In the weeks leading to and during holidays, many of us were eating less then optimal, drinking more of alcohol and soda, missed out on good sleep, lacked in exercise and time outdoors. Coupled with increased stress over holidays and changes in weather, we placed additional strain on our mind and body, which led to more stress and build up of toxins. In turn, many experience increased physical and mental illness during and after holidays. Examples of symptoms may include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Moodiness and irritability
- Digestive problems
- Sluggish metabolism and weight gain
- Skin problems
- Muscle and joint pain
- Cold and flu
- Other inflammation
What are the solutions? One is to detox. Detoxification helps to remove the build up of toxins, thus reducing inflammation. There are many ways to help your body: exercise regularly and increase time outdoors, quit bad habits like drinking and smoking, and eat more of healthy foods. Also, add these foods to your daily diet to promote a regular gentle “detox”:
Avocado is packed with antioxidants, including glutathione, which detoxes your body by eliminating the harmful chemicals and toxins. One medium avocado has 10g of fiber, which also helps in detoxification. Apart from being an excellent source of fiber and vitamins, research suggests that there may be a number of other benefits associated with the fruit, including: lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of diabetes, helping with weight loss, and cancer prevention.
Garlic has sulfur, which promotes detoxification by increasing production of glutathione, filtering toxins and harmful chemicals in the digestive system. A new study shows red blood cells process compounds from digested garlic and turn them into the cell messenger hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow. Therefore, eating garlic may increase our natural supply of this vital chemical and play a role in reducing the risk of heart problems.
Cabbage is also filled with sulfur and contains glucosinolates. It packed with anti-oxidants, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes. These compounds to protect against several types of cancer and help lower the "bad cholesterol", which can build up in arteries and cause heart disease. Cabbage is low on calories, but packed with vitamins. It provides 85 percent of the body’s daily requirement of vitamin K, which is needed for metabolism and for limiting neuronal damage in the brain. It is rich in vitamin C, scavenging harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals and protecting against infection. It is an excellent source of vitamin B-group vitamins, and also provides iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium for strong bones, and potassium for regulating the heart rate and blood pressure.
Green tea is the least processed of the teas, providing the most antioxidant polyphenols, notably a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). It can help the body get rid of free radicals effectively. The antioxidants improve liver functions too, which is essential for detoxification.
Broccoli contains more calcium than a glass of milk and has more vitamin C than an orange. In addition to the minerals and vitamins, it’s full of antioxidants, which can cleanse your body. It works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can eliminate easily.
Think of beets as red spinach: it is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Plus, its natural pigments called betacyanins, that give beets their color, have been proved to be potent cancer fighters in laboratory mice. Beets boost the body’s cellular intake of oxygen, protect your digestive system and help your liver to cleanse the body.