THE annual new year self-care rituals require that you pick up a few good habits at the beginning of the year, fully aware that most of them will not make it past January, and 2020 is no exception. But while we work on the strength of will to accomplish some of our more audacious goals for the year, let's at least start to reach some relatively low-hanging fruit. Let's start 2020 with a clean slate — and let's start from the inside.
There is no better time for a detox — short for detoxification — which is the removal of toxic substances from a living organism such as the human body. While your liver does most of your body's detox heavy lifting all year round without complaint, there is no harm in giving it a break following the holiday festivities and all its toxins.
Registered nutritionist Shannon Grant says a detox does not have to be a strict period of deprivation from food for it to work. It can simply be about infusing healthier foods into your diet and eliminating unhealthy ones.
She recommends these items for detox beginners:
This is the single most important ingredient in any detox diet. Water cleanses and flushes everything, including your body. Simply drinking more water daily can boost your energy and brain function, relieve and prevent some headaches, normalise bowel movements, and can even lead to weight loss.
Limes and lemons have been touted to be among the best fruits to infuse into your detox water, but oranges, tangerines, mandarins and grapefruit can also do the trick. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C which is great for your immune system and skin. They are also rich in antioxidants, low in calories, and can help to cut cholesterol. The fibre found in citrus, and the ability to help stave off hunger, is also good for weight management.
For the loads of benefits found in these fruits, which are often seen growing wild in Jamaica, pomegranates are seriously underrated. Not only are they rich in vitamin C, but they also contain vitamins E and K which protect against cell membrane destruction, help the blood to clot, and lower blood pressure. Pomegranates also contain folate which is a vitamin that the body needs to make blood cells and genetic material.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is hailed as one of the best natural products for weight loss and blood sugar regulation. Made from crushed and fermented apples, this vinegar is known for benefits such as reducing belly fat, lowering cholesterol and promoting good heart and digestive health. Adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your water helps the system to run smoothly, and keeps you feeling full for longer which over time can lead to weight loss.
Cucumber is not only nutritious, but it tastes great when infused with water, and it is super refreshing. Cucumbers contain a lot of water themselves, so you can simply munch on them as a detox snack. While being incredibly low in calories, a medium-sized cucumber can supply you with two grams of protein, two grams of fibre, and beneficial amounts of vitamin C and K. Cucumbers also contain valuable minerals such as potassium, magnesium and manganese. These bad boys are great for your heart and help to lower blood sugar and regulate weight and bowel movements
Let's face it, some of us love something sweet in our water. Instead of yielding to the temptation of adding sugar to your detox water or tea, try honey instead. Although it is still high in carbs and should be used sparingly, honey contains many antioxidants and compounds that you will not find in cane sugar. Eating honey may lower blood pressure and it promotes good heart health. The sticky substance also improves the healing of wounds and burns, and can be used as an effective cough medicine.