In January we all start the year feeling a bit sluggish. It’s not just the weather, but the overindulgent Christmas and New Year that takes it’s toll on our bodies. We’ve had too much sugar, alcohol, dairy, mince pies, port, cheese at night with 12 packs of nibbles! All ingredients we don’t eat in such huge amounts at any other time of the year! And that’s fine – it’s Christmas after all.
But come January, all we dream about is the time when it’s summer and we can feel lighter and healthier.
If you’ve been struggling with all the normal coughs and colds that have been doing the rounds and you can’t seem to shift them, have you considered that you may have a poorly functioning digestive system?
A digestive system that’s not working well will have a knock on effect on the rest of your body. It puts stress on your liver and can release toxins into your bloodstream, pulling down your immune system so that you don’t fight things off so well.
Well why not make a start today with some simple ingredients to boost your health and beat the bloat?
And you know what, I bet it’s all in your cupboards already…
- Been eating too much cheese and noticed your digestion’s been suffering ever since?
STOP – don’t throw that chicken away after your roast dinner! Instead, boil it up and make a nutritious and healing bone broth that you can replace in your dinners or soups. Instead of using an Oxo, add in a cup of this chicken stock and you’ll be getting so many more nutrients and vitamins. Bone broth is a well-known cure for leaky gut too.
*Bonus* This is also FULL of collagen which will help improve your skin’s elasticity and reduce cellulite (um does that mean less time at the gym??!)
- Too much booze over Christmas and New Year (don’t mention prosecco to me….)?
Your liver is a key part of the detoxification process. So what foods help with this? Garlic has many healing properties and helps your body to flush out toxins and cleanse your liver. Apples are high in pectin which help the body release toxins from the digestive tract. This also means that they help the liver to cope with the toxic load during the detox process.
Citrus fruits are naturally cleansing (no, not in that G&T). Have a glass of hot water in the morning with a slice of lemon in before any other drink and instantly kickstart your liver for the day.
- Add more fruit and vegetables.
Yeah, yeah this is a simple one! But which ones will help your body cleanse and refresh itself? Leeks, onions, and garlic again are amazing for cleansing – even better if you can eat them raw. Bananas contain prebiotics aiding the addition of healthy good bacteria to the gut. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and chard help your liver detoxify. They also add a boost of chlorophyll to your body to help your gut rid itself of toxins too. Double whammy.
- Drinking….no, not more booze!
The most amazing drink to help you at a time like this is Golden Milk or Turmeric Latte . Many cafes now offer this on their menus. This drink is known for its help with everything from a cold to cancer. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory benefits. It increases your immunity and also helps to get rid of a cough or cold. As it also has antibacterial properties, this helps relieve digestive problems and clarifies the skin. This truly is a golden jewel of a drink.
Here’s the golden milk recipe if you want to give it a go.
- Herbs (not the illegal kind).
I bet you all have some herbs in your cupboard or in your garden. Maybe an Italian herb blend, or a bay leaf, or oregano. But do you know that herbs can play a major part in keeping your digestive system healthy? A curry is not only a delicious meal, but it has all the added benefits of the herbs and spices within it – ginger, turmeric, garlic, fenugreek – they all help to ease digestive issues.
Bitter herbs such as rocket can aid the liver and digestive tract if you eat a small amount before your dinner. Adding into your salad is an easy option. You can even add to the top of your pizza! It stimulates bile which prepares the body for the food it’s about to ingest leading to better digestion.
Add oregano, cumin and cardamom to meals to get rid of excess gas in the intestines. These are in spag bol and chilli, so you don’t need to make anything fancy.
So I hope I’ve helped you to see that you don’t need to go on a crazy detox diet in January. Just think carefully about what you’re eating and drinking and try to add some added herbs and spices into the menu to play a part in refreshing and detoxing your body.
Give them a go and leave a comment below with any top tips you have found!