Working as a Features Writer for a national health and fitness magazine means I hear the word “detox” way too much on a daily basis. I don’t really believe in detoxing diets etc as the body naturally detoxes itself on a daily basis. However, now that the festive period is over and we’ve all over-indulged a little, it’s time to kick start the healthy eating once more-not as a New Years resolution but as an ongoing overhaul. I’m not saying you have to do a Gwyneth and make Whole Foods your new Waitrose or stop going out in case your tempted by a dessert with your friends. But I am a massive advocate of healthy eating and encourage everyone to start with small changes to your diet to reap the health benefits food can give us-and there’s A LOT! Here’s just a few that will make you feel a lot better after all of those mince pies and mulled wine, to get you back on the road to good health from the inside.
CLICK ON EACH FOOD TO LEARN MORE…
The good bacteria in natural yoghurt balances the microflora in your gut and aids digestion. Don’t opt for the low fat or fat free versions, they’re full of sugar. Full fat is the way to go (yes, really!)
These are chock full of silymarin, an antioxidant that helps your liver process toxins, and cynarin, an acid that supports your liver’s ability to break down fatty foods. Try baking it with herbs as a side dish.
Massively underrated, watercress is one of the original superfoods as it has more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and more vitamin C than oranges. Make sure you include it in your salads and juices from now on.
Kale, spinach, cavolo nero and cabbage are just some collard leafs you should be eating. Packed full of vitamin A, C and E, they bind bile acids in the digestive tract making it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body.
Classed as a good fat, flaxseeds contain Omega 3 for a healthy heart, magnesium and B vitamins which help with weight management and help to fight cancer.
As a great source of vitamin C, half a lemon squeezed into water will boost your immune system, give your digestion a kick start and helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver. It also keeps hunger at bay, gives you an energy boost and detoxes the blood so your skin stays healthy and blemish-free-what more could you ask for?!
Mentioned in every detox programme you’ll ever find, Green tea packs a serious nutrient punch. It includes LOTS of antioxidants and antivirals which will cleanse the system of toxic substances. It also reduces stress, boosts immunity, reduces blood pressure, unhealthy sugar imbalances and aids weight loss.
The king of good fats, avocado is a great source of vitamin K, C, B5, B6 and E which are vital for healthy hair, skin, nails and heart. It does a fab job at cleansing the colon thanks to its soluble fibre properties. Add it to salads, quinoa and spread on wholemeal toast. Yum!
Full of magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium, this brightly coloured vegetable is packed with betacyanin-known for it’s cancer-fighting properties.
Remove waste from the body and boost your liver function with these little berries. Packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene they’re the perfect desk-side snack,
Detox your system by adding ginger to your everyday diet. Not only does it flush out waste, it also spikes your metabolism and keeps your appetite in check. Add it to hot water and lemon, mashed potato, toast, or stir-fry for an Asian twist.
Often overlooked as just a herb, Parsley also has plenty of beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and K to protect your kidneys and bladder.
It’s a bit of a Marmite vegetable-you either love it or hate it by Fennel has big health benefits. Packed with dietary fibre, it flushes out toxins and improves digestion. Add it to salads of steam it for a meal accompaniment.
Eaten alone or sprinkled in stir-fry’s, salads and soups, these tiny seeds protect your liver against alcohol and other toxins. Just what you need after the festive season!
They keep the doctor away but did you know that apples actually help to remove metals from your system? They also reduce cholesterol, detoxify your liver and boost your immune system!