We dread January every year – it is that time of the year with short days, grey weather, credit card bills after Christmas and New year and a general feeling of gloom.
However, the fantastic thing about January is that it gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. We are generally feeling more than overindulged, and we can use this as motivation to eat ourselves back to health and vitality!
Our liver has to work overtime during Christmas, as we increase our intake of fatty and sugary foods and tend to slightly exceed our alcohol quota! It is therefore really important at this time of year to fill our diet with liver-supportive foods. By doing this we not only support our body to naturally detox, but our energy levels and immune system will be given a real boost.
Here are Amrita’s top 6 liver-supportive foods:
1) Green Leafy & cruciferous vegetables – your number 1 January rule should be to get these into your diet daily! Bursting with chlorophyll, these foods literally suck up toxins from your body. They are also packed with vitamin C, iron, zinc and B vitamins which are all essential to boost your energy levels. Options include cabbage, spinach, kale, broccoli and chicory. Have these raw in a salad, or lightly steamed. For a real energy boost, and a couple of handful of greens to a homemade juice.
2) Quinoa – a gluten-free wholegrain (in fact it’s technically a seed), quinoa is a nutritionally superior alternative to rice, pasta and other grains. It is not only an excellent source of protein, it is rich in folate, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins, all known to improve liver function and energy production.
3) Lemons – start off each day by adding a squeeze of lemon to a glass of hot water. This can stimulate your digestive system, and once in your body, help to gently flush your kidneys and liver of toxins. Lemons are also full of vitamin C. Another way to get lemon into your diet is by adding it to olive oil for a delicious salad dressing.
4) Avocados – these help the body to produce glutathione, which is necessary for the liver to cleanse toxins. They also contain a wide array of carotenoids- disease-fighting antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
5) Pumpkin seeds – these are a good source of protein, fibre and healthy fats- the combination of which keeps you full and energised for longer. They are also rich in zinc, which has important immune-boosting properties. Sprinkle lightly-toasted pumpkin seeds onto salads, or try pumpkin oil drizzled over steamed veggies.
6) Garlic – garlic is a wonderful Superfood! It supports the liver, helps you fight illness, and supports your digestive system. Peel, chop and leave your garlic for around 15 minutes before cooking to fully activate its wonderful enzymes.
In addition, I would highly recommend taking a vitamin D supplement (in the D3 form) over the winter months when sunshine is scarce. Vitamin D deficiency is now increasingly being linked with low mood and depression, poor immunity, and a multitude of other health conditions. Of course you don’t need it if you live in sunny countries, but for many people in the West vitamin D is a big problem these days…
Regular exercise is also fantastic for increasing the production of “feel good” endorphins, so keep the walking up, especially on those sunny days to help boost your vitamin D production.
In the next post we will tell you why your liver is VERY happy with the Amrita’s Easy Detox and why it is such a good idea to start your new year with good proper cleanse which your body will really need after all these celebration food and drinks!!!