It’s that time of the year- have you overindulged at Christmas, are you feeling a bit groggy and do you have the January blues? It’s a new year and while we always advocate healthy habits being a continuous lifetime ambition, a new year is a nice fresh start to get back on track with your health and fitness goals!
1. Indigestion – indigestion is a word used to describe various digestive symptoms such as acid reflux, abdominal bloating, constipation and diarrhoea. Having these symptoms is a common sign that your digestive system is under stress and possibly lacking in digestive enzymes needed to break down and digest foods and there may be an imbalance of beneficial gut microbiota within the small and large intestines. A detox that incorporates foods to cleanse the intestinal tract and eating less food in general will help.
2. Insomnia – toxin build up is often an underlying factor to insomnia; with liver congestion being the main culprit for those who suffer from insomnia. If you find it difficult to sleep at night, especially early morning awakenings around 1-4am it is time to look into a liver cleanse.
3. Lethargy and fatigue – fatigue and insomnia go hand in hand. It’s hard to increase energy levels if you are not sleeping well. If you commonly have lethargy, fatigue or a feeling of tiredness it is also often a sign that your body is carrying undigested and/or incompletely digested food. A detox supporting the digestion system and liver will work on improving the insomnia, which should then have a positive influence on your energy levels.
4. Depression – the food you eat affects your whole body and can determine how you feel emotionally and mentally. Depression is often a sign of toxin build up in the bowels, liver and/or brain. By cleansing the colon by eating green fibre rich foods and replenishing the good bacteria, as well as, detoxing the brain with chlorophyll rich foods you can make an impact on how you feel and may help to rid yourself of depression.
5. Stress – sadly stress is too common of a part of modern everyday life. Stress occurs in various ways: physical stress by lack of sleep, too much exercise and travelling; chemical stress from smoking, alcohol consumption, caffeine, and environmental pollutants such as pesticides; mental stress from working long hours; emotional stress from feelings of sadness, guilt or anger; nutritional stress from binge eating, vitamin and mineral deficiencies; as well as stress from troubled relationships, financial difficulties and family pressure. Alongside a detox, incorporate ways to look after the health of your mind as well as body – take on a daily meditation and practice deep breathing for at least 20min a day.
6. Trouble losing weight – a detox can be beneficial for someone who has a difficult time losing weight or is gaining weight due to poor diet and stress. Toxic build up in the body and especially hormone build up in the liver are common causes of excess weight gain and the inability to shift the weight, particularly excess abdominal fat. A detox incorporating cleansing foods rich in antioxidants and fibre, abundance of vegetables and herbs that support phase one and phase two liver detoxification are substantially beneficial. A juice fast can also be helpful in shifting unwanted weight. It’s best to do a juice fast in the Spring when the weather is warmer. Avoiding processed food devoid of any nutrition and committing yourself to an hour of daily exercise will also help during this time.
7. Mental fog / difficulty concentrating – you are what you eat after all; so if your body is not functioning properly than your brain won’t function properly either. If you fuel your body with caffeine, sugar and stress all day long your thought process can be compromised. Your mind will find it hard to concentrate and think clearly when your blood sugar levels are playing havoc and your body has no nutritional energy to function.
8. Bad breath – chronic bad breath that won’t go away by brushing your teeth or chewing gum may be caused by poor gastrointestinal health and a congested liver. Following a healthy juicing diet will help not only in eliminating bad breath, but also in correcting the underlying apparent cause in bad breath.
Written by: Marianna Sulic