This article is intended for customers from all countries other than Germany*
Now that the new year is in full swing, it’s time for you to get your health back on track. Many people choose to do a new year detox to help cleanse their bodies of any toxins. These detoxes can be particularly helpful for people with chronic illness who experience inflammation. Here are some tips to help you meet your nutritional goals in the new year.
Cut back on sugar
Everyone knows sugar isn’t a healthy thing to consume, but did you know that simple sugars can actually contribute to a host of health problems? Research shows that consuming sugar can result in a slower metabolism, more inflammation in the body, and a higher risk of obesity. To help reduce your sugar intake, try the following:
- Cut out sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas, juices and sports drinks
- Avoid processed foods (cakes, cookies, pastries, etc.)
- Skip breakfast cereals that are loaded with sugar
- Switch from flavoured yoghurt to natural yoghurt
Avoid trans fats
Trans fats only occur in highly processed foods which are fried or (partially) hardened. They might increase your risk of developing myriad chronic illnesses, and, so far, have not shown to have any beneficial effect on our body. To avoid them, check labels for anything that says ‘partially hydrogenated’ in the ingredients. Even if the label says ‘low in fat’, it could still include some dangerous trans fats. Steer clear of things like fried foods, frozen pizza, crackers and cookies to help remove trans fats from your diet.
Determine your food sensitivities
Being aware of any food sensitivities you might have can be really helpful in a new year detox. These sensitivities can make toxicity in your system worse because they can make your gut more permeable, resulting in toxins entering the bloodstream. Common food sensitivities include gluten, dairy, soy and corn. Try experimenting by eliminating one of these food groups for three to four weeks. If you notice a positive difference in how you’re feeling without one of these foods, consider eliminating it permanently from your diet. You can try each food out and see how you do before adding certain foods back in.
Try out supplements
A detox is the perfect time to add supplements to your regimen. If you suffer from Lyme disease or a similar chronic illness, try a nutritional supplement like DTC plus from Make Well. It has lots of healing ingredients, such as nettle, blueberry, cranberry, artichoke, sage, turmeric and chlorella. The supplement can help protect your liver from toxins, flush toxins out of your body, provide your body with more antioxidants, and reduce inflammation.
Include more healthy foods in your diet
So, what should you be eating? Here’s a list of foods that are always good to consume.
- Healthy fats and oils (like olive oil, coconut oil, linseed oil or walnut oil)
- Nuts and seeds
- Proteins (mostly from grass-fed beef or wild-caught seafood, organic and high quality plant-based protein)
- Fruits and veggies (organic if possible)
Think carefully about the foods you’re consuming. If you know it might not be healthy, don’t eat it! One way to think about it is to consider if your grandmother would have eaten it 50 years ago. Since there were less processed foods back then, she wasn’t snacking on toaster pastries and chips. But she would have been eating almonds or an apple! Thinking like this might help you make some better food choices.
Drink plenty of water
A detox will only be successful if you’re drinking an appropriate amount of water to help flush toxins out of the body. Men should be drinking about three litres of fluids a day, while women should be drinking about 2.2 litres. If this seems like an overwhelming amount, just think about it like four to eight sips of water every hour. Drinking enough water can assure you aren’t dehydrated and can help your body work better overall. One other tip is to eat foods that are full of water, including some fruits and veggies, broth-based soups and oatmeal. These foods provide your body with a little extra fluid, along with important vitamins and minerals you need.
Bypass trendy cleanses
Although juice cleanses have become trendy of late, they probably aren’t a good idea if you’re trying to focus on becoming healthier and feeling better. Fasts or strict cleanses will only leave you feeling hungry and sluggish. Restrictive cleanses can actually result in you having more physical symptoms, like constipation (from a lack of fibre) or bloating (from excess fructose in juices). Focusing more on eliminating unhealthy foods and stocking up on healthy ones is a much better bet (especially for someone with a chronic illness).
Treat your stomach better
Maintaining good digestive health is essential during a detox (and every other time of year). Try eating things like prunes, which can positively affect the bacteria in your gut, and lentils, beans, chickpeas and peas, which can strengthen the gut barrier and reduce the risk of gut-related diseases like inflammatory bowel disease. Pears are also a great choice since they have prebiotic fibre that promotes healthy intestines. Any foods high in fibre – whole grains, fruits and veggies – will all work to get your digestive system functioning better.
Abstain from alcohol
If you really want to start your year on the right foot, consider skipping alcohol for a little while. If you’re drinking during a detox, you’re not really allowing your body to be 100% free from potentially toxic substances. If completely skipping alcohol is out of the question, consider forgoing hard alcohol and sipping on some red wine (which at least has some antioxidants) instead.
Skip the snacks
Snacking can be a fun distraction throughout the day, but if you’re not being careful about what you’re choosing to eat, you could be adding unhealthy foods to your diet. Be conscious of what you’re consuming, even if it’s just a snack, and try to stick to healthier options like fruit or nuts.
It's not too late to start your year off right with a detox to help bring your body back to its healthiest state!