, so try adding liver loving foods to your diet such, as rocket, artichoke, cabbage, garlic, cruciferous veg like broccoli and cauliflower, leafy greens like spinach and kale, turmeric.

~Water, water, water! Even in the cold weather it is important to keep your water intake to at least 1.5-2 litres a day, to flush the toxins out of your liver and kidneys.

~Balance your blood sugar levels. This is not only the key to a craving-free weight loss plan, but will also help to regulate hormones and mood. Try adding some protein to each meal, as it really will keep you fuller for longer. Breakfast is often seen as the hardest time to include protein and it doesn’t mean having to eat eggs every day. Try swapping jam on toast for nut butter, have unsweetened yoghurt on low sugar muesli or avocado on toast – so on trend! 

~Eat plenty of fibre. Not only will this help with blood sugar balance, but can also remove toxins from the body. A simple rule is to keep swapping white for brown grains and aim for five portions of veg, as a minimum. Limit fruit to two portions a day to keep sugar intake low.

~Develop a sleep routine. Not only does mental function suffer without it, but there is increasing evidence that sleep deprivation impacts weight gain and multiple body systems, including immunity, hormone regulation and mood. Going to bed at the same time every evening will help both with falling and remaining asleep, as will going to bed before midnight as sleep hormone, melatonin, reaches its peak during the early hours of the morning. Try having a bedtime routine such as a hot bath. Avoid using any electronic devices at least an hour before you go to sleep… #offline #beautysleep

~Go back to basics. Think about where the food originated; how far has a chicken nugget come since it was clucking happily around a barn? The closer food is to its natural source, the more nutrient-dense it will be, as well as not containing artificial ingredients that will slow detoxification.

~Ditch or moderate caffeine and alcohol. Both provide short lived “highs” but far more negative longer term side effects and unnecessary pressure on our body’s ability to function optimally. While the prospect of giving up one, the other or (dare I say it!) both may seem an impossibility, after a couple of weeks, you will wonder why you never tried it before. Trust me on this one! You can always add small volumes back into your diet at the end of the month, but you won’t need your nightly glass or two of wine, or fourth coffee of the day anymore.

Happy detoxing!

*((Before embarking on a supplement regime, it is advisable to get advice from a qualified practitioner. Those taking additional medications are advised to follow a food-only programme and consult their doctor before taking any nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplements.))