“I’m on a juice cleanse” is a pretty trendy phrase come January 2nd. After the festive season, we all want to get back to looking and feeling our best, but after many late nights spent drinking wine and overeating, putting yourself on a self-induced cleanse without consulting a healthcare practitioner isn’t going to kick-start your health regime for 2016. Instead, a combination of eating the right foods and supplementation can help digestive function, immunity, concentration levels, skin conditions and energy levels. You’ll be surprised to find that many of the methods to cleanse your body are quite simple and will leave you feeling full, satisfied and jam-packed with energy. It’s also important to set realistic goals – let’s not forget there is still a month of summer to enjoy!
The liver’s main function is to naturally detox the body. Its job is to filter the array of toxins we are exposed to every day from our blood so they can be eliminated from the body. So weeks of alcohol and junk food force your liver to work that extra bit harder.
Dandelion root tea has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries as it is known to promote liver detoxification, relieve constipation and assist skin concerns. On a side note, its taste actually resembles coffee, and can be a great substitute if you want to cut back on the caffeine in the New Year. Find it here.
You should consider taking the herb milk thistle, to buffer alcohol-induced liver damage. Milk thistle aids normal liver function and may help protect liver cells. It has antioxidant activity and also supports regeneration of liver cells.
Eating probiotic-rich foods such as yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi, miso soup and taking a probiotic supplement will help boost good intestinal bacteria. Gut bacteria can be disrupted when you drink or eat too much. During the silly season, I recommend taking a high strength probiotic to provide optimal support for normal healthy digestive and immune systems.
Alcohol depletes many different nutrients, especially B vitamins. So a good quality multivitamin every day is a great place to start, and on days that alcohol is consumed, take a second one at lunchtime.
Ubiquinol is the active and reduced form of CoQ10 (and therefore easily absorbed), which is produced naturally in the body, providing antioxidant support to combat free radicals, and provides cellular energy, which is essential for the functioning of our cells and organs. If you’re feeling sluggish long after the silly season, there’s a chance your CoQ10 levels could be quite low – they deplete as we age, particularly if we’re physically active.
For more information on effective liver cleansing and other integrative health news, you can visit FX Medicine, a new integrative health portal with the latest research on natural therapies.
Always read the label. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare practitioner.
Amie Skilton graduated in 2001 with a Diploma in Botanical Medicine, an Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy and a BHSc in Complementary Medicine. She has been in clinical practice for 13 years, and is also involved in Corporate Health, lecturing at numerous companies as part of their OH&S programs and specialises in several areas including women’s health and weight loss.