Pre-Tox Your LiverFor many people, Christmas can mean drinking a bit more than we are normally used to.
Aim to stick to no more than two units a day if you are a woman and three to four units if you are a man, to protect your overall health.
You may also want to give your liver a pre – tox helping hand since it is this organ which is going to be in the firing line if you do drink more festive tipples than you are used to.
Start by putting spinach and avocados, white grapefruits, peaches, oranges and cantaloupe melon on the menu.
All contain ready-made glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants the body can get for maintaining and boosting liver function.
You can also try taking milk thistle. This herbal supplement contains the super-nutrient silymarin, which is thought to help increase production of glutathione.
Medical herbalists believe it also helps the body to make new liver cells.
Look for a brand that contains 200mg of ‘’standardised extract’’ with 70 to 80 per cent silymarin and take it three times a day.
It seems to be most effective when taken between meals and has its full effects two weeks into the course, so keep going even after a five day pre-tox.
De-BloatThe last thing you want is a bloated stomach and swollen ankles as you hit the festive scene.
There are several steps you can take to reduce these problems.
Get into some back-to basic eating. Have two eggs with a slice of bread or porridge or Oatbix for breakfast and fruit and a handful of unsalted nuts as snacks.
For lunch stick with tuna, chicken, lean beef or beans with salad and/or a baked potato.
For dinner have a simple meat-and-two veg-style meal, or fish,, pulse or tofu in place of meat, with rice, pasta or potatoes.
These combinations are very likely to lower your current salt intake and help you to shed up to 1.5 litres of excess stored water.
Cutting back to 3g of salt a day by eating in this style, giving up processed foods and not adding extra salt in meal preparation and at the table can help you to deflate and shed two to three pounds within your pre-tox. Avoid fizzy drinks, eat slowely and de-stress. All these tips help to stop extra air being gulped down into your stomach, which leads to bloating.
Boost Your EnergyIn December energy levels can be tested, with endless rounds of visiting, partying and entertaining others that goes on.
Given that the average woman in the UK consumes less than her daily iron needs, now is the time to help boost your intake.
Build iron-rich foods into your everyday meals, Fortified, low-salt cereals such as Weetabix, eggs, nuts, lean red meat, dark oily fish, dark green vegetables such as broccoli and dried apricots all help.
Pulse such as lentils and reduced salt-baked beans also count. You may even want to try a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement with around 8-10mg of iron daily to give you a head start.
Avoid drinking tea at meal and snack times. The super-nutrients in tea can hinder the absorption of the iron. Herbal and rooibos teas are fine.
Build up some ZZZsFinally get lots of sleep – you will need some nights in reserve to get you through the party season.
Try CherryActive cherry juice, research at Northumbria University shows it contains melatonin, a relaxing super – nutrient that genuinely improves your night’s sleep. CherryActive – do not be fooled by ordinary juice in the supermarkets.
You can also try camomile tea before bed. It acts on relaxation centres in your brain to help ease you into sleep.