Nutrition / Tips
January 1st, 2024
Detox nutrition: the secret to staying in shape after the festive season!
The end of the year means spending quality time with family and/or friends, and usually involves eating, drinking, and partying, which can leave the body out of its nutritional balance.
“Festive food”: good or bad?
Contrary to popular belief, some of the food we eat at this time of year is excellent for our health! As winter weather can get very cold, it includes some “star” nutrients that are essential for well-being. Seafood, for example, is packed with magnesium, iron, iodine, copper and zinc. Fine fish such as salmon and bluefin tuna contain lots of the rare long-chain Omega 3, EPA and DHA, while foie gras provides valuable vitamins from the A, B and D groups.
Meals that contain too much sugar, salt, and fat, especially when they’re washed down with alcohol, put your body under strain because it must work hard to digest, manage, and store everything.
What happens next?
You may retain some excess water under your eyes or on your cheeks or thighs and feel that your body is tired and undernourished. These tell-tale signs will quickly fade if you take care of your body with a rebalancing treatment.
What are the best detox solutions?
Plants are great at purifying your body, but opt for those that contain the most water, fibre, and potassium, because they will help eliminate water retention:
- Fresh or dried seaweed: pile your plate high because they also help regulate the intestines.
- Aromatic herbs such as parsley, mint, or green tea: ideal for bringing flavour to dishes and hot drinks.
- Sugar-free cocoa powder: to sprinkle on your recipes, but not to be confused with chocolate, which is too fatty and too sweet.
- Leafy vegetables: spinach, rocket, lamb’s lettuce, purslane, etc. Perfect for eliminating excess toxins.
- Purifying medicinal plants: artichoke, cherry stalks or meadowsweet give a boost to the emunctories, which are the organs that evacuate accumulated waste materials: the liver, kidneys, and intestines
Fermented products are also a safe bet: yoghurts, lassis, buttermilk (skimmed), kombucha, etc. And to bring an exotic note to your detox programme, why not add some kimchi, a traditional Korean vegetable dish that is spicy, macerated and fermented.
5 tips to revitalise your body
1. Avoid salt, in all its forms
Go easy on the saltshaker, but also steer clear of very salty foods such as cold meats, cheeses, olives, crisps, nuoc mam, pickled herrings, etc. and even effervescent tablets which contain a lot of salt.
2. Drink water, again and again
Your body is made up of 70 to 75% water, so after the holiday season it is probably thirsty and needs to recharge. So hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And because most fruit and vegetables are 90% water, you can eat as many as you like.Also on your list should be vegetable broths (unsalted), freshly squeezed fruit juice diluted with water, and herbal teas which can replace tea and coffee, and soft and alcoholic drinks.
3. Stock up on fibre-rich food
A festive meal is usually heavier than an everyday meal and tends to make your digestive system work twice as hard. That’s where high-fibre foods come into play, because they are great at helping digestion. And even better, they are in season! So give “pride of plate” to leeks, sorrel, spinach and salads in your delicious winter dishes. And don’t forget rhubarb: a light and 100% detox dessert. Extra marks if you serve it with apple or pear, which are great substitutes for sugar.
4. Fill up on minerals and trace elements
The months with an “r” in their name are generally when you should be eating oysters and shellfish. So, treat yourself and enjoy their benefits! Free of lipids and packed with protein, iron, zinc and magnesium, which we often need more of, they can be enjoyed with just a squeeze of lemon, and the vitamin C will make it easier for the body to assimilate iron.
5. Get some vitamin verve
In winter, the lack of sunlight can sometimes affect our mood, so it’s a great time to stock up on vitamins that boost well-being! Found in oily fish (sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon), vitamin D boosts immunity, as does the vitamin C in winter citrus and exotic fruit, as well as parsley, spinach, sorrel, rocket, lamb’s lettuce and cabbage, which contains just as much.
Did you know? Provided almost exclusively by fruit and vegetables, vitamin C is not stored in the body and must be ingested every day. Brighten up the winter season with some fresh juices and salads !
Two recipes that combine flavour and detox benefits
Lebanese tabbouleh: for vitamin C
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
½ bunch of fresh mint
1 handful of bulgur
Salt + olive oil
- Wash and spin the herbs in a salad spinner.
- Chop them with a knife and mix.
- Squeeze lemon juice over the herbs and add a pinch of salt.
- Swell the bulgur in hot water, drain and add to the herb mix.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!
Seaweed salad: for fibre and potassium
Fresh baby spinach
1 very ripe pineapple
- Mix the sea lettuce (fresh or rehydrated), lettuce and baby spinach
- Dice and add the pineapple. Squeeze grapefruit juice over the mix and toss. No need to add salt.