Avoid the fads and go natural to ensure your January detox is most effective.

January is the time for self care and with dentists speaking out in condemnation of the workplace ‘cake and biscuit culture’ and doctors warning against the dangers of faddy New Year detox products, there’s never been a better time to indulge in some natural ways to cleanse your body and restore your healthy to a sensible balance after the excesses of Christmas.

So, beat the winter blues and recover from festive over-indulgence with these five natural ways to detox.

1. Drink more water

Picture: Pixabay

Picture: Pixabay

It sounds stupidly simple but there have been numerous reports confirming the fact that we, as a nation, don’t drink enough water.

Studies have shown that not drinking enough water can inhibit weight loss, cause fatigue and slow your metabolism.

One study, conducted by Loughborough University, even equated being dehydrated to having the same effect as drink driving, with their research finding motorists who are dehydrated make twice as many mistakes.

As possibly the most useful tool for detoxifying your body, water plays a vital part in all of our body’s vital functions and drinking it more regularly can help to combat hunger pains, fatigue and even loss of concentration.

And by water, we mean regular glasses of the clear stuff that comes out of the tap (or bottle if you feel the need for store bought water) and not coffee, tea or soft drinks.

For those of you who aren’t so keen on the taste (or lack there of) adding slices of lemon and lime or other fruits can help elevate the taste and deliver a zesty hit of hydration whenever you need it.

2. Take up some form of exercise

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Yoga, swimming, five-a-sides, running, Zumba, dancing, walking to the shops… any form of physical activity that you can add to your daily routine will benefit you immensely.

Exercise can help to reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent and lower your risk of early death by up to 30 per cent.

Not only that, it’s a wonderful natural mood enhancer and joining a club or a sports team can also help improve your social life. It’s really a win-win situation.

The NHS recommends, as a bare minimum, at least 150 minutes of physical activity over a week through a variety of activities.

However, it is best to incorporate some form of physical activity within your daily routine even if it’s just a brisk walk.

As Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant for the NHS, says: “If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.”

3. Eat some soup

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Picture: Jules\Wikimedia

Delicious, warm, comforting soup.

A great way to cheer yourself on these cold, dark winter nights (and days), it’s also a surprising way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet and offset the temptation to snack on chocolate and crisps.

Vegetables are also an important source of many nutrients the body needs including potassium, dietary fibre, folic acid and vitamins A and C.

Switching out some meals for soups as part of a balanced diet can be a great way to get your five-a-day, hydrate and still feel as full as you do eating a sandwich or burger.

Tempting as it may be, try to ditch the bread for dipping, or if you must, avoid white bread or switch out your normal roll for some croutons.

4. Swap your tea or coffee for a green tea.

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Picture: Frans Schouwenburg\Flickr

If like us, you struggle to live without coffee or tea, then this one might be good for you. Try switching out a couple of your cups a day for a cup of green tea.

Widely considered to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, green tea is packed with antioxidants and nutrients and studies have shown that it is great for combating fatigue.

It has even been found in several studies to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.

The more adventurous amongst you may even want to switch it up and try nettle tea which has been shown to improve circulation and support the digestive system.

5. Healthy eating

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If you’re looking to start eating healthy but want to begin with baby steps, start by going for organic, colourful ingredients and try to keep your recipes basic and delicious. The easier they are to make without sacrificing the flavour, the more likely you are to stick to eating them.

Ditch the white bread, processed foods and alcohol and cut back on sugar. Try and increase your fruit and vegetable intake – at least HALF of every main dinner should be made up of veg and breakfast is the best time to incorporate some fruit either with a smoothie or in your cereal.

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