Detoxing your body — that is, cleansing your body of all the excesses it has absorbed — is the best way to start a new year. This is also the best thing to do when you have indulged in food, booze and festive cheer and didn’t set any limits on having the best time with your loved ones.
There are many benefits that you can derive from a thorough detox. They include getting rid of chemicals and toxins that accumulate in our bodies from processed foods and ready-made meals, improving the efficiency of the immune system, losing weight and achieving holistic well-being.
There are many products out there that promise complete detox to your mind and body, and there are a number of websites and online tutorials offering detox advice. But, not all of them are trustworthy or genuine.
You need to understand the unique nature and requirements of your body and determine what works for you. Winter is especially the time to cleanse your body and step into the new year in good health. And where better to start than your kitchen? Your nutritional intake and exercise regimen are the two most important factors for an effective detox.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a happy and healthy 2017!
Water is the key to staying light after a night of indulgence — for instance, the day after a big holiday party. It helps flush out toxins from the body and helps your digestive system recover. Also, winter months are a particularly important time to stay hydrated. It can do wonders for your skin and overall health.
It works even better when the first thing that you have in the morning is a cup of warm water with a slice of fresh lemon or lime in it — feel free to add honey too! Tangy lime is rich in antioxidants and will help speed up the cleansing process.
You can continue sipping on infused water throughout the day and enjoy the multitude of benefits. Vitamin C and potassium are present in abundance in lemons and limes, which help your body achieve optimal performance.
Vitamin C helps break down toxins into water-soluble form and speed up their elimination from the body. Lemon also helps increase enzyme production in the body and aids in blood purification.
Green leafy veggies are a best bet to give your body tons of nutrition as well as essential nutrients and minerals. Robust kale, mustard greens, turnip tops, chard and ice spinach are all found in most markets — especially during the winter months. Escarole is another bridging green that can be a tremendously powerful source of nutrition in the winter.
Trendy kale and flavor-rich collards that are abundant in winter are part of the Brassica vegetable family and are nutritional powerhouses, rich in manganese, potassium, phytochemicals, vitamins A, C, K and E and a host of other nutrients.
Dark green veggies are among the most powerful detoxing foods that you can eat. These foods help create a strong alkaline environment in the body to help reduce the growth of bad bacteria and acids. An alkaline body environment is healthy and prevents the buildup of cellular toxins, including cancer-causing free radicals.
Chlorophyll present in green leafy veggies increases oxygen supply to cells, thereby improving their health.
Get some light exercise
Heavy exercise when you are feeling bloated and full can do more harm than good. A brisk walk can give the much-needed jolt to your metabolism that has been lulled to sleep by the fat and sugar overload from holiday festivities!
The extra calories that have been piled on need to be worked off or they may accumulate in unseemly or even dangerous places. If it’s the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas, a brisk walk can prime your metabolism to help process the extra intake.
Yoga is another great way to give your body a cleansing workout. It takes into account the physical and spiritual health of a person. Yoga is a great way to calm and soothe both body and spirit. A healthy mind is an essential part of a comprehensive detox — so grab your gear and get moving!
Also, make sure that you remove excess alcohol buildup from your body. Foods containing fructose will help burn alcohol in the body. Fresh fruit juices, coconut water and tomato juice will help your body recover from a hangover, and they also supply vitamins and minerals.
The bottom line
Winter is the best time to pamper yourself. It is the season when some of the healthiest fruits and veggies around begin to make their seasonal appearance in markets. In addition to indulging in seasonal festivities, make sure that you give your body the TLC it deserves. A smart detox can help you start the new year on a happy and healthy note.
Kim Catlin is the head of customer relations at Withdrawal Ease. She is also the wife of George Catlin, founder of Withdrawal Ease and author of The Opiate Withdrawal Survival Guide.