Detoxify and Rejuvenate for a Prosperous 2019
If you have over-indulged throughout the summer festive season or want a healthy start to the new year, this is the perfect opportunity to detoxify and restore the body by gifting it a well-deserved break from toxins.
Detoxification does not refer to just your consumption of food and drink, but also the extent of social connection you experience on a day-to-day basis, without the disruption of technology. Make the most of your rejuvenation with the following recommendations that can enhance the natural detox system of the body and support the organs of detoxification (liver, lungs, kidneys, skin and digestive system).
Benefits of Eliminating Alcohol
Alcohol has both short-term and long-term effects on our body, which can impact our liver function, nervous system, pancreas and brain health.
Benefits of eliminating alcohol include:
- Elevated mood. Alcohol is a depressant to our central nervous system, which can affect the way our brain communicates and mood. Eliminating alcohol will avoid the unwanted hangovers and can help improve your mood.
- Weight loss. Alcohol is rich in empty calories. Your daily red wine or after work beer results in a lot of extra calories for the month. Removing these may help you lose weight.
- Detox the body: Alcohol is mostly metabolised in the liver, which makes it particularly vulnerable to alcohol metabolisms effects. Giving alcohol a break, will give your liver a chance to restore and repair itself.
- Save you money: Eliminating alcohol will not only save your waist-line, but can also save you money. Your daily drink funds, accumulated over the month can make a substantial contribution to your next holiday.
Importance of Social Connection
As important as what you consume, feeling socially connected and loved is more important than ever in an increasingly isolated world, where technology trumps human touch. Humans are intrinsically social creatures; as far back as time can trace, we’ve hunted, traveled and lived in social groups. There is something intangibly authentic about talking to someone face to face; they become a relatable being, rather than a disembodied text messages that pops up on your smart phone.
The benefits of human social interaction should not be overlooked, and here are a few simple reasons social connections improve our quality of life:
- Boost mental health: Friendships manifest inner feelings of purpose, belonging, acceptance, and increased levels of happiness. When you feel happy, your stress levels are reduced; everyone could do with a little less stress in their lives!
- Increase your life expectancy: A review of over 140 studies showed that individuals with strong social relationships had a 50% increased likelihood of survival (SMH, 2017). All the more reason to maintain close social ties and foster healthy friendships!
- Mental health improves physical health: Social connection is so strong, that when we feel rejected or experience ‘social pain’, our brains literally hurt in the same way we feel physical pain. This explains why losing a friend, going through a break-up, or feeling ignored in your friendship circle is a source of great distress (Wolpert, 2013).
- The bottom line: In a world full of people, what can be more alluring than knowing how to create meaningful relationships and establishing deeper connections with those around us? Being kind and helpful towards others equates to being kind and loving towards oneself; positivity is an attractive quality.
Maintaining social relationships has both mental and physical health benefits. Most importantly, it can be fun! Go on, organise a catch up dinner with friends next weekend; give an old pal a phone call; enjoy lunch out with your co-workers; and spend time with loved ones. The need to socially connect with others seems to be as basic as our need for food, shelter, and water.
Cleanse and purify the body and support the liver with Western Herbal Medicine. These herbs have been traditionally used to protect, regenerate and restore the liver and help remove waste from the body. Some great detoxifying herbs include:
- St Mary’s Thistle is a popular herb with great liver protective and restorative properties.
- Green Teas is an effective antioxidant that will protect the body from free radical damage and promote toxic elimination.
- Dandelion leaf has a natural diuretic affect allowing the liver to remove excess toxins quickly and supporting the urinary system and kidney health.
- Turmeric is a wonderful herb high in antioxidants and liver protective properties.
It is always best to see a qualified herbal practitioner before taking herbal medicine.
Food as Medicine
The foods we eat will either support or hinder the detoxification process. To maximise the most of your detox period, it is best to adjust your diet to reflect your healthy living lifestyle. If we consume a diet high in processed foods and junk, it will place an extra toxic load and burden on our digestive system and organs of elimination.
Below are some ways to enjoy foods to enhance your detox experience:
- Eat seasonal fresh foods and wholefoods over packaged and processed meals.
- Avoid foods that are highly processed and filled with additives and refined ingredients.
- Eat bitter greens with each meal as they activate taste buds that stimulate enzyme production and bile flow. This promotes digestion and will jump-start your body’s cleansing work.
- Ensure you are eating enough fibre such as wholefoods, fruit or slippery elm. This will act as an intestinal broom and cleanse the digestive system and eliminate any toxic by-products.
Your detox is the perfect time to treat yourself to a massage. Yes, you did read correctly! A massage with an experienced therapist can be a highly beneficial way to assist the body remove unwanted toxins. Massage improves circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system, which acts as a natural waste removal and filtration system. Simulating the lymphatic system will encourage fluid circulation and the removal of cellular waste from the body.