Detox. Never a word which fills us with joy. Throughout January many of us are left feeling sluggish and a few pounds heavier then pre-Christmas, and therefore consider a detox, which creates a constant battle with ourselves trying to deprive our bodies of food then giving in because it’s just too difficult. Trying to starve yourself, or live on only lemon water, or only eat for 2 hours a day is just not realistic, especially when those January blues kick in and all we want is chocolate and to be buried in our duvet…
Well, we have a solution for you. Instead of attempting an extreme fasting cleanse or detoxing through deprivation, why not try something more moderate and adopt a healthier diet than your indulgent one you maintained throughout December.Our livers are pretty good at detoxing nasties out of our body themselves, but with a little boost from some magnificent fruits you can incorporate into your everyday, your body will be cleansed and as good as new before your next holiday rolls around.
Many fruits have special health-boosting properties which can help reset and rejuvenate your body after a period of indulgence. Although you might already know that lemons act as great bodily cleansers, and bananas are all round wonderful for your health, you might not know how other fruits can boost your body’s detox abilities. Below we outline just a few which, if added into you daily diet, could make a huge difference to your overall health and wellbeing without having to endure any extreme detox which will have you feeling like a failure.
Apples have been a diet staple for many people for decades, and we’ve all heard that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. As they are a native UK fruit, they are often an affordable option as one of your 5-a-day, with many different varieties available at your local supermarket. Most people know that they are a great source of vitamin C, but there are many other properties of apples which can support your body’s natural detoxification process.
Compared to many other fruits, apples contain one of the highest amounts of several different phytochemicals, including D-Glucarate, which fuel the detoxification process and maximise the efficiency of your digestive system in cleansing out any nasties which have built up over an indulgent period.
Apples are also effective in supporting liver function, as your liver produces bile which aids digestion by breaking down fats and preventing any damaging or toxic substances from staying in the body. Apples are a great addition to your everyday diet which support healthy digestive function and the natural detoxing of your body.
Serving suggestion: Try slices of apple with your favourite nut butter as a great mid-morning snack, or make a simple homemade applesauce to top your porridge with.
To get the obvious out of the way, yes avocados are a fruit! There is a common mis-conception that Avocados are of the vegetable persuasion, because of their savoury taste and familiar position on top of salads. However, avocados are actually a fruit, with a stone and a thick skin and delicious green flesh. The health and detoxifying benefits of avocados are substantial, which is perhaps why their popularity has soared in recent years.
The abundance of healthy fats present in avocados encourage efficient energy production within the body, keep you fuller for longer, and promote healthy hair, nails and skin. They are also high in a range of essential vitamins and minerals which support your body’s natural healing process and various other functions, including vitamins K, C, B6 and E; and they are also higher in potassium than bananas, which crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction- particularly important alongside your new January gym regime.
Avocados can also aid your body’s recovery from a few weeks of parties and over-indulgence by easing any inflammation and stabilising any bodily functions which might have been thrown out of balance.
Serving suggestion: mash some ripe avocados and mix with salt, pepper and diced cherry tomatoes for a fresh and healthy guacamole; perfect with crunchy toast or carrot sticks.
Blueberries have been long-recognised as a ‘superfood’ with many amazing health benefits for your body. If you are trying to cleanse your body of toxins and reset your system after weeks of eating too much of the wrong food (and drink…) then blueberries are definitely one to start including in your diet.
Not only are blueberries an excellent source of fibre to aid regular bowel activity, but they also promote the production of healthy bacteria to heal your gut when it has been struggling to cope with a period of indulgence. Their high antioxidant content can help prevent diseases from taking hold, and have even been suggested to slow the spread of some tumours.
Blueberries can also be effective in restoring hormone imbalances to prevent acne and headaches, as well as boosting brain focus and memory retention. So do away with those foggy-headed days, re-gain your focus and reset your digestive system by eating blueberries- there are worse ways to encourage a bodily detox…
Serving suggestion: freeze and whizz up with other berries in a smoothie, or top your morning yogurt with blueberries and granola.
These tangy berries are most commonly eaten in their dried form, but eaten fresh or dried (as long as they haven’t been processed with added sugar), they can provide an array of detoxifying benefits.
Cranberries hold a unique acidity which is different from all other fruits, which gives them a particular ability to prevent bacteria from multiplying. This is what makes them a common cure for UTI’s, but also makes them effective in slowing the spread of other bacterial infections.
Cranberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an essential vitamin for general wellbeing and especially if you are promoting your body’s natural detoxing processes.Worried about the effect that the truck-load of chocolate you ate over Christmas will have had on your gnashers? Never fear, chomp down on some cranberries, as they have also been proven to slow the development of plaque on teeth.
Serving suggestion: try dried cranberries with nuts as an afternoon snack, or whip up a homemade cranberry sauce to have with your Sunday roast.
These tiny red berries have skyrocketed in popularity since people started becoming more interested in ‘superfoods’ and antioxidants in recent years. The health benefits and detoxifying benefits of goji berries are advocated by many health and wellbeing professionals, and they have historically been used as natural remedies for many aliments including diabetes, fevers and hypertension.
Small but mighty, the goji berry contains high levels of antioxidants which encourage internal healing and support the immune system, as well as maintain healthy eyes and protecting them from damage or infection.
They are also low in calories and fat-free, meaning that they are ideal within a detox phase, as well as being high in fibre to encourage healthy digestion and natural internal cleansing through bodily processes.
Maintaining healthy and regular digestion is vital if you wish to support your body’s naturally detoxing functions, as otherwise toxins can remain in the body causing skin problems, discomfort and low energy levels.
Serving suggestion: Goji berries are perfect within a granola mix, or sprinkled on top of porridge.
These are just a few fruits you can eat to naturally support your body’s detox processes. It is important to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure that your get the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals needed to maintain good health and wellbeing. Your immune system and digestive require the right fuel in order to function efficiently, so make sure you keep your body happy with healthy, nutritious foods.