It’s that time of year when we are contemplating new year resolutions, changing our habits and trying to start afresh. Christmas and New Year celebrations can often send us off track from a regular healthy eating regime. Try not to despair, because there are some simple steps you can take that will help to improve your energy, reduce your brain fog and help release some built-up toxins along the way.
The organs that suffer the most when we over-indulge are often our accessory digestive organs; the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. These are the powerhouses of our digestive system and are often the first point of call for any substance that we consume, including drugs and alcohol, and of course any substance in excess (good or bad) can put a strain on normal organ function.
It is important to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle where our body naturally maintains a happy environment and can successfully deal with small stresses from our internal and external environment. If we go off track for short periods of time, such as around our holidays, our bodies will naturally work at detoxing and cleansing because we have provided the nutrients throughout the year to manage these stresses. However, if we don’t manage to sustain healthy eating patterns our bodies struggle to cope with these stresses, and this is where we become more susceptible to inflammation and increased risk for diet related disease.
To assist your health and help it manage everyday stresses, take note of these simple nutrition tips and help get your body system back on track.
Water effectively flushes out toxins and wastes from the body. This is a crucial way of rehydrating ourselves especially if we consume any substance in excess. If you don’t like the taste of water, then consider these options:
Fresh lemon in warm water – A great addition to your morning routine to help aid in digestion and boost immunity with its antibacterial and antioxidant activity.
Vegetable and fruit juice blend – Blend up a mix of vegetables, fruit and water to provide a nutrient boost to help your digestive organs cleanse.
Fruits and vegetables – Most plant-based foods will contain approximately 90% water, so these can also count towards your daily water intake.
CRUCIFEROUS AND DARK LEAFY GREENS
Cruciferous and dark leafy green vegetables help to support digestion and organ function by cleansing and neutralising toxins and chemicals within the body. Cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and your dark leafy greens such as watercress, bokchoy and kale are high in fibre, lower in calories and contain a myriad of nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, K and folate.
HIGH FIBRE FOODS
High insoluble fibre foods such as asparagus, artichoke and leek are pre-biotic foods that provide bulk and movement through the colon, contributing to healthy gut bacteria and improved immunity.
Soluble fibre actively binds with waste and toxins, while also helping to lower cholesterol and stabilise our blood glucose levels. The best sources include nuts, seeds, legumes and oat bran.
Enjoy a wide range of fruits with varying textures and colours to maintain overall health. Berries and apples are your fruit powerhouses when it comes to antioxidant activity and liver support.
If you struggle to include all the necessary food groups into your day, I find the easiest way to boost nutrient intake is through a blended smoothie. A great example is this citrus, pineapple and vegie drink which can help to eliminate the build-up of toxins, boost metabolism and improve digestive function.
Wellness Digestive Smoothie
1 orange – peeled
¼ lemon – peeled
1 cup pineapple
½ stalk of celery
½ cup of broccoli
1 cup coconut water
Just remember, regular consumption of healthy wholefoods, such as these smoothie ingredients, is necessary to achieve and maintain overall health and vitality. A wide variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and legumes, of all colours and textures, are necessary to provide the body with a vast array of nutrients beneficial for metabolism, immunity and to reduce inflammation.
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