Author: Amy Jordan, BSc(Hons)HumNut
It’s that time of year again! Parties and mince pies, roast turkey and your nan’s delicious Christmas pudding, gingerbread and candy canes. With all the delicious treats and indulgences of Christmas, it’s common to feel sluggish and fatigued by the time January rolls around. A little balance through the silly season can go a long way to helping you feel your best in 2017!
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do to support your body through the festive season. Not only will it help you stave off the morning-after feeling of having over-indulged at the office party, but it helps your liver flush out toxins from and helps your digestive system run smoothly after all those Christmas treats!
A little gentle exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing on Christmas morning or Boxing Day, but trust me on this – even gentle exercise like a walk with the family or a relaxing swim will do wonders to help you feel your best. It’s easy to let the gym routine slide at this time of year, if this is you, try getting friends or family together at the beach for some cricket or a group dog walk – that way you get the benefits of exercise while still catching up on family time.
Support your liver
No one’s saying you shouldn’t have that festive glass of champagne, but try to support your liver so that it has no problem keeping your body toxin-free! A number of herbs and nutrients are great for supporting the liver, including:
- Milk thistle1
- Globe artichoke2
- Vitamin E6
All of these play a role in either protecting the liver from damage or supporting it in the three phases of liver detoxification. A good quality B vitamin complex is also a great idea to help your body recover after a long night of partying!
Take it easy!
In between the parties, family events and long catch-ups with friends, try and remember to get eight hours of sleep – at least most nights! This time of year it’s easy to forget about sleep as you burn the candle at both ends trying to get to get to all the social engagements you’ve said yes to. Sleep is extremely important, as it helps your body regenerate and keeps you feeling your best. Think about saying no once in a while, and curling up on the sofa with a festive movie. Your body will thank you!
Liver detoxification – the three phases
There are three steps, or phases, to liver detoxing:
- Phase 1 involves liver enzymes which transform the toxin into a less harmful substance.8 Important nutrients: B vitamins; glutathione; milk thistle; green tea; bupleurum.
- Phase 2 adds a molecule, making the substance water soluble. The added molecule is often glutathione, which is why this antioxidant is so important for liver and detox support.8 Important nutrients: glutathione; B vitamins; globe artichoke; curcumin; amino acids.
- Phase 3 removes toxins from the cells and into the blood, where it moves through the kidneys and into the urine for excretion.8 Important nutrients: fibre; water; sulforaphane (from broccoli); Coenzyme Q10.
Speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about liver health. Make sure to always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner.
To find a practitioner in your area, visit our find-a-practitioner page.
- Loguercio C, Festi D. Silybin and the liver: from basic research to clinical practice. World J Gastroenterol 2011;17(18):2288-2301.
- Artichoke. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2015. Viewed 2 December 2016, https://naturalmedicines-therapeuticresearch-com.ezproxy.endeavour.edu.au/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=842
- Bupleurum. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2015. Viewed 2 December 2016, https://naturalmedicines-therapeuticresearch-com.ezproxy.endeavour.edu.au:2443/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=650
- Nabavi SF, Moghaddam AH, Habtemariam S, et al. Curcumin and liver disease: from chemistry to medicine. Comp Rev 2013;13(1):62-77.
- Glutathione. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2015. Viewed 2 December 2016, https://naturalmedicines-therapeuticresearch-com.ezproxy.endeavour.edu.au:2443/databases/food,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=717
- Loguercio C, Andreone P, Brisc C, et al. Silybin combined with phosphatidylcholine and vitamin E in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a roandmoizd controlled trial. Free Radic Biol Med 2012;52(9):1658-1665.
- Mohammad MK, Zhou Z, Cave M, et al. Zinc and liver disease. Nutr Clin Pract 2012;27(1):8-20.
- Urbinder D. What is phase III detoxification? 2016. Viewed 2 December 2016, http://www.fxmedicine.com.au/search/node/detoxification