Durban - The overload of festive events can play havoc with your waistline and health, leaving you feeling sluggish. But you don’t have to miss out on (most of) the fun by sticking rigidly to a diet. Here’s how:
Drink eight glasses of water each day
Water helps to dilute toxins in the blood for elimination via the kidneys, so drinking water during this time of excess is an important habit to make this season if you want to bounce back once the festivities are over. Add some lemon or ginger to hot water as both are great antioxidant detoxifiers which help to flush out toxins.
Eat the big five superfoods every day
1. Seeds of life
Everything is grown from a seed, and seeds are full of energy, protein, nutrients, calcium, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, zinc and selenium. Hot-climate seeds such as sesame and sunflower are high in essential omega-6 fats, which balance hormones and keep skin healthy, whereas cold-climate seeds such as flax and pumpkin seeds are higher in omega-3 which are vital for health of arteries, joints and brain functioning. Keep a jar of seed mix – flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds – and add to your cereals, salads or have a handful as a snack whenever you can.
2. Go for greens
Add darker green vegetables to your plate during the festive season to maintain energy levels, avoid your skin looking tired and lower your risk of cancer. Good choices are spinach, watercress, parsley, basil, broccoli, green peppers and avocado pears.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables whose leaves grow as a cross (cruciferous) enhance the liver’s capacity to detoxify. Try to have a serving of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower or kale every day.
4. Sulphur so good
Onions, spring onions, garlic and shallots are excellent food sources of sulphur-containing amino acids which assist the liver with detoxing the body. Garlic is a natural antifungal agent and gut protector and keeps the digestive system tract free of unwanted fungi and yeast. Include a garlic clove, a small onion, shallots and springs onions to meals every day.
5. Get juicy
The advantage of juicing or blending over actually eating is that you can consume a greater variety and volume. Superfruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants to support the liver, high in folic acid to support the detoxification process, high in zinc (vital for overall health and detoxification) and low in sugar. Drink a superfood juice or smoothie every day to ensure you are getting the best even when over-indulging in the worst.
Try a combination of any of the following fruits and vegetables: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon, grapefruit, oranges, beetroot, carrots, apple, lime, ginger, cucumber and celery for a delicious, healthy drink.
Maximise your intake of anti-ageing antioxidants
Antioxidants are particularly important when not eating as healthily as you should. They disarm harmful oxidants. To “disarm” one French fry, the body needs Vitamin E (seeds and fish), co-enzyme Q10 (made mainly from the body), Vitamin C (fruits and vegetables), glutathione (onions and garlic), anthocyanidins (berries) and some beta-carotene (carrots and watercress) – now you can see why eating superfoods is imperative!
Take detoxifying supplements
To assist your gut and to combat the host of “incorrect” foods and drinks, Holford recommends supplementing with digestive enzymes to assist with properly digesting all foods, probiotics to ensure the correct essential beneficial bacteria during times of gluttony are present and glutamine as a defence from toxins. He also suggests an all-round antioxidant or liver support formula.
Exercise every day
Exercise has a vital role to play in assisting the body to get rid of toxins, especially in times of excess. Any whole-body exercise is good for detoxification: brisk walking, jogging, swimming, yoga or Pilates are all great for this. Holford recommends and practises Psychocalisthenics, a precise sequence of 23 exercises which combine body movement with energy-generating breathing.
A good massage will detoxify by stimulating the circulation and lymphatic systems as the body stores chemical toxins, physical tension and negative emotions – all by-products of a busy festive season. - Daily News