With the excesses of Christmas and New Year finally out of the way, now is the perfect time to go on a detox program and get back on track, right? Well maybe not. Celebrity detox programs are all the rage at this time of year, most are unnecessary, some are dangerous, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you could be doing.
Lets be clear from the outset, your body is really effective at detoxifying, it does it every second of every day and even if you hadn’t had an indulgent fortnight (or longer) your body would still be busily working away removing all of the natural waste products that are produced through eating, breathing, moving and even thinking. We can support these elimination pathways, through supplementation that will be discussed later. The first steps are far simpler and involve little more than changing behaviour, which are not only beneficial in January, but tips for health living.
I’m sure you’ve seen the adverts for dry January and step one is that simple, stop put toxins in your body, reducing or avoiding not just alcohol, but sugary processed foods and soft drinks reduces the burden on the liver and allows it to catch up and repair itself, in fact a high sugar diet is one of off the largest factor in non alcohol related fatty liver disease. The pancreas (which is responsible for balancing blood sugar) also gets a break. Allowing your body to reset, repair and replenish, restore your adaptive capacity allowing you to cope with the occasional bout of indulgence as well as stress and illness.
Inactivity often accompanies the seasonal indulgences, movement benefits virtually every system in your body. One of the key systems involved in waste removal is the lymphatic system which gets rid of the body’s non food waste, movement also aids peristalsis (a movement that allows the contents of the intestines through the body). Exercise is also great for mood and can help you shift any seasonal weight gain.
Alcohol and other indulgences cause your body to lose water and with it often goes important nutrient such as B vitamins. Water helps to replenish skin and brain tissues as well as helping the detoxification pathways.
Resting doesn’t just mean catching up on the lack of sleep from partying to hard, it also refers to resting your over worked digestive system. Digestion, just like every other process in the body causes the production of waste products, this combined with over eating for several days mean that your digestive system needs some time off too. Try going 16 hours in the day without eating or drinking anything (other that water). I know it sounds hard but if you factor in 8 hours of sleep it’s not too tricky.
Overindulgence ought to provide an excess of nutrients and Christmas dinner can provide a variety of essential nutrients, but if filling your plate with vegetables isn’t for you, the chances are you will have depleted several key nutrients such B vitamins, soluble fibre, pre and probiotics, digestive enzymes and many more.
A good quality multivitamin will help to ensure your getting all the bits in a absorbable form, a prebiotic can help to normalise gut function and support elimination and probiotics help to support gut healing and reduce inflammation. If you need help with any other conditions or would like to receive and personalised nutrition plan to achieve your health and fitness goal, please give us a call 01302 719917.